A 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?
From a time before internet dating, the Dec. 30, 1791 issue of “The Morning Post“ from London contains an interesting–and hopefully tongue-in-check–report headed: “Advertisements Matrimonial” which provides amusing reading if nothing else. “Liar, Liar” in print – what if people desiring a mate through ads in newspapers had to write what they were really wanting??? Enjoy.
The start of each new year typically brings a sense of promise – a certain newness of hope and expectation which drives us to peel off bad habits and at least seek to develop new ones. Of course this new refreshed outlook is often quickly squashed once we grab the morning paper and allow the events all around us to cast a wet blanket on our hopes and dreams for the new year. Perhaps a bit jaded – but all too true.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be this way. I’m convinced part of the antidote is for us to practice counting our blessings throughout the year – day-in and day-out. Sound like a plan? For those of us who are “all in”, let’s put our resolution for 2016 to the test and look through the news reports of the first week of January through time and see if we can come out the other end with a sense that life is truly good – after all, we could be living in the past when technology, medicine, the average standard of living, and life-expectancy were not what they are today: 1st Week of January thru Time
Anguish… deep sorrow… pain and emptiness that engulf and suffocate… As the saying goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” No matter how far we advance as a race over time, the death of a loved one elicits the same paralyzing emotions today as it did 100… 1000… 5,000 years ago, and will continue to do so as long as humanity walks this earth. Such is the case (in spades) with a parent’s crushed spirit upon the loss of a child. While searching through an original printing of The American Magazine, Philadelphia, dated May, 1792 in the hopes of finding historical content, I came across the printing of a letter from a Father who was trying to come to terms with the untimely loss of his child. Language usage and expression aside, this letter written 200+ years ago could easily have been written yesterday. It also made me thankful for a hope beyond the grave – a hope that shouts from a Father’s pen as he attempts to express his heart… his love… his hope:
For those who pine for the simpler life of the past, we include an article from the Trans-Continental dated May 26, 1870 which may add a dose of reality to the rosy glasses of nostalgia. If we were to list the top 1,000 changes which have made our lives a bit easier, my guess is none of us would have “Time Zones” listed. 🙂
The Half-dome of Yosemite, Niagara’s Falls, the peaks of the Grand Tetons… Who is not overwhelmed by these and similar examples of the wonders of God’s creation? Yet too often we take them for granted – assuming they will forever be “open to the public” for those desiring to breathe in the Designer’s handiwork – never considering their ownership. Occasionally an event provides us with a reality check, bringing us down-to-earth so to speak, and forces us to consider whether or not such marvels should be owned by no one… or perhap0s even better, by all. An 1849 report in the National Intelligencer (November 27, 1849) is a case in point.
The Natural Bridge of Virginia is for sale? Please view the hyperlink above to read one man’s reaction to this very true event. His thoughts challenge us to consider whether or not such beauty should somehow be preserved for the public good, and to appreciate the simple pleasures of a rainbow, a sunset, and the fresh dew of the morning. It is nice to read his views written more than 25 years before the 1st National Park (Yellowstone) was established, and more than 50 years before the establishment of the National Park System (in 1916).
We were not designed to spend our days consumed with self, meaningless activity, and various forms of virtual reality (note: a quick search on the Rare Newspapers website for “self”, “meaningless activity”, and “virtual reality” is returned void). The following article found in a National Intelligencer from November 21, 1848 is worth pondering:
While the jury is still out, it looks like we just might make it to 2013. The Mayans certainly gave us a few things to think about (or at least the head of the Mexican Bureau of Tourism – what a genius). Apocalyptic fears have generated quite a bit of stir over time and have motivated (inspired?) many to think through the eternal vs. the temporal. While this version of the “end of days” may have been misconceived, the process of giving our mortality serious consideration is certainly worth the exercise. In the meantime, please enjoy a newspaper-based look back at similar end of the word fears posted by the British Newspapers Archives: