They Put It In Print… FDR “packs” Supreme Court… In his own words…

April 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The Springfield Union (MA), dated March 10, 1937, has the complete text of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat in which he defends his rationale for “packing” the Supreme Court. As we stand at the brink of perhaps yet another similar moment in American political history, it is timely to consider his thinking – in his own words, and thanks to the editors of The Springfield Union, they put it in print. Enjoy.

They Put It In Print… Black Americana……

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Few nations can boast of a peaceful trek from being a slave state (at least in part) to the enslaved people-group holding the highest position in the very land that had once enslaved their ancestors. Whereas there is still much work to be done, the United States’ governmental structure allows, and even promotes such progress. Since much of these historic events were put in print, the link below is able to provide a chronology of many of the highlights of this amazing, albeit bumpy road. Since the link only provides a snapshot of each issue’s content, in order to view the related coverage you may need to click on the item number of several in order to view the item’s full description.

BLACK AMERICANA (and more)

Note: While perusing the issues shown in the link above, one might wonder why a link to a chronology of “Black Americana” issues includes those from outside the United States. Answer? Life rarely happens in a vacuum – and this is equally true with the trek shown above. Both the related tragedies, atrocities,  and eventual progress which transpired outside the U.S. were often foundational in the thinking of those within. As a result, they have been included.

I’m New Here…Week Two

February 22, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

For the next day and a half I’ve been left in charge of a small portion of things in the Rare and Early Newspapers world, which must mean I’m learning something.  Still, I am going to rattle off this week’s post between all the responsibilities as I am fiercely resolved to not let anyone down.  If you’re disappointed with my submission, please check in again next Friday when I have a little more time to reflect.  But I do want to take a momentary glance at this recent week before it is forgotten in the next discovery.

Requests for birthday papers are a regular occurrence here, and it’s a good excuse to go hunting in the racks, exploring the mazes of columns and rows.  To me, the best thing about searching for these issues is that they frequently hold a hitherto unknown element that increases the value beyond “a regular NYT from 1959”.  However, I am learning that content is in the eye of the beholder.  Yesterday I climbed and crouched (and crawled at one point) pulling every volume that might still contain the specified date.  When at last I laid it flat on one of the twenty(?) portable viewing surfaces, I felt a surge of confidence that I had found something exceptional and I cornered the closest newspaper veteran to verify my discovery.  “Winston Churchill,” I pronounced, “shaking hands with Harry Truman, on the front page above the fold.  Is that special content?”

It turns out that it was not.  It turns out Churchill and Truman were “getting together like that all the time.”  Those were the very words used to burst my bubble and I couldn’t help wondering a bit about these giants of recent history — one with an abrupt ascension to the highest office in the land, and the other whose stirring oratory inspired hope in hopeless times — who were nevertheless real people with routines and commonplace interactions and details of living, even as they went about setting their mark on everything that came after.  Newspapers are crammed to bursting with so many important people, so many consequential events and so many seemingly insignificant things, as well.   Regular treasure hunters already know this; the novices might just discover it in a birthday paper.  At any rate, this week I learned that there are at least two quests involved when I head out into the rows, coordinates in hand: the thing I know I am looking for, and the thing I didn’t expect to find.

I hope today you uncover a bit of treasure yourself.

 

Revisiting “The Crime of the Century” through the reporting of the Chicago Tribune…

December 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Question: What do you get when you cross The Chicago Tribune with “The Crime of the Century”?

The Chicago Tribune, self-described as “The World’s Greatest Newspaper,” earned a reputation for having dramatic, timely headlines. In this regards, they are perhaps 2nd to none. However, they are also well-known for what may very well be the greatest mistake in front-page headline news: “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” While certainly the most recognized, it was not the Chicago Tribune’s 1st major faux pa. Approximately 16 years earlier, in an effort to be at the forefront of breaking news in regards to “The Crime of the Century,” they printed the dramatic headline: “REPORT ‘LINDY BABY HOME’.” Sadly this would prove to be a false, unsubstantiated report (aka, “fake news”) – as the Lindbergh baby would be found dead a little more than a month later. It sure goes to show how even the “best of the best” can make mistakes – a good lesson in humility for all of us.

Snapshot 1928… If only they new of the pending storm???

December 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from The Chicago Daily Tribune dated November 21, 1928. If only they knew what was to come in less than a year, perhaps many would not have counted their chickens before they hatched.

Snapshot 1847… Woman’s Suffrage meets dripping sarcasm…

November 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from the Boston Evening Transcript dated August, 9, 1847. Perhaps the journalist should have included a little less sarcasm in the reporting on this historic woman’s suffrage gathering.

Who should have the right to vote? Food for thought…

November 5, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Who should have the right to vote? Should Native Americans? Blacks?  Poor Whites? Women? Citizens who either don’t own land or who are unemployed (i.e., don’t pay taxes)? Although all of these at one time did not have the right to vote, today, we all (hopefully) unanimously agree the answer is a resounding YES – and thankfully, although it took time, they now can. However, although we are unified in our appreciation that all citizens should be granted this privilege, is there a responsibility that comes with this right – a civic duty to not only exercise this “right”, but to do so as an informed voter? THE DAILY GRAPHIC’s (New York) November 2, 1875 illustrated front page weighed in on this issue with a degree of sarcasm. Enjoy.

They Put It In Print… Schools need to teach The Constitution…

October 29, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Human nature has a tendency to drive us to forget – to enjoy the bountiful privileges earned on the backs, and at times the very lives of those who have gone before us, but to forget the great cost paid to obtain them. After a few generations pass, the backdrop which drove such impassioned effort to earn them is also lost.

The year was 1922. It had been a mere 1.5 centuries since the ratification of The U.S. Constitution had paved the way for a new form of society, and there was already a deep-rooted concern that the unless citizens studied and learned the basic tenets of the Constitution, it would not stand. How do we know? The Virginia Pilot dated September 22, 1922 put it in print. Although its now nearly 100 years since the article was written, the call remains – perhaps even more-so.

They put it in print… The Boston Tea Party – now they’re really in trouble…

October 8, 2018 by · 1 Comment 

It’s one thing to infuriate the British. It’s an entirely different matter to agitate local merchants. Yet, I can only imagine the trouble that would have ensued had PETA been around at the time of the Boston Tea Party.

Thanks to the Virginia Gazette dated May 5, 1774 for putting the following in print in print.

Are cigarettes bad for you? Thomas Edison & Philip Morris disagree…

September 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently found a rather interesting half-page notice in a Boston Evening Transcript, July 9, 1914, in which the Philip Morris company pushed back on an article from a few months prior in which Thomas Edison is quoted as saying he believes cigarettes to be bad for one’s health. I don’t know about you, but the ad comes of a bit self-serving. Of course time would prove Edison to have actually been more gracious than what truth would eventually reveal.

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