When the story is as good as the newspaper…

November 30, 2009 by  
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Over the last 33 years we have come across newspapers in many different ways. Typically they have been mundane: auction sales or library deaccessionings can be a bit sterile of “excitement’ or intrigue. Some obtained from private holdings often have an interesting story behind them as to how they came into the owner’s possession.

Hostage-CrisisOne prized newspaper, now a part of our private collection, stands out as having a story behind it as interesting as the newspaper. It is the “Teheran Times” of November 5, 1979. Those who know their history will recall that November 4 was the day when Muslim students in Iran stormed the U.S. embassy in Teheran taking 66 American hostages.

It was on November 5 when long-time collector and friend Mort Bryer was returning from Europe and met a woman in the London airport  who had just escaped from Iran. She was American but was married to an Iranian. Mort noted that she was visibly shaken as he spoke to her about what she went through. She felt she escaped death. Upon leaving she turned to Mort and said “would you like a souvenir” and gave him the newspaper. It was the “Teheran Times” with front page coverage of the embassy takeover, purchased by her in Teheran earlier that day as is typically done by travelers to pass the time on the plane.

Mort kept the newspaper since 1979 then gave it to me a dozen years later when I visited with him at his home. It remains in our private collection as a treasured piece, as much for the story of how it came to America as for the historic content in contains. It is currently on loan to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where it is on display.

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