WW2 Era Newspapers Found In The Attic… Are They Worth Anything?

October 25, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Perhaps the most common inquiry we receive concerns newspapers from World War II found in parents’ attics. As generations pass it is incumbent upon their children to sort out what is of value and what is not.

The list which follows is a guide for determining what to keep and what to dispose.

In general, there are only about 15 events which are sufficiently notable to excite most collectors. Those event not included on the list are considered “generic” or “atmosphere” issues which, although reporting much on the war, are generally not significant enough to draw the attention of the serious collector.

It’s worth noting that graphic appeal tends to trump title. Example: the New York Times remains one of the more notable newspapers of the 20th century, but their headlines were typically conservative, lacking any drama, flash, or graphic appeal. Small town newspapers with dramatic graphic appeal will be more desired.

Issues which fit the events and criteria noted below could well have collector value. Feel free to send the exact title and date of each along with photos of the entire front pages (showing margins) to: info@rarenewspapers.com

Note: Perhaps the mostly commonly reprinted issue of the war is the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of Dec. 7, 1941. Most of the issues on the market are the common reprint, still sold at the souvenir stand at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Honolulu. See this blog post on how to tell a reprint from the genuine issue.

Top 15 events of World War II:

1) Germany invades Poland, 9/1/1939

* This event marked what many regard as the start of the war. Although not an American
event, most collectors want this report among their holdings.

2) Attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941

* Japan’s naval air force attacks military bases on Oahu, Hawaii, thus thrusting the United States into the war. The more dramatic and shocking the wording in a banner headline the better.

3) U.S. Declares war against Japan, 12/8/1941

* Just one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States officially declares war against Japan, formalizing America’s entry in the war in the Pacific.

4) U.S. declares war against Germany & Italy, 12/11/1941

* The United States enters the war in Europe as well, just 3 days after declaring war against Japan.

5) Battle of Midway, 6/4-7/1942

* Just six months after Pearl Harbor the United States scores a major naval victory in the Pacific against Japan. Being a multi-day event, collectors would pursue the best headline near the end of the battle reporting the American victory.

6) D-Day, 6/6/1944

* With Axis forces controlling much of Western Europe, this day marks the offensive of the Allied forces in re-taking conquered countries. The word “Invasion” is desired somewhere within the headlines.

7) Battle of the Bulge, 12/16/1944

* This was the last major German offensive on the Western Front taking place from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. Issues near the end of the battle which reported an Allied victory would be more desired.

8) Photo of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 2/23/1945

* If there was a single, iconic photo of American successes in the Pacific it would be this Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. Many newspapers included it in their editions of a day or two later, many did not. Better if the photo is on the front page, as many newspapers—when using it—did so on an inside page.

9) Death of FDR, 4/12/1945

* Although arguably not a true war event, the death of the President who was Commander-In- Chief of the military through almost the entirety of the war cannot be missed as a notable event.

10) Death of Hitler, 4/30/1945

* Hitler’s suicide deep inside a Berlin bunker essentially ended the war in Europe as just days later terms of surrender were agreed to by Nazi officials. Most newspapers reported his death on May 2, and a few published the Nazi propaganda report that the Fuehrer: “…has fallen in battle at the head of the heroic defenders of the Reich capital…”. The blunt words: “Hitler Dead” are more dramatic than “Death of Hitler”.

11) V-E Day, 5/7/1945

* The official end of the War in Europe. This was one event where newspapers often used patriotic embellishments to celebrate the victory, some multi-colored, some incorporating war photos within letters, etc.

12) Atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima, 8/6/1945

* With the war in the Pacific still raging, the first atomic bomb ever deployed was dropped over the city of Hiroshima. Some newspaper down-played the horrific affects of the bomb. More desired are headlines which more accurately reported the incredible devastation.

13) Atomic bomb drop on Nagasaki, 8/9/1945

* Just 3 days after Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb was dropped, which prompted the Japanese to pursue surrender terms. Again, bluntly accurate reporting in the headline is desired over a more subdued report.

