Not written by the California Tourism bureau…

November 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The piece shown appeared in the “National Intelligencer” newspaper of Washington, D.C., December 25, 1847, although as noted it was reprinted from the “Detroit Daily Advertiser“.  Some curious comments on California.


Twenty years later: revisiting an international event…

November 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Those of us who may reluctantly fall into the category of the “middle aged” can reflect upon a number of historic events and our thoughts on when they happened. For me John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its announcement when I was in elementary school was the first major historic event I lived through, and experiences relating to it are still etched in my mind.

Der_TagesspiegelSome events seem impossible to be reaching notable anniversary status as they seem to have happened in the recent past. Man walking on the moon is one–it recently passed its 40th anniversary–and the Nixon/Watergate mess is now over 35 years in the past.

The fall of the Berlin Wall is now at it’s 20th anniversary. It seems impossible. I clearly recall the considerable news coverage of the event and the following actions that would lead to German unity less than one year after the walls came down. Back then I had a customer from Berlin and was able  consummate a purchase of  various Berlin newspapers covering those events, knowing that newspapers from where the news was being made would always be the best to have in a collection.

I recently dug out several titles and editions and share with you perhaps the best, being an “Extra” edition of “Der Tages Spiegel” (translates to “The Daily Mirror”) of November 10, 1989. The entire front page of this folio-size newspaper is taken up with a huge photo of people climbing onto, and celebrating, at the Berlin Wall with the Brandenburg Gate in the background. the banner headline–and the only text on the front page–translates: “The Night They Opened The Border In Berlin”. The remaining 3 pages of this four page newspaper are taken up with various articles and many photos of the celebration.

It was a joyous and memorable event for the world, and yes, it really was 20 years ago.

Celebrating 150 years since Arizona’s first newspaper…

November 2, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

The history of Arizona, an Indian word meaning “place of small springs”, goes back some 10,000 years B.C. with the arrival of the first Native Americans, while its history as recorded by Europeans dates to 1539 when the first white an, Marcus de Niza, a Franciscan friar arrived.  It was organized as a territory in 1863 and admitted as a state in 1912, the last of the 49 contiguous states to join the Union.

Arizona’s first newspaper was the “Arizonian”, started at Tubac in March, 1859. Tubac lies about midway between Tucson and the Mexican border. For the following we credit Megan Thomas and the Chronkite News Service:

“For visitors at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, (volunteer James) Pagels rolls ink and presses paper to metal to demonstrate a Washington Hand Press that was used to print the state’s first newspaper, “The Weekly Arizonian”. It still provides visitors with replicas of the paper.

“It’s living history,” Pagels said.

Arizona State Parks is preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the press in Arizona. Brought by ox cart from the Mexican port of Guaymas for William Wrightson of the Santa Rita Mining Co., the press turned out the first copy of the Arizonian on March 3, 1859, promoting the mining company and its agenda.

The “Arizonian” published out of Tubac for several months before moving to Tucson. According to an account by the late Douglas C. McMurtrie, a historian of printing in the U.S., the newspaper apparently ceased publication in the summer of 1860, resumed briefly in 1861 and resumed once again in 1867 – both times under different ownership – before finally folding for good in 1871. The press wound up in Tombstone, printing the Nugget newspaper for a time, and, according to McMurtrie, passed to the Arizona Historical Society in 1913.

Back home in Tubac and on permanent loan to Arizona State Parks, the press is a point of pride, said Joe Martinez, manager of the park.

“I think it’s amazing that the press came here in 1859 can still function today and we can show it to people and give them copies of the first edition,” Martinez said.

That edition describes attacks by Native Americans and crimes including horse thefts. It notes that stagecoaches were charging 40 cents to $1 per pound for extra baggage on runs between El Paso and San Diego. A section is devoted to the obituary of James Gadsden, who brokered the purchase from Mexico of nearly 30,000 square miles that are now part of southern Arizona and New Mexico.”

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