The slippery slope of deteriorating morality… a reminder from 1929…

February 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Through much of time certain behaviors have been universally accepted as immoral – the exploitation of women (in particular) through pornography being among them. However, perhaps it’s my age showing, but when did “Since legislating morality rarely changes behavior, let’s eliminate such legislation” become the modus operandi? As a former teacher I knew some of my students would likely cheat, but I still had rules and consequences regarding cheating. As a parent I understood my children might decide that hitting one another was a good way of handling disputes, but I still taught proper means of dealing with conflict and used my parental platform to legislate against hostile behavior. The recent (albeit well intended?) legalization of child prostitution in California in order to “protect” them from the consequences of being caught just doesn’t seem to make sense, and continues our slide down the slippery slope of immorality. I could be a bit off, but my gut tells me something is horribly wrong.

It is with these thoughts in mind I was struck by the front page of The Reform Bulletin from March 1, 1929 (see below), which focused on an effort in the State of New York to pull back on the decade old legalization of “obscene literature.” What’s “obscene literature”? Should morality be legislated, and if so, who makes the call as to which behaviors are moral and which are not? Should government take a role in the personal affairs of its citizens? Has the government overreached in this area in the past? While the answers to these questions and similar are quite complex, I think most would agree we’re not headed in the right direction – and the consequences are guaranteed to be non-partisan.

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A political cartoon from 1776 themed on the Revolutionary War…

February 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Political cartoons are ever-present in our world today. It would be difficult to find a daily or weekly publication today without at least one. And they have been around for a long time–perhaps longer than you might think.

There was the occasional political cartoon in 18th century magazines, only a few of which are American-themed, and fewer still can be found as most have been removed years ago. Although we have had a few in years past, we recently purchased not only a very nice one, but one from a title difficult to find in today’s world of collecting.

The November, 1776 issue of “The London Magazine: Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer”, not to be confused with the more common “Gentleman’s Magazine”. A full page plate in the issue has a very political cartoon themed on the Revolutionary War, captioned: “News From America, or the Patriots in the Dumps.” and shows Lord North standing on a platform holding a letter announcing successful campaigns by the British troops in America. A distraught woman, ‘America’, holding a liberty cap, sits at the base of the platform. Others present react to the news. There are several websites concerning this political cartoon, one of which can be seen here.

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The Traveler… Election tension – should Indiana’s votes be counted?

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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blog-2-20-2017-indianaToday’s journey took me to New York City by the means of the New-York Spectator, February 22, 1817. Under the heading of “Congress”, I found the “Votes for President & Vice President” report: “The votes of all of the states having been aloud, with the exception of those of the state of Indiana… One motion of Mr. Jackson, a message was sent to the Senate, informing them that the House of Representatives were ready to proceed, agreeably to the mutual resolution of yesterday, to open and count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States…The reading of the votes was then concluded and the tellers handed a statement thereof to the Present of the Senate… The president of the Senate then declared JAMES MONROE, of Virginia, to be duly elected President of the United States , and DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, of New York, duly elected Vice-President…”. A fair question to ask would certainly be: “Why were Indiana’s votes not included in the oral record?” An appropriate follow-up might be: “Were they eventually included?” If you know the answers off the top of your head, please respond. It sure is a good thing the election wasn’t close enough for Indiana’s votes to make a difference in the final result. However, the decision as to whether or not to include the votes was still an important one in regards to establishing precedent.

~The Traveler

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Breaking down stereotypes… Al “Marian” Capone…

February 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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The Detroit Free Press for August 14, 1935 appears to be one of the few newspapers (perhaps only) which uncovered Al Capone’s ultimate career aspiration: that of a librarian. His life of crime may have disqualified many from pursuing such a dream, but once again he proved his mettle and determination by becoming the librarian… of Alcatraz prison. Some may sense a degree of sarcasm, however, I would like to point out the article does indicate this was a “promotion.”

Note: We have been unable to verify whether or not this report is accurate. If anyone has information which can verify or dispute this claim, please let us know.