14) V-J Day, 8/15/1945

* Terms for surrender were agreed upon, and the world announced the end of World War II. Much like V-E Day, newspapers typically became very creative in patriotically celebrating the end of the war. The more creative the front page the better.

15) Formal surrender of Japan, ending WWII, 9/2/1945

* Signing of the surrender terms happened on board the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Although most collectors would consider V-J Day as the end of the war, and in many respects it was, collectors often pursue this event as well.

There are also 2nd-tier items which could be collectible, but the extent of coverage and graphic appeal are paramount, and in some cases the title/publisher is essential. The list below contains such items, and will be updated from time-to-time.

Pre-War

Nuremberg Laws enacted, 9/15/1935

Jews no longer permitted to own property (various)

Opening of Concentration Camps (various)

Kristallnacht,  11/9-10/1938

During The War

Fake Report of attack on Los Angeles, “Battle of Los Angeles” (2/25/1942)

Bismarck Sunk, 5/27/2941

Star of David Badge, 9/7/1941

Doolittle Raid , 4/18-20/1942

USS Lexington Lost, 6/12/1942

Bataan Death March, 1/28/1944

JFK PT Boat, 6/11/1944

MacArthur returns to the Philippines, 10/20/1944

Post-War

USS Missouri – Peace Treaty Signed, 9/2/1945

Louis Zamperini Found, 9/9/1945

Patton’s Death, 12/21/1945

 

 

Announcing: Catalog #311 (for October, 2021) is now available…

October 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 311 (for October) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items, a selection which includes: the Articles of Confederation, a nice account of Lincoln’s assassination, a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, George Washington is elected President, Winslow Homer’s famous ‘Snap The Whip’, Washington crosses the Delaware, an issue almost entirely devoted to the Lincoln assassination (with a print of Booth), the first newspaper published in Alaska (with Seward’s speech to the citizens of Sitka), an issue with the iconic Uncle Sam print, a Civil War broadside, the famous Hamilton and Burr duel, the creation of the United States Marine Corps, nice content on Lewis & Clark, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

Announcing: Catalog #310 (for September, 2021) is now available…

September 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 310 (for September) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the “Handshake of the Century” (between Jackie Robinson & George Shuba), Edmund Burke’s historic: On American Taxation… First Continental Congress’ appeal, Nice front page reporting on the Custer Massacre, Progressive “Bull Moose” Party is founded in 1912, New York City’s Graffiti artists, “The North Star” becomes “Frederick Douglass’ Paper”, the first convention of clubs: the birth of organized baseball, Lincoln steps upon the national stage… The Cooper Union speech, Synagogues hold memorial services… with much on the assassination & funeral of Lincoln, Extremely early mention of George Washington… French & Indian War, the full text of the Louisiana Purchase, the formation of the Mormon Church, the first full-fledged Broadway musical, and more, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

Announcing: Catalog #309 (for August, 2021) is now available…

July 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 309 (for August) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: an American broadside with King’s announcement of American freedom, a Philadelphia newspaper from 1729, the Emancipation Proclamation in the N.Y. Herald, a terrific & very graphic issue on the Hindenburg disaster, Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game, front page report on the death of Jesse James, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

One Hit Wonders Can Still Pack an Emotional Punch…

May 10, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I was doing some research  for a customer. This particular customer loves to collect obituaries from music and film stars of a bygone era. As I worked through his want list, I came upon a singer named Bobby Fuller. Unlike other stars on this want list, I had never heard of Bobby… or so I thought. Upon further research I discovered he was a “1 hit wonder” from 1966 and had released the song, “I Fought the Law and the Law Won”. As soon as I saw the title, a big smile formed. I am not sure where I had 1st heard the song…  after all, I would have only been 2 on it’s release date however, somewhere in my earliest memories my parents must have played it  or I heard it on a passing radio station. However it happened, the song left an indelible imprint on my young mind and those happy feelings came flooding back. I grabbed my i-phone and quickly brought up the song on my Spotify account and for a few moments was transformed to a simpler time. I am sure I’m not the only one who spent time growing up listening to music with their parents or watching old movies with their Mam Maw. For those of you who delight in those old memories as much as I do, here is a quick search of some of the issues we have with Stars of Past. Feel free to peruse my list or start a personal favorites search to create your own.

