Death reports have always been of prime interest among newspapers collectors. Not that morbidity is an issue for those of us who collect, but rather newspapers of the day remain the single best document to remember the heroes, villains, famous, and infamous of the past.
Icons of Hollywood are a particular focus among collectors and the death of Marilyn Monroe remains among the most desired newspaper reports of any from the world of television and movies.
We share today the report of the death of Marilyn Monroe in the “Los Angeles Times” (August 6, 1962), the city where she died. It is difficult to image that she would have been 89 years old today had she lived.
War, peace, pain, hope, life, death – what “news items of the day” were our brothers and sisters from 100 years ago reading on Christmas Eve? Certainly the typical newspaper was pregnant with holiday cheer, but people were still born… died… and wars and rumors of wars didn’t always take a vacation. Scroll through select images of The Bethlehem Globe (PA) dated December 24, 1915 to catch of glimpse of 100 years ago – Christmas Eve.
The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the HERALD EXAMINER–EXTRA, Los Angeles, California, December 15, 1966: “WALT DISNEY DIES“…
I traveled to New York City by The New York Evening Post of November 15, 1815 where I found three men in North Carolina were tried and convicted for having cruelly whipped a black slave to death and one of the three men was sentenced to be hung. “…But as it was the first time a white man was condemned to death in the state for killing a slave, the governor thought proper to reprieve him when under the gallows…” (see image below).
In Maryland, six slaves had conspired to kill their master if any of them were to be whipped the next day. When Mr. Owings “called one of them to correct him”, their plan then ensued and a very brutal murder occurred. At the end of the report, all six were sitting in the new jail.
At Rare Newspapers, the most difficult to answer yet common question our staff is frequently challenged to answer is, “Do you having anything new to offer that’s interesting?” While some newspapers would certainly rise to the top of the heap and make the answer a no-brainer (Lincoln assassination, Declaration of Independence, an Oxford Gazette, a great Stock Market crash report, etc.), these issues are few and far between – and do not come along very often. What about the periods when no “best of the best” has come our way? Selecting great issues is often quite subjective – and ends up being heavily influenced by one’s own interests and knowledge base. This truth makes answering this question nearly impossible. However, just for fun, from time to time we’ll ask the Rare & Early Newspapers’ staff to take turns looking at the issues listed month-to-date to select their choice for the most interesting new item.
I’ll get things started by taking a look at September (to-date), 2015. In my opinion, there are several good issues to choose from: The New York Yankees acquire Joe DiMaggio, the very 1st King Kong advertisement, the announcing of the creation of a Jewish homeland, the execution of the Rosenbergs, and the death of William Randolph Hurst – to name a few. However, as a graduate of Penn State University, my selection of the month is an issue announcing Joe Paterno becoming a starter at Brown University. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m confident my selection may not be the same as yours. You can weigh in on your own thoughts by looking at the first page of our Recent Listings. Enjoy.
Next stop: October, 2015.
The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE, Massachusetts, January 30, 1948: “GANDHI SHOT TO DEATH”…
This week I traveled back to New York City by the way of the Harper’s Weekly, October 7, 1865. Although this issue is filled with a variety of woodcuts [illustrations], the one that struck me the most was of the “Grounds at Andersonville, Georgia, Where are Buried Fourteen Thousand Union Soldiers Who Died in Andersonville Prison” and the accompanying article. “…The graves of the soldiers starved and poisoned and brutally murdered there are not scattered about over the innocent hill-sides of our land, but are dug under the sod that drank their blood and bore witness to the cruelty of Wirz, Winder, and the rebel authorities at Richmond, who kept these demons at their posts… James M. Moore,Assistant-Quarter-master, and his party, returned from Andersonville, where they have been engaged for a month in identifying the graves and giving honored sepulture to the fourteen thousand victims of rebel barbarity, who suffered all manner of torture and death in that notorious prison-pen…”.
Today I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune of September 7, 1915. The headline is of the tragic sink of the Hesperian. “Hesperian Sinks; 26 Dead; No Excuse for Act Found; Disavowal Is Expected”. “With all of the twenty-give missing passengers and crew of the Hesperian, torpedoed Saturday evening, now given up as lost, the total death list… stands at twenty-six… Wesley Frost telegraphed today to the American Embassy that the Admiralty authorities had not been informed officially that the Hesperian had been torpedoed without warning, but that they believed this was the case. Persons so far seen stated that no warning was given…”
The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the HERALD EXPRESS–EXTRA, Los Angeles, June 7, 1937: “FILM STAR JEAN HARLOW DIES; WM. POWELL, FAMILY AT SIDE“…
The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Aug. 20, 1977: “GROUCHO MARX DIES“…