Eastland, Texas surged into the national spotlight in early 1928 when a time capsule, which had been entombed in the cornerstone of the old courthouse, was opened during the courthouse’s demolition. To everyone’s surprise out came a horned-toad lizard – still alive after 31 years! Hoax or not, a tour of the now legendary reptile included a visit to Washington, D.C. to meet President Calvin Coolidge. More can be read about Ol’ Rip via Wikipedia. The image shows the report of his “unearthing” which appeared in the New York Times dated February 20, 1928. Sadly, he would not survive another 12 months as he died of pneumonia on January 19, 1929 as reported in the New York Times of the following day.
The “Sunday Magazine” issue of the Detroit News Tribune, April 14, 1912 offers a curious juxtaposition of date, image, and event (see below). The color print on the cover shows a woman waving from what would appear to be the deck of a ship. This also happens to be the very day the Titanic stuck the iceberg, which would go down in history as one of the more tragic maritime disasters of all time.
The “Sentimental & Masonic Magazine” from Dublin, Ireland, July, 1792, has an interesting article headed: “General rules for Behaving in Mourning”. It may have been written partially tongue-in-cheek, but you can decide.
The following is taken from the “Gentleman’s Magazine” issue of July, 1768, published in London. Perhaps a distant ancestor of Edgar Allan Poe?
I suspect this little item printed in “The Sag Harbor Express” newspaper from Long Island, New York on February 23, 1871 is fictitious, but it gives a sense of 19th century humor nonetheless.
Back by popular demand… A History’s Newsstand Blog contest…
“In Search for the Unusual and Bizarre”
Have you ever discovered an unusual or bizarre report while perusing a rare and early newspaper? If so, our members would love to hear about it. From March 2nd through March 9th we will be accepting your contributions/discoveries. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be offered for the most unusual/bizarre postings. To enter the contest simply find your most bizarre report and enter it as a comment to this post. Only one entry may be submitted per person. Please include the title and date of the issue along with the report (or a summary of the report if it is long).
How will the winners be determined? Anyone may “vote” on their favorite choice starting March 10th – only one vote per person please. To vote, submit your selection by e-mail to email@example.com. Choices must be made by the end of the day on 3/13/2009. Each Rare Newspapers’ staff member will also have one vote. The winners will be announced through the blog and by personal e-mail sometime during the week of 3/16/2009.
What will the winner receive? Winners will have their stories recognized on the blog, will receive a Rare Newspapers gift certificate worth $100 (1st place), $50 (2nd place), and $25 (3rd place), and will have the satisfaction of knowing they contributed to the enhancement of the rare newspapers collectible community.
You may want to view some of our own unusual/bizarre discoveries to help get you started. These are not eligible for the contest. They may be viewed at: http://blog.rarenewspapers.com/?cat=116
Please don’t hesitate. Share your bizarre or unusual report with the world!