Snapshot 1863… A slave mother’s attempted escape…

January 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently discovered a heart wrenching account of a slave mother’s attempted escape with her child on an inside page of a New York Tribune dated January 29, 1863. Editorializing on my part will not do it justice. It is accounts like this one, which were part of everyday life for many who were living in bondage, is a continual reminder that I will never be able to comprehend what it’s like to walk in the tattered shoes of a slave.

As we close the door on 2020…

December 31, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Overall, 1923 was a pretty good year. However, even a decent year has its share of troubles. A few examples from 1923 include:

The Rosewood massacre, the eruption of Mount Etna, the unexpected death of the popular President Warren G. Harding, Gustav Stresemann being named Chancellor of Germany resulting in policies which led to hyperinflation crushing the German economy (paving the way for Hitler’s rise, the Great Kanto earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama killing an estimated 142,807 people, 640 structures a burned to the ground in Berkley (CA), Adolf Hitler is arrested for his leading role in the Beer Hall Putsch greatly increasing his popularity among those who want to see change, the Gleno Dam (in Italy) bursts killing hundreds, multiple competing factions in China align themselves with the Communist Party – greatly strengthening their influence – and eventual dominance, Prohibition reigns, the largest peace-time U.S. Naval disaster (to-date) occurs off the coast near Santa Barbara (the Honda Point disaster), and more. Although somewhat under the radar, a number of world events took place during 1923 which, upon looking in the rear view mirror, helped pave the way for Communism in China, Nazism in Germany, and the severely ramped up conflict in the Middle East.

Yes, even a good year can have its share of warts. AND then, there’s 2020… Was it worse than the years impacted by the Spanish Flu epidemic, WW1, WW2, any of the Great plagues, the death and destruction brought by Atilla the Hun – to name a few? This doesn’t diminish the impact of the pandemic which defined much of 2020; rather, it’s intention was to merely put it in perspective (if possible).

Speaking of perspective…

A few days ago the front page of a Rotogravure Section of a Detroit News for December 30, 1923 caught my eye. It was a great reminder that there are times when it’s simply best to look to the future with child-like faith. Happy New Year!

Snapshot 1977… The Original (?) Star Wars…

December 28, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

As we were searching the Calendar section of a Los Angles Times, July 10, 1977 for a full-page ad for an upcoming ELP concert to be held at the Long Beach Arena, we came across another full-page ad for the newly released movie, “Star Wars”. While such ads are desirable when found in a Los Angeles Times (due to the Hollywood connection), what caught our attention was the text of the ad which, instead of just having “STAR WARS”, had “STAR WARS NOW”. Upon investigation we learned that the original STAR Wars was quickly edited soon after it was decided to convert the stand alone movie into a trilogy. Several fans of Star Wars had posted frustration in their inability to obtain the original-release version of the movie. This made me wonder if the odd title in the ad (“STAR WARS NOW”) is/was related to this change. If anyone has more information in regards to this version of the ad, we’d love to know (guy@rarenewspapers.com). Thanks.

The United States elections – a bumpy walk through time…

December 11, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

(false report – Rutherford B Hayes won)

The first president of the United States, George Washington, was elected by a unanimous decision in 1789 [the election process started in 1788]. Since then few elections, whether for mayor, governor, president, etc., have sailed on such smooth waters – and the preponderance of elections outside the U.S. have not fared any better. While the privilege and responsibility of citizens of democracies to exercise their right to elect those whom they wish to lead them cannot be understated, the process is often fraught with civic and relational tension. However, once the election is in the rear view mirror, in most instances wounds are eventually healed and sunny skies return – even if it takes months.

We at Rare & Early Newspapers have created a link to our available election-related issues and arranged them in chronological order. There may be a few stray issues which do not belong in the list, but hopefully those who have an interest in such things will appreciate the somewhat tumultuous stroll through time.

Elections Through Time

Snapshot 1775… A prayer for the country and its leaders…

December 7, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently sent sent out high-resolution images of a Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, VA) dated July 20, 1775 which included coverage of the “Causes & Necessity of Taking up Arms”, the last appeal for peace, and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Within hours we were receiving an abundance of responses from those who had read the issue, and guess what was commented on most frequently? The coverage of the “Causes & Necessity of Taking up Arms”? No. The last appeal for peace? No again. Perhaps the report regarding the Battle of Bunker Hill? No, no, and again no. What captured the attention of most of those who responded was an anonymous prayer printed on the front page. Without commentary, I include this prayer below.

Dear Lord, As America continues to wrestle with election issues, my prayer is that no matter who You enable to hold positions of leadership/authority, You will direct their steps – whether they acknowledge You or not. I pray You will give them wisdom, humility, and compassion for all whom they serve. I am also grateful for Your sovereign will, and rest in the hope beyond reason which has already revealed the end of the story. Amen!

Note: To our readers, if anyone knows who wrote the above prayer from 1775, please let us know. Thanks.

