Are Presidential proclamations for thanksgiving and prayer unconstitutional?

June 26, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

Over the years we have written multiple posts featuring noteworthy Presidential proclamations for days of thanksgiving, humiliation, and prayer, and have listed quite a few on the Rare & Early Newspapers website. Not too long ago we came across an issue of The Boston Investigator for November 10, 1880 which contained an article focused on a view that such proclamations are/were unconstitutional. So, although we passionately disagree with this opinion, in an effort to be fair and balanced, we present the article below. Feel free to respond with your thoughts.

“A self-worth reality check… Isaac Newton edition”

May 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“How valuable am I?” “Am I indispensable?” “Will I be remembered when I’m gone?” Truth be told, if our value, degree of indispensability, and/or staying power in regards to remaining in the forefront of people’s minds is what determines our ultimate worth, we’re all in big trouble. This point was recently brought home when our staff discovered Isaac Newton’s burial report in a London Gazette dated March 30, 1727. As is typical, once discovered, we began to search the issues surrounding it for additional mentions of him, and quickly unearthed an article in the very next issue which hit us like a ton of bricks. By the time this follow-up issue went to print, Isaac Newton’s position and office had already been filled! No multi-week vigil. No adherence to mourning-etiquette before filling his shoes. No appreciation for his abundance of contributions to humanity through the claiming of his “space” as a memorial. No tour-bus route altered to include the very office where he likely pondered, explored, and then detailed some of the greatest thoughts of man. No! Within less than a week his position and office were filled, and life moved on. Quite sobering isn’t it. I don’t know about you, but this tandem of events reminds me of my own mortality, and the need for a worth which reaches beyond life’s veil.  Please “enjoy” both reports shown below.

Talk about frustrating!!!

May 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

As I was contemplating the abundance of critical issues facing our nation, you can imagine my frustration when I picked up a newspaper and found the following article buried on an inside page:

Seriously? AND the most frustrating thing of all…

The article was found inside the Findlay Daily Jeffersonian dated December 21, 1880. I agree with the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, what if it is broke?

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

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