It’s amazing what one often finds buried in old newspapers…

June 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Flowers, leaves, photos, clumps of hair, historic trinkets… The list of what might be found buried within and among the inside pages of historic newspapers continues to foster our love for the collectible. The latest discovery? As we were scanning a September 22, 1880 issue of The Boston Investigator hoping to find a mention of Thomas Edison (which turned out to be successful), we noticed an article titled: “Strange Tribe Of Jews Discovered In The Caucasus”, which turned out to be quite interesting:

Does anyone know… re: Sabbatai…

April 20, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

Whereas we have many original newspapers containing Judaica-themed content, finding issues with mentions of Sabbatai are quite rare. If you’ve never heard of Sabbatai Zevi, the infamous 17th century, self-proclaimed, long awaited Jewish Messiah who converted to Islam, he’s certainly worth exploring. We recently came across a report in an Oxford Gazette (issue #8) from 1665 which we believe may very well be his first mention in a bonafide newspaper (see below). The problem with “firsts” is that a first is only a first as long as a newly unearthed earlier first doesn’t relegate the older first to a second. 🙂

Has anyone ever viewed or heard of an earlier mention of him in a newspaper?

The impact of graphics – Golda Meir’s death…

April 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past several years we’ve been running a series: Great Headlines Speak For Themselves. However, as true as this may be, quite often corresponding illustrations, photos, and other graphics speak volumes. In my humble opinion, such is the case with the front page of the *St. Petersburg Times dated December 9, 1978 (see below). I’m not a graphic designer by an means, but I couldn’t help but be impacted by the emotion portrayed by Jack Barrett’s illustration. If I were in charge of handing out awards…*Considering her place of birth (Russia), I also appreciate the irony that this great item appears in the St. Petersburg Times (albeit St. Petersburg, Florida).

Put your money where your mouth is… The Jewish Sabbath…

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While one of our Rare & Early Newspapers staff was researching a client request she noticed an interesting Judaic-themed article on the front page of a National Intelligencer dated June 14, 1842 which proves saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I wonder if the ruling by this mid-1800’s judge has an implications for today. The same issue also had Dorr Rebellion content which led us to brush up on our mid-1800’s history. Such is the pleasure of the rare newspapers collectible. Please enjoy.

The Traveler… Rabbi Gershom Seixas… 1st native-born American rabbi…

July 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back to New York City by the means of the New York Evening Post dated July 2, 1816. Under the “Died” column is “Departed this life, at 9 o’clock this morning, the Rev. Mr. GERSHOM SEIXAS, the venerable Pastor of the Hebrew congregation, in the 71st year of his age…”.

Blog-7-4-2016-Gershom-SeixasMr. Seixas was the first Native-born American rabbi. He also delivered the first Thanksgiving address in an American synagogue after the adoption of the United States Constitution. He was one of the fourteen ministers to participate in George Washington’s first inauguration.

At the merger of the 200th anniversary of his death and the 240th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence it is fitting to consider how quickly the Jewish population became acclimated and accepted in the United States. While not without considerable bumps in the road, George Washington’s outspoken support for Jewish citizens was certainly a good beginning.

Question: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI received a response from Rabbi Moses Seixas. If anyone can confirm whether or not Moses and Gershom were related, please contact Guy at guy@rarenewspapers.com.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… getting benched…

June 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-6-6-2016-BrandeisToday I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated June 6, 1916. I found that history took place in Washington, D.C. “Every available seat in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court was occupied at noon today when Louis D. Brandeis of Boston took his seat on the bench as an Associate Justice of that august tribunal… Chief Justice White, rising announced the appointment of Mr. Brandeis,… then announce the readiness of Mr. Brandeis to take the judicial oath, which was administered,… Justice Brandeis was then escorted by Frank Key Green, the Marshal of the court, to his seat on the extreme left of the bench. Members of the court bowed as he passed…. Mr. Brandeis took his seat…”.

Mr. Brandeis was the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, which was bitterly contested as he “…was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible . . . [and] the fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court.” He was eventually confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 47 to 22 in 1916, to become one of the most famous and influential figures ever to serve on the high court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court…” per wikipedia.

~The Traveler

Peace on earth, good will toward men… The Year of Jubilee…

January 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

While I am certainly not an expert on Jewish sacred days, festivals, and special/holy celebrations, one significant event has always captured my imagination: The Year of Jubilee – referred to by some as The Golden Jubilee. It was such a celebration which led President Warren Harding to write a letter to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in response to their invitation for him to attend the Golden Jubilee Dinner in 1923. This letter was printed in The New York Times, January 25, 1923. While we often quote the phrase “Peace on earth, good will toward men”, few are aware of its roots (Luke 2:14) or its significance and/or relationship to the Year of Jubilee. While President Harding (a non-Jew) was certainly not a popular president, this is one instance where his “good will toward men” was well-received. His letter is as follows:Blog-1-21-2016-Year-of-Jubilee

The Traveler… A commuted sentence… the angry mob and more…

June 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times of June 22, 1915. There I found the headlines announcing Governor Slaton of Georgia had commuted the sentence of Blog-6-22-2015-Leo-Frankconvicted killer Leo Frank to life in prison. “The death sentence imposed on Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan has been commuted to one of life imprisonment by Governor John M. Slaton, and Frank is now in the State Prison at Milledgeville…” This news was not received well by the community and soon a crowd of up to 10,000 marches were upon the governor’s home. An effigy of the governor was burned. In the meantime, Leo Frank was secretly moved from the Atlanta prison to one in Milledgeville. This issue carries extensive coverage on this matter.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… Mexican irony… dirty dancing prohibited!

May 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back to Boston by the means of The Boston Traveler and Evening Herald dated May 5, 1914. There I found a banner headline (see below) “Looting of Mexico City Planned”, with subheadlines, “New Plot to Down Huerta” and “Mexican Refugees at Vera Cruz Say Gen. Castro Is Stirring Army to Revolt.” How ironic to have this headline on the day of Cinco de Mayo — typically a special day of celebration in Mexico!

Also… The Boston school systems were being faced with a new dilemma… the dance craze, the tango! Due to this dance and other such “modern dances”, the headmasters were not going to take any chances with having these dances performed and were putting their foot down and cancelling all of the dances. And 3/4 of a century later, “Dirty Dancing” makes millions upon millions!

Additionally… The Leo Frank murder trial continues, with testimony that includes the accusation that he paid someone to lie for him.

~The TravelerLeo Frank Murder Trial

The Traveler… Leo Frank… “Watchful, Waiting”…

April 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-7-2014-Leo-FrankToday I traveled through Atlanta, Georgia by the way of The Atlanta Constitution dated April 7, 1914. There I found the defense attorneys for Leo Frank had come into possession of a large number of new affidavits which would be made public shortly. Also coverage of the war in Mexico between Carranza and Pancho Villa. This also has the reporting of the Fall of Torreon with the reporting of the expulsions of the Spaniards.

“Watchful, Waiting” policy is how Lloyd Brown was dealing with his 14-year marriage as he was bringing a divorce suit to court. He said shortly into the marriage  his wife “began to take a violent dislike to him… She had not only left the house, but had taken all the covers off the bed before so doing. I borrowed some more from a neighbor and, when my wife came back in the morning,…I explained to her that to her that things couldn’t go along that way much longer… I just sat there and said nothing. Well, that made her madder and madder, I just sat still and kept quiet. Finally she hit me over the head with a fire shovel.”  She left that night and never returned. Divorce granted.

~The Traveler

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