They put it in print – an 1877 opinion of The Press…

January 6, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes a picture says it all. The illustration below was printed in a Harper’s Weekly dated June 2, 1877, but left undated some might think it is a recent print. Do these “1000 words” from the 19th century, in fact, have staying power? You decide.

Fascinating Conspiracies (Episode 3)… Coup d’état

January 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

The following may feel a bit 3rd-Worldish, however, we have had our own attempted coup d’état right here in the USA … and not so long ago – as reported in the Omaha Bee, November 21, 1934.

“The Business Plot (also called the Wall Street Putsch and The White House Putsch) was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install a dictator. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler asserted that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans’ organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d’état to overthrow Roosevelt. In 1934, Butler testified under oath before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the “McCormack–Dickstein Committee”) on these revelations. Although no one was prosecuted, the Congressional committee final report said, “there is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.”

Early in the committee’s gathering of testimony most major news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial falsely characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”. Reporting changed when the final report was issued.

While historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually close to execution, most agree that some sort of “wild scheme” was contemplated and discussed” (Wiki)

Announcing: Catalog #314 (for January, 2022) is now available…

December 31, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 314 (for January) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 325 new items, a selection which includes: a dramatic broadside on Lincoln’s assassination, the first of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Gettysburg Address (in a military newspaper), a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, the capture of Ethan Allen, a front-page portrait of John Wilkes Booth, 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.

Snapshot 1864… Confederacy’s fight – for independence or slavery?

December 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In grade school back in the 1960’s/1970’s I was taught that the Civil War was fought between the Northern (Yankee) States who wanted to free the slaves and the Southern States (Confederates) who wanted to keep the slaves in bondage. Bad Southerners! Perhaps if I had been born in The South my education would have been bent in a different direction, but through my teenage years I assumed this was the accepted “truth”. When I moved on to college… and then graduate school, my assumption of such a simplistic view was challenged by my enlightened (now I think they would be called “woke”) professors who informed me of the true reason: The Southern States merely wanted to exercise their right to self-government (i.e., “State’s Rights”)… to not be controlled by a federal government whose reigns were largely in the hands of the Northern States and their own interests… the right to separate (succeed)., while the Northern States wanted nothing more than to preserve The Union (largely for selfish reasons). Bad Northerners!

Of course I now know the reasons were varied and complex, but by far the most important result was in fact the Emancipation of enslaved blacks. After all, how could “We The People” possibly stand the test of time without embracing (to the core) the self-evident truth that “all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”?

However, I digress. Circling back to the divergent views I was taught…

As I was perusing a Sacramento Daily Union (Nov. 3, 1864), the heading of a front-page article caught my attention: “The New Agitation in the South – Slavery as Well as Separation the Ultimate Object of the Rebellion”. It turns out that while revising history to meet a specific narrative may be the order of the day, the historical perspective regarding this particle issue may not be a victim of these Orwellian efforts.  The article (in full) is as follows:

 

 

 

 

Where History Comes Alive (Part 2)… Gettysburg…

December 13, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

The Battle of Gettysburg, occurring roughly at the midpoint of America’s Civil War, was both the deadliest battle and the turning point of the war.  An interested historian can traverse this soil where American struggled against American to uphold their way of life and protect their convictions and experience the humbling and somber journey which befalls those who explore first-hand the sacred ground which helped define the America we experience today.  In the past, when I have personally been blessed to walk upon the sacred soil where so many gave their lives, I could almost hear Abraham Lincoln’s clear and determined voice echo over the valleys: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...“.

As moving as this trek is, coupling the venture with actual accounts of the day gives a deeper insight of this nation-shaping event.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Gettysburg, it will be more than worth your while. However, before you set out on this adventure, you may want to peruse some of the contemporaneous reporting found within the authentic newspapers of the day. After all, it has been said: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.

The Village Voice, U2, Hitler – The sky is falling!

December 10, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Many children of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s grew up with the threat of nuclear war hanging over their heads. From “Dr. Strangelove” to “The Day After” – the annual death-march of dystopian movies capsulized the vague dread that everything could end at any moment; or worse still, that the end could begin at any moment — with all of the indeterminate, lingering fallout and devastation. Discussions took place about whether it would be better to live close to a big city that was bound to be a target and promised immediate annihilation, or further out where radiation sickness might destroy. It was a gruesome topic made more appalling by resigned acceptance.

