One worth sharing…

March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Many newspapers which are located (geographically) close to where an historic event happened tend to have the largest headlines. The “WAR ! ” issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporting the bombing of Pearl Harbor is a good example.

When the Apollo 11 astronauts returned home, all newspapers reported the event. But where would you expect the biggest headline on Neil Armstrong’s return? His hometown: Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The photo shows the huge headline of the “Wapakoneta Daily News” when their favorite son returned home. It is certainly one of the largest headlines of the post-World War II era.

What’s the best newspaper to have?

August 27, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Most collectors of historic newspapers would agree that the best newspaper to have for an historic event is the city where it happened. Among the more notable would be the Boston Gazette reporting the Boston Massacre, the Honolulu issue on the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Dallas newspapers on JFK’s assassination, and a Chicago newspