The never-ending debate: half full vs. half empty…

April 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve heard some say with a degree of frustration that approximately one-half of all people view life through a half-empty prism. Of course I’ve heard others express relief that approximately the same percentage of people have learned how to count their blessings. These polar-opposite, life-defining, joy-determining paradigms have been battling it out for quite some time. With this world-view tension as the backdrop, please enjoy the following article from the Findlay (Ohio) Daily Jeffersonian dated December 17, 1880:

There are “snowflakes”, and then there’s Donn Fendler…

March 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently became familiar with Donn Fendler, who in 1939, at the age of 12, survived 9 days (article says 8) in the remote mountains of Maine after becoming separated from his family. The account of his “adventure” certainly provides a strong contrast between “snowflakes” and those who have the fortitude to look extreme difficulty square in the face and move forward. His tale reminds us of Knute Rockne’s (or was it Joseph Kennedy’s?) well-worn words: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” And, as for “snowflakes”? When the heat gets turned up…

Please enjoy the coverage of Donn’s day of rescue found in The New York Times, July 26, 1939.

Put your money where your mouth is… The Jewish Sabbath…

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While one of our Rare & Early Newspapers staff was researching a client request she noticed an interesting Judaic-themed article on the front page of a National Intelligencer dated June 14, 1842 which proves saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I wonder if the ruling by this mid-1800’s judge has an implications for today. The same issue also had Dorr Rebellion content which led us to brush up on our mid-1800’s history. Such is the pleasure of the rare newspapers collectible. Please enjoy.

Separation of Church and State conflict, or good advice?

March 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While the last few decades have bestowed upon us considerable discussion in regards to the intended meaning of the separation of Church and State, one cannot deny the abundance of religious references which have peppered the language of Presidents, regardless of their personal faith (or lack thereof), from the onset of the Union through the present. One such example is found in the June 15, 1845 issue of The New York Times, which prints the text (see below) of the letter President Ulysses S. Grant wrote to the children and youth of America at the request of the editor of The Sunday School Times for insertion into their Centennial Edition. The letter emphasizes the importance of the Bible in regards to life and liberty: “My advice to Sunday Schools, no matter what their denomination, is: Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heart, and PRACTICE THEM IN YOUR LIVES. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.’ Yours respectfully, U. S. Grant”.

Mere religious blather, or good advice rooted in truth? Thoughts?

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

February 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Perhaps one of Gilligan’s ancestors… What does it mean?

November 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-28-2016-stough-and-davisAn issue of “The Gunnison Advertiser” from Colorado, 1882, notes that it is: “Published Semi-Occasionally…”. Just what does this mean? If “occasionally” means it is not on any set schedule–printed at the whim of the publisher–how much more defining is “semi-occasionally”?

Just curious. Any ideas?

Thanksgiving Proclamation by President Lyndon B. Johnson…

November 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York Times dated October 19, 1966 was one of the few newspapers we’ve unearthed which printed the full text of LBJ’s eloquent Thanksgiving Proclamation – a message still worthy of consideration a half-century later. If anyone knows of other titles which printed it, we would love to hear about it. In our opinion, it’s that good. Happy Thanksgiving.blog-11-24-2016-thanksgiving-proclamation

America – pulling a nation back together…

November 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-14-2016-jfk-jr-photoMy Fellow Americans: Devastating hurricanes, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the end of WWII, Lindbergh’s 1st flight across the Atlantic – while there is much that divides us, there have been times throughout our history when both triumphs and tragedies have inspired us to lay down our weapons and to unite as one. While these times of mutual good will are typically short-lived, they often act as a reset to help center us on that which binds us together. We need such a time!

It is was with the current atmosphere of angst as a backdrop that I was moved by an under-the-radar prayer found buried on page 11 of an issue reporting the assassination of President JFK. His death, airmailed via television directly into the living room of nearly every home in America, brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike and unified us around shared grief.  May a day come when such unity of spirit flourishes without the inspiration of deep sorrow, tragedy, or war. As another assassinated President once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Abraham Lincoln).” It is time for us to lay down our weapons. Much is at stake.blog-11-14-2016-prayer-jfk

They put it in print… Execution bar set a little too low?

October 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-10-24-2016-alleged-executedInteresting wording for historic headlines always get my attention. We recently discovered an 1865 issue of the “New York Day-Book” which has at the top of the front page: “Execution Of The Alleged Conspirators…”.  Makes one think: shouldn’t they be determined to no longer be “alleged” before they are executed?

If we only new just how close… But what we don’t no won’t hurt us…

July 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-7-21-2016-Letter-KHave you ever tried to be ind to someone or to treat them like an ing? Does your house have an itchen and do people need to nock before they enter?  Have you ever seen a football player run back an ickoff for a touchdown or a boxer ock-out his opponent with a single punch? Thanks to the impassioned early 19th century arguments in defense of keeping the letter “K” in our alphabet, the answer to all the above is an emphatic “no”. Of course we are left with the tension created by  “know” vs. “no” and “knew” vs. “new”, but such stressors are a small price to pay for being able to get down on one knee to propose or to greet a loved one with a kiss. I for one are sure glad we ept it! The complete article may be read at:  The Port Folio, May 23, 1801.

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