The pop culture of that era seemed to feed one of two perspectives:  distraction or depth. Such publications as The Village Voice articulated both positions. The May 24, 1983 review of U2’s album “Peace with Honor”, contains an editorial observation that has very little to do with the music.

“Though I was born one week after the atomic bomb was dropped on people, I have always expected to live out my appointed days.  But recently it’s been evident that large numbers of teenagers, adolescents, even children now fully expect that their appointments will be cancelled by person or persons unknown, so a vast, anti-militarist ground swell isn’t much of a surprise.”

Note: To add to the uneasiness of the era, a few pages earlier The Voice included an article highlighting the life of Adolf Hitler.

Whether or not you agree with the distinct bias of The Voice, it certainly holds an important value as being an accurate representation of the angst of the generation — and it did so for a few generations.

Announcing: Catalog #313 (for December, 2021) is now available…

December 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 313 (for December) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 325 new items, a selection which includes: the Battle of the Alamo, the very historic Duche letter to General Washington, Coca-Cola is sold (in an Atlanta newspaper), Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, New Jersey’s first newspaper (1781), The Oxford Gazette from 1665, the desirable beardless Lincoln issue (1860), a front page print shows Lincoln being assassinated, one of the best issues on the death of Marilyn Monroe, the funeral of Alexander Hamilton (a single sheet “extra”), the formal end of slavery: “Slavery is Abolished!”, 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.

Where History Comes Alive (Part 1)… Savannah in the mid-18th century…

November 26, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

People often say a trip to Israel brings Scripture to life as you walk in the same dust Christ did.  Now that is a journey at the top of my bucket list!  Until I get to check this one off, living on the East Coast gives me many similar opportunities albeit to a lesser degree. Standing on a spot where people who exuded bravery and conviction stood so many years before, is a moving and inspirational experience every time.  One of my favorite locations is Savannah Ga.  The Historical District has something for everyone, from history overviews and current culture to stunning architecture and sweeping landscapes. Reading stories of those 1st fearless Georgia Settlers in an APPLEBEE’S ORIGINAL WEEKLY JOURNAL dated September 15, 1733 brings the dreams of James Edward Oglethorpe to life and motivates a lover of history to embrace the challenges of their time.  Moments like this help to satiate my passion to see the world until I can complete my bucket list.

Fascinating Conspiracies (Episode 2) – Secret Societies in the 18th century…

November 15, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I have a dear friend who, while attending Penn State in the late 70’s, became intrigued with The Illuminati and spent countless hours in the library pouring over microfiche of old newspapers for insight into this Secret Society which made it’s way from Europe to the Colonies during America’s founding years.  Fast forward 40 years…

Now I spend my days surrounded by old newspapers… probably some of the very same titles and dates my friend was digging through (albeit electronically), so it should come as no surprise the following snippet in an issue of THE GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE for February, 1798 caught my attention (see below).  A quick mention to my friend is certainly in order and perhaps a bit more perusing of other issues on Secret Societies.

Last Words Can Say it All… John Hancock’s thankful heart…

November 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

What do the following sayings have in common: “A man’s last words reflect what he held most dear”… “He finished well”… “He ran with perseverance the race set before him”?

I would argue, based on a fascinating issue of the Columbian Centinel (Oct. 9, 1793) I found today, they are all applicable to John Hancock. What began as intrigue with a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving by this notable Founding Father, turned to a swell of warmth as I noticed his death announcement within the same issue. At the end of his life, he was clearly focused on giving thanks: “Where as it is the Duty of Men, as well in their social, as individual state, religiously to consider the dispensation of God’s Holy Providence – To acknowledge with gratitude, their obligations to Him and their entire dependence upon Him: I have therefore thought fit, by and with Advice and Confident of the the council, to appoint, and I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Seventh Day of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving throughout this Commonwealth…”

His well-run race, punctuated by an abundance of highlights along the way, stands as an emphatic reminder to never take thankfulness for granted. While it is easy to assume gratitude has always been in the hearts of men, truth is, its more rare than one would hope and needs to be proclaimed more often. In John Hancock’s case, his words and deeds proclaimed the overflow of his heart long before he signed off on this life and entered the next.

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