Reflecting on 2020 as we approach Thanksgiving…

November 23, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

“Count your blessings, name them one by one…”

2020 has certainly been quite the year. There’s no doubt it came with more than its share of difficulties; however, history is pregnant with years fraught with an abundance of pain, suffering, and death. I admit, there have been occasions when the onslaught of bad news has weighed heavily upon my mind, but thankfully, there have been more than enough moments when I’ve been checked back from allowing negative thoughts to win the day.

Such was the case when I took notice of the November 18, 1918 issue of the Springfield Republican (see below). In the midst of the horrors brought on by the Spanish Flu Epidemic, President Woodrow Wilson continued the presidential tradition of proclaiming a day for thanksgiving and prayer. What particularly caught my attention was seeing the bordered text of the Thanksgiving Proclamation surrounded on three sides by WWI reports from all over the world, a mere 6 inches from an article updating the readers of the current death toll of the pandemic. “A rose among thorns” came to mind, followed by a flashback to my childhood – as I could almost hear my (recently deceased) mother’s words yet again: “No matter how bad you think things are, there are people throughout the world who have it much worse than you do. Never stop counting your blessings.” Of course I wouldn’t always immediately comply, which prompted her follow-up: “Wipe that sour look off your face before it gets stuck that way.”

So, it is with these thoughts in mind I hope, wish, and pray for our “collecting” family to have a Thanksgiving overflowing with… thanksgiving.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

[repeat refrain]

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

[repeat refrain]

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

[repeat refrain]

Lyrics by Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Snapshot 1945… America’s youth are too soft…

November 12, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

WW2 was finally over, but much was to be done. Trials, international agreements, boundaries of country’s which had been conquered by the Nazis… What to do with the millions who had lost their homes due to destruction, fleeing life-threatening circumstances, or having been carted off to concentration camps? What about the abundance of parentless children? How to rebuild? Who would pay for the rebuilding of countless areas of devastation? What about the atom bomb? What does this new power mean?

In the midst of all of these critical and time-sensitive concerns at the forefront of President Truman’s mind, one which caught my eye was found on the front page of a Wilmington Morning Star (NC) from October 24, 1945. What do we do to prepare our nation for future conflicts? While a great question, his focus was thought-provoking:

The youth of America are too soft, and something needs to be done, now!

The image below shows a portion of both Truman’s thoughts and his plan of action – initial steps which would eventually blossom into President Eisenhower’s “President’s Council on Youth Fitness” in 1956. These actions, along with similar measures taken over the 40 years to follow, led me to wonder whether it is time to take a look at this question once again. After all, raising up the next generation to be characterized by the fragile term “snowflakes” does not bode well for the future of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

 

They Put It In Print (1918)… “The 19th Amendment fails by 1 vote…”

October 26, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Does one vote matter? Does every vote count?

Since the passage of the 19th Amendment, the impact of women on the political climate, and therefore, on both the course and civil fabric of the United States cannot be understated. Since 1964, more women have voted in presidential elections than men – as measured by both actual quantity and as a percentage of their respective genders. While this “right” was not realized until 1920, few know that the (women’s suffrage) Amendment nearly passed two years earlier, but came up short by a single vote. Sadly, not all Senators were present to vote. How do we know? They put it in print in The Christian Science Monitor (Boston) dated  October 2, 1918.

 

They Put It In Print (1848)… “Lincoln that is, political gold, Illinois tea…”

September 25, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

A tremendous wag, hilarious, upright, a real gem… We recently uncovered the earliest “feature” article we’ve ever found regarding Abraham Lincoln – buried on the back page of the The Greensborough Patriot (NC) dated September 16, 1848. On the heels of gold having just been discovered in California, another golden-nugget was slowly becoming unearthed on the opposite side of the country – before the very eyes (and ears) of the nation. Although Lincoln was a relatively unknown senator from Illinois, a reporter heard him speak before The House and was impressed enough to take the time to record his observations. It appears this reporter, along with a host of others, would be drawn to the qualities which would set him apart from the pack, and would eventually propel him into the history books. How do we know? Back in 1848, they put it in print:

I can imagine, as articles such as this began to circulate, that the folks back in home in Illinois began to talk in Lincoln’s ear, and…

The first thing you know ol Abe’s politically extraordinaire,
Kinfolk said “Abe move away from there”.
Said “The Capitol” is the place you ought to be”
So they loaded him on a train and he moved to D.C.

The UNITED States would never be the same.

 

 

They Put It In Print (1862)… Slavery At The Capital…

July 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We all have a tendency to view things through a lens of our own creation – and the internet and social media – both which customize our “news” to our liking, only help refine our “news” into that which reinforces our worldview. In the end, honest, open dialogue – once the fabric of our public discourse, is reduced to mere noise falling upon deadened ears. Truth is, all Republicans… all Democrats… all Libertarians… all those who disagree with our point of view are not uneducated, haters, bigots and/or evil. Republicans do not “own” patriotism, and Democrats do not possess the mantle of black-American advocacy. How do we know? Back in 1862, The New York Tribune dated March 14, 1862 put it in print:

 

 

Next Page »