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An internet idea, far ahead of its time?

February 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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A fascinating article in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat” of September 15, 1878 seems to include a man’s idea which is far ahead of his time. Only problem is he didn’t have access to the technological developments the next 125 years would provide.

The column heads announce: “The Newsograph” “A Most Remarkable Application of Edison’s Last Patent” “The Device of a Park Philosopher for Bringing the Word’s News To Every Man’s Home”. The article details an idea of bringing “verbal” news into every person’s home by using Edison’s phonograph patent, thereby eliminating the need for a physical newspaper (see below). A curious concept in light of today’s internet technology. Go to the link above for the full article.

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The Traveler… immigration issues one-hundred years ago…

February 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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blog-2-6-2017-immigration-billThis week I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune, February 6, 1917. I found “Immigration Bill Wins Over Veto” “Senate Adopts Measure, with Literacy Test Passed by House” as being a headline on this issue. “For the first time in the Wilson Administration, a bill has been passed over the Presidential veto… the bill had twenty-four votes more than enough to pass the bill over the veto… The Senate’s action to-day was in spite of a fervent warning by Senator James A. Reed, of Missouri, that such action might lead to hostilities with Japan…” 

A segment of the literacy test meant that people had to be able to read English to enter our country but there was a fear of curtailing Asians, especially Japan.

~The Traveler

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A February, 2017 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

February 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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What news was reported in the month of February – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1967, 1917, 1867, 1817, 1767)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
February:
1967 – 50 years ago
1917 – 100 years ago
1867 – 150 years ago
1817 – 200 years ago
1767 – 250 years ago
Wanting for more? Why not take a year-long gander at 1667, 1717, 1767, 1817, 1867, 1917, and/or 1967?

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Announcing: Catalog #255 (for February, 2017) is now available…

February 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 255, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Rivington’s New York Gazetteer, the Oxford Gazette, Washington’s miracle escape from Long Island, “War Declared” in a Honolulu newspaper, the death of Marilyn Monroe in a Los Angeles newspaper, a great graphic issue on Abraham Lincoln, and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 255

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 255, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:

1500-1799 (full view OR quick-scan/compact view)
1800-1899 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)
1900-2015 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)

To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog

Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.

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Interesting article is critical of those who take issue with the killing of Jesse James…

January 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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It is not surprising that a Missouri newspaper (April 13, 1882) would care more about the death of Jesse James than newspapers from other states. He was killed in St. Joseph. And this being his home state, there were grumblings by many who were critical of how he was killed.

This editor pulls no punches in acknowledging the state should be glad to get rid of Jesse James, and the ‘bleeding hearts’ who bemoan his death are not accepting the reality of his terror-ridden career.

Two articles have very interesting content, one including: “…True, a pistol was not placed in his hands and he told to ‘defend himself’…” and: “…Missourians who think more of Missouri and its prosperity than they do of outlaws, thieves, murderers, need not be disturbed by the silly twaddle of certain sentimental fools in other states over the killing of Jesse James…” with more (see below).
The other article has a similar theme, including: “…The bank official of Missouri, who have been the favored prey of the dead bandit for 15 years and whose cashiers have been gagged & shot down like dogs, will not easily forget that portion of our state press which has been so ready to throw a glamour of heroism over a murderous & thieving outlaw and so quick to censure our executive for the means used in his extermination…” (see below).

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Wireless telephones in 1922… If only they knew…

January 26, 2017 by · 2 Comments 
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As far back as 1922 the international community, including the U.S., appreciated the potential benefits of wireless communication, but also understood it was fraught with problems. At the time their greatest concern was interruption of service due to interference from other devices. Of course we now know this “issue” was just the tip of a very dangerous (invasion of privacy) iceberg. How ironic the very institutions which were decrying the inherent drawbacks are now likely those who are exploiting them – at the expense of its citizens. Still, this early article found in the February 8, 1922 issue of the NY Times makes for interesting reading.

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