Announcing: Catalog #306 (for May, 2021) is now available…

April 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 306 (for May) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the Declaration of Independence (in a newspaper), the Lincoln/Douglas debate (in an Illinois newspaper), the ‘closest’ to the famous Nathan Hale quote to be found, one of the best Lusitania issues we have offered, Washington’s third state-of-the-union address, the first depiction of a baseball game in progress in any periodical, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

“A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words” rings true in the world of newspaper collecting…

March 22, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

When discussing advertising in 1921, Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase: “A picture is worth a 1000 words”. Perhaps he copied a bit from the Chinese Proverb: “Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once” however, it is no less true concerning the written word as it is true of the spoken word. The images our brains receive immediately elicit an emotional response which can range from horror, to delight, from sadness to warmth and security.

This truth is no more prevalent than in the world of newspapers. Daily, here at the RareNewspapers office, our work is arrested for moments as we pause to appreciate those pictures that speak the loudest. Here is a link to our website that will take you to issues we define as “displayable”. Some of these are beautiful color images that bring a deep sense of nostalgia, some are a simple masthead that will amaze you with it’s intricacies. Some images are snapshots of a tragic time when people were called upon to rise up and show the best side of humanity. If you choose to spend a few moments walking this path of images, I think you will appreciate their power in our lives to shape both a nation and each individual.

Announcing: Catalog #304 (for March, 2021) is now available…

March 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 304 (for March) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a Masthead engraving by Paul Revere, ‘The Maryland Gazette’ from the French & Indian War, a 1775 ‘Virginia Gazette’ from Williamsburg, the most famous of all Lincoln assassination newspapers, the Articles of Confederation are now in force (1781), the Boston Red Sox purchase Babe Ruth, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

Announcing: Catalog #303 (for February, 2021) is now available…

February 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 303 (for February) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Savannah, a trio of Honolulu issues on the key events of World War II, a rare pillar cartoon issue (putting the Constitution into effect), the desired ‘Who’s A Bum!’ newspaper, an issue incorrectly announcing all Titanic passengers are safe, an extremely dramatic issue on the ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

January 21st Thru History… An Eye Focused From Whence We Came…

January 21, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

A very wise man once said … “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. With this in mind, I decided to see what had happened over the years on January 21st hoping to glean a bit of wisdom and foresight as I approach this January 21st. As of today, we here at Timothy Hughes Rare and Early Newspapers, have dozens of items listed from January twenty firsts of the past. Below are a few that jumped off the pages for me.
Two elegant actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age died exactly three years apart … Barbra Stanwyck died in 1990 and Audrey Hepburn, all-time favorite of my 4th daughter Rebekah and me, died on January 21, 1993. The movie world will always have an Audrey sized hole in it. Reminiscing about her persona drives me to be more gracious.
On January 21, 1961, JFK was inaugurated. THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR headline reads: “Kennedy Calls Mankind To ‘Quest For Peace’”. I wonder, as those words left his mouth, if he ever imagined that roughly a year later he would stand at the brink of what some thought would become WWIII. His short life is a reminder that we never know what tomorrow may bring and so we must approach each day with an eye to its impact on the future.
Finally, only because I ran out of time, not because I ran out of stories, I focused on the mine explosion of January 21, 1935 in Gilberton, Pennsylvania. I live in mine country and stories of mine explosions riddle Northern Pennsylvania newspapers along with stories of families decimated by horrendous working conditions and no hope for a better life. This particular mine explosion story, along with the endless others, is a constant reminder of how good we have it in America on January 21, 2021 and that we should keep an eye focused from whence we came so that we appreciate where we have come to.

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