The horrors of Billiards and Baseball… Those were the days…

May 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-5-12-2016-1860-baseballA few days ago we posted a blog concerning one of the most shocking events of the 20th century: The 1969 Tate Murders by Charles Manson and his followers. As we reflect back on the turbulent 1960’s, the tragic and bizarre murders seem to have been a somewhat appropriate ending to a very troubled era in American history. Perhaps ironically, nearly 100 years prior and on the opposite coast, the New York Times (October 26, 1860) was reporting about two other societal stressors: billiards and baseball. While we all can appreciate the horrors of billiards (who doesn’t identify with “Ya got trouble, right here in River City”), the article on baseball is what catches our attention. Apparently, young boys playing baseball in the park were creating a high degree of angst among the strollers of the day. Who among us would not trade the distractions and temptations of today’s youth for the youthful pastime activities of yesteryear?

Discovering hidden treasure…

April 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the many pleasures of the Rare Newspapers collectable is finding content which was unexpected. The following note from a collecting friend drives this point home:

Blog-2-13-2015-SurrattDear Guy,

Thank you for sending the recent “History’s Newsstand” [newsletter]. Good stuff.

I wanted to share with you, assuming that you are also a history “nut”, a news item that I came across in a recent purchase.

 From the Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, August 9, 1860 (see attached) a mention of a “Miss. A. Surratt” of Prince George’s County (Surrattsville now Clinton, MD.) Although I may never know for sure, the name, place and date seem to match up correctly with Elizabeth Susanna “Anna” Surratt (1843-1904), daughter of Lincoln assassination co conspirator Mary Surratt.

 I became interested in the tragic life of little Anna through my research on the Chapman sisters of Ford’s theater fame.

 Love these old newspapers. Historical goldmines each and every one.

Once again: History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.