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.
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.
I journeyed today to Gloucester, England, through The Glocester Journal dated March 23, 1767. I found an interesting article “Last week the skeleton of a man in setters, with one jaw and some of the large bones perfect, was dug up in removing some ground in our Castle Green, eastward of the ruins of the old County Hall, memorable as the place wherein was held the fatal black assize, in the year 1577… upwards of 500 other persons were infected by a gaol disease, and died between the sixth of July and the tenth of August. This skeleton is by some conjectured to be the remains of one Rowland Jenkes, the person condemned at the assize for for sedition, and who was at the bar when the dreadful catastrophe befel the court…”. This was pertaining to the “Black Assize”.
As per wikipedia: The Black Assize is a name given to multiple deaths in the city of Oxford in England between July 6 and August 12, 1577. At least 300 people, including the chief baron and sheriff, are thought to have died as a result of this event. It received its name because it was believed to have been associated with a trial at the Assize Court at Oxford Castle. A 19th-century account is more sure of the cause: ‘The assize held at Oxford in the year 1577, called the “Black Assize,” was a dreadful instance of the deadly effects of the jail fever. The judges, jury, witnesses, nay, in fact every person, except the prisoners, women and children, in court were killed by a foul air, which at first was thought to have arisen out of the bowels of the earth; but that great philosopher, Lord Bacon, proved it to have come from the prisoners taken out of a noisome jail and brought into court to take their trials; and they alone, inhaling foul air, were not injured by it.’
Headlines of events that never happened offer a fascinating focus in the world of newspaper collecting. Unlike radio or television broadcasts where errors can be corrected in minutes, and without any “physical evidence” of the mistake, once ink is on the paper it cannot be retracted.
Certainly the most notable and desirable would be the famous Chicago Tribune mistake of November 3, 1948 which proclaimed in its early edition: “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” with issues in nice condition now extending well beyond the $1000 mark. Even in a later edition they continued the error but softening the headline by proclaiming: “G.O.P. WINS WHITE HOUSE!“, which I believe to be more rare than the more famous earlier edition.
One error newspaper which recently surfaced from our inventory comes with an interesting story, growing from the hysteria created by the surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor by Japan, which helped to usher in the U.S. involvement in World War II.
The Los Angeles Examiner “War Extra” of Feb. 25, 1942 proclaimed in large letters across its front page: “AIR BATTLE RAGES OVER LOS ANGELES“. Puzzled by the headline, as I wasn’t aware of any WWII battles reaching the shores of the United States, I did a bit of investigating.
The short answer is there was no air battle over Los Angeles. Just some hysteria run amuck. During the night of February 24/25, 1942, unidentified objects caused a succession of alerts in southern California. On the 24th, a warning issued by naval intelligence indicated that an attack could be expected within the next ten hours. Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy planes. In any case, the next three hours produced some of the most imaginative reporting of the war: “swarms” of planes (or, sometimes, balloons) of all possible sizes, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes which ranged from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000 and flying at speeds which were said to have varied from “very slow” to over 200 miles per hour, were observed to parade across the skies. These mysterious forces dropped no bombs and, despite the fact that 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were directed against them, suffered no losses. There were reports that four enemy planes had been shot down, and one was supposed to have landed in flames at a Hollywood intersection. Residents in a forty mile arc along the coast watched from hills or rooftops as the play of guns and searchlights provided the first real drama of the war for citizens of the mainland. The dawn, which ended the shooting and the fantasy, also proved that the only damage which resulted to the city was such as had been caused by the excitement (there was at least one death from heart failure), by traffic accidents in the blacked-out streets, or by shell fragments from the artillery barrage. Go here to read the full text of this fascinating “battle” as provided by the “Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco”.
Do you have any interesting error headlines in your collection? Feel free to share with others.
*Note: This post was originally posted on 11/11/2008.
Today’s travels took me to Springfield, Massachusetts, by the means of the Springfield Republican dated March 6, 1917, where the headlines announce “President Wilson Takes Oath”, “Firm Stand for Armed Neutrality – Nation Poised on Verge of War”. “Woodrow Wilson, with the major part of the world at war and America poised on its verge, consecrated his second inauguration as president of the United States at Washington yesterday with a last message of hope for peace… the president renewed his oath of allegiance to the constitution, praying to God that he might be given wisdom and prudence to do his duty in the true spirit of the American people…” Just in case anyone thinks the United States is more politically divided by geographic region today than it was 100 years ago…
Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 256, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: a 1643 newsbook, the sale of Coca Cola in 1919 (in an Atlanta newspaper), a “Royal Gazette” from Charleston (1782), Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox, the British plan for conquering America, a rare Confederate newspaper (Jackson, Mississippi), and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 256
Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 256, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:
To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog
Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.
Today’s journey took me to New York City by the means of the New-York Spectator, February 22, 1817. Under the heading of “Congress”, I found the “Votes for President & Vice President” report: “The votes of all of the states having been aloud, with the exception of those of the state of Indiana… One motion of Mr. Jackson, a message was sent to the Senate, informing them that the House of Representatives were ready to proceed, agreeably to the mutual resolution of yesterday, to open and count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States…The reading of the votes was then concluded and the tellers handed a statement thereof to the Present of the Senate… The president of the Senate then declared JAMES MONROE, of Virginia, to be duly elected President of the United States , and DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, of New York, duly elected Vice-President…”. A fair question to ask would certainly be: “Why were Indiana’s votes not included in the oral record?” An appropriate follow-up might be: “Were they eventually included?” If you know the answers off the top of your head, please respond. It sure is a good thing the election wasn’t close enough for Indiana’s votes to make a difference in the final result. However, the decision as to whether or not to include the votes was still an important one in regards to establishing precedent.
The Detroit Free Press for August 14, 1935 appears to be one of the few newspapers (perhaps only) which uncovered Al Capone’s ultimate career aspiration: that of a librarian. His life of crime may have disqualified many from pursuing such a dream, but once again he proved his mettle and determination by becoming the librarian… of Alcatraz prison. Some may sense a degree of sarcasm, however, I would like to point out the article does indicate this was a “promotion.”
Note: We have been unable to verify whether or not this report is accurate. If anyone has information which can verify or dispute this claim, please let us know.
This week I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune, February 6, 1917. I found “Immigration Bill Wins Over Veto” “Senate Adopts Measure, with Literacy Test Passed by House” as being a headline on this issue. “For the first time in the Wilson Administration, a bill has been passed over the Presidential veto… the bill had twenty-four votes more than enough to pass the bill over the veto… The Senate’s action to-day was in spite of a fervent warning by Senator James A. Reed, of Missouri, that such action might lead to hostilities with Japan…”
A segment of the literacy test meant that people had to be able to read English to enter our country but there was a fear of curtailing Asians, especially Japan.