War, peace, pain, hope, life, death – what “news items of the day” were our brothers and sisters from 100 years ago reading on Christmas Eve? Certainly the typical newspaper was pregnant with holiday cheer, but people were still born… died… and wars and rumors of wars didn’t always take a vacation. Scroll through select images of The Bethlehem Globe (PA) dated December 24, 1915 to catch of glimpse of 100 years ago – Christmas Eve.
While Christmas is certainly a time when many who would not normally do so reflect on the spiritual, historic newspapers reveal a time when the lines between the spiritual and the physical were not nearly so distinct. Religion, while largely stripped from the currently public square, was part and parcel of daily conversation in the not to distant past. An example would be the following report of the importance of religion in the lives of Civil War soldiers found in the Hammond Gazette (Point Lookout, MD) of September 22, 1863. My Christmas wish is that we would regain our previous understanding of the role of true religion in everyday life, minus the driving harsh conditions of the past. Please enjoy.
Today’s journeys brought me to San Francisco via The Call dated December 16, 1913. The reporting of General Terrazas being willing to offer himself as a human sacrifice to General Villa for his son. This was in regards to General Villa’s treatment to the people in Chihuahua.
The back page of the issue had a report “Cancer Now Cured by Radium”. “…The power of the rays of radium over cancer is not only wonderful, it is appalling almost unbelievable…”.
The front page contains an article pertaining to the recently recover Mona Lisa painting and an interesting story of an undertaker that was arrested for beating a man that blocked a funeral procession.
In closing, the “Christmas Ship Brings ‘Yuletide and Goodwill'” relates of three passengers on the list of the Anchor line steamer California. They were the Rev. James Yule, Robert Tide and Miss Helen Goodwill.
I wish health and happiest to all. Merry Christmas!
~ The Traveler
A few year’s ago we posted an article which is worthy of a revisit. It regards the interaction of enemy troops on Christmas Eve from during WWI. Some stories are worth repeating (see link below). We’ve also created a Christmas-themed Pinterest pinboard we believe will be worth your time to view. Please have a wonderful Christmas. As for our Jewish friends, thanks for providing us with the reason for our season. Happy Chanukah to you as well.
Pinterest: Viewing Christmas thru Historic Newspapers…
Christmas Eve – WWI: A Christmas thought… loving our enemies…
The Christmas Season is a wonderful time of reflection for many… of love… of giving… of sacrifice. A few weeks ago a man came to us with a story involving rare newspapers (indirectly) which reminded us of the importance of caring for others. The icing on the cake is the involvement of a soldier who had given much… and received so little, until…
Richard Storrs was in the military in 1950 and had the unfortunate fate of being on a train as it traveled through Ohio when it was rammed by another. “221 Guardsman Dead” was the headline of the “Detroit News” of Sept. 11, 1950. Richard Storrs was among the survivors, but he injured his leg causing a disability.
He never received pension benefits from the incident, perhaps not believing it was possible as the years passed. But a prompt from others to pursue let to the need to prove the incident happened. Searching online in 2010 the Storrs’ found our website, which by good fortune happened to have the mentioned newspaper with details of the report on the front page. With this evidence his proof was secured and he was not only able to get pension benefits, but payments missed over the previous 60 years.
One never knows how our newspapers are actually used. We assume only collectors treasure them for historical information related to their interests, but obviously they can provide to be the missing link to family events, solve historical conundrums, and evidence needed to right a wrong from many years past.
The heros of this story are the “others” who will likely forever remain nameless, who saw a friend in need and prompted him to take action. Who can we be an “other” to during this wonderful season? We may never know the results of our kindnesses, but there is Someone who certainly will… and regardless, a child of God will be blessed.
Merry Christmas (Luke 10:25-37)!
The Staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers
To: The Collectors and Friends of Rare & Early Newspapers…
Have a blessed Christmas!
From: The Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers Staff
With the holiday season upon us it is time to dig out and dust off our collections of holiday-themed videos (movies??? Dvd’s???) for their annual viewing. One of our family favorites is Holiday Inn. Who can forget Bing Crosby’s vision:
I want to be lazy
I want to be out in the sun
With no work to be done
Under that awning
They call the sky
Stretching and yawning
And let the world go drifting by…
However, before we sell all we have in our quest for the easy life running a New England Inn, or simply immobilize ourselves with longings for the lazy hazy days of Summer, an article we found in the September 4, 1840 issue of The Citizen Soldier (oddly enough – from Vermont) has a different perspective on laziness – providing ample food for thought:
One of the more frequent questions we (the staff) are asked by members of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers is whether or not we become distracted from our “work” by the call/allure of the content within the issues we offer – i.e., do we often find ourselves reading the issues? The simple answer is an emphatic “Yes”. Rarely a day goes by in which we do not share new finds with one another. It’s one of the side benefits of being surrounded by history. Another simple pleasure is the ability to view some of the most incredible prints ever produced – those from the many illustrated newspapers from the 19th century (Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated, Gleason’s Pictorial, etc.).
Specifically, within the pages of these wonderful issues one can find some of the most amazing Christmas-themed prints. If you have a few minutes over the next few days, I invite you to go to the link below and take a few minutes to enjoy what we experience every day.
Link to issues containing Christmas-themed prints: Harper’s Weekly Christmas
Merry Christmas from the Staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers
Credit for portions of the following must be given to Clarence Brigham & his work “Journals & Journeymen”, as well as to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.
During the nineteenth century, newspaper carriers were often not paid by the publishers of the papers. They typically depended upon donations from patrons at the end of the year. To remind the public that the carriers depended on their donations, newspaper publishers issued poetic broadsides or booklets for New Years Day. These poems often recounted the major news stories of the previous year, but always closed with a plea to pay the carrier.
They were rarely saved since they contained no news reports and as a result are rather rare today. Although many Carriers’ Addresses were contained within the body of the first newspaper issue in the new year, the most sought after are the broadside editions, printed on one side of a sheet of paper typically with ornate lettering, decorative borders, etc. The more decorative the Address the more collectible. The “New York Weekly Museum” address for 1790 had an engraving of a boy delivering a paper at a doorway, one of just a few with such an illustration.
The earliest known examples were done for the “American Weekly Mercury” of Philadelphia in 1720, 1721 and 1723 although none have been found. The earliest located for the American Antiquarian Society is that of January 1, 1735. Benjamin Franklin included them in his “Pennsylvania Gazette” as early as 1739 (see photo).
The amount of the donation expected by the carrier was generally left to the customer. Many of the verses concluded with such a sentiment as “Remember the poor printer’s Devil” or “Be bounteous to the Printer’s boy”. Sometimes the sentiment was more definite, such as “I won’t Refuse a six pence” and “Please keep the cents and–give the silver”.
By the 1870’s the custom began to fall off, likely due to the beginning of more commercial & larger influential newspapers which considered such a custom undignified, also falling away in favor of the distribution of Christmas or New Year’s cards by the end of the 19th century. The latest located for the American Antiquarian Society is dated 1904.