Contrasting pairs of historic newspapers: another way to collect…

November 11, 2008 by  
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The recent election, reflecting the great strides made socially & politically by the African-American community, brought to mind another opportunity in newspaper collecting not thought of by most. In preparing issues for a future Supplement the “Detroit Free Press” of June 12, 1963 struck me as a interesting contrast to the election of just a few days prior. The headline proclaimed: “NEGROES ENROLL AT ‘BAMA”, noting the struggles African-Americans had just to enroll in universities across the country during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Zoom forward just 45 years and the headline of the “USA Today” read “America Makes History – OBAMA WINS” noting America’s first African-American president. (We have this pair listed on eBay. Click here to view.) I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that in 1963 the thought of an African-American president in any person’s lifetime was considered a serious possibility, yet it happened, and indeed America did make history.

Carrying forward with this “contrasting pairs” idea, a fascinating collection of newspapers could be built around this theme. How about a December, 1903 issue report on the Wright brothers’ first flight alongside an issue of July 21, 1969 announcing man landing on the moon? How about an 1844 newspaper on the first successful telegraph transmission alongside an issue announcing the launching of the Telstar satellite, noting the achievements in distance communication? How about a 1920 newspaper reporting the ratification of the Suffrage Amendment giving women the right to vote, along side an issue just 64 years later reporting Geraldine Ferraro as the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party? Consider the contrast in perspectives of having both a Yankee and Confederate newspaper for the same Civil War date. The advantage that newspapers offer to this interesting theme is they offer physical evidence of achievements & accomplishments…one can display such headline issues side by side.

What other “contrasting pairs” do you believe would be intriguing additions to an historical newspaper collection, and why?

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2 Responses to “Contrasting pairs of historic newspapers: another way to collect…”

  1. Morris on November 11th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Government Offices At Moscow Seized By Revolutionists
    Grand Forks Herald (N. D) 11/10/17

    Gorbachev Ends Rule Of Communist Party
    Patriot News (PA) 08/25/91

    (The beginning and end of Communism and the Soviet Empire)

    Captain Lindbergh Lands Safely In Paris
    The Pittsburgh Press (PA) 05/23/27

    Man Walks On Moon
    Phila Inquirer 07/21/69

    (From across the ocean to across the solar system.)

    Anti-Semitic Mobs Riot Throughout Germany (Kristallnacht)
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/10/38


    (From despair to triumph)

    Nazi Planes Bomb Poland – War – Fuehrer Ready to Die
    Harrisburg Telegraph 08/31/39

    Hitler And Goebbels Killed Selves As Berlin Fell In Ruins
    St. Louis Globe Democrat 05/03/45

    (From Boast to Truth)

    N.Y. Times 12/08/41

    Our Flag Flies Over Suribachi
    Sunday News (NY) 02/25/45

    (From devastation to victory)

    700 Jews Reported Seized By Secret Police in Berlin
    St. Louis Post -Dispatch 11/11/38

    12 Nazis Get Death, 7 Prison; 3 Freed (Nuremberg Trial)
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram 10/02/46

    (Crime and punishment)

    President Dies Suddenly-Truman Head Of Nation
    The Boston Post (Extra) 04/13/45

    Salk Serum Whips Polio
    Detroit Times 04/12/55

    (From agony to achievement)


  2. TimHughes on November 11th, 2008 8:16 pm

    Morris – Golly, some simply terrific contrasting pairs!! If you have all of these you have a dandy set. Thanks for sharing. Does anyone else have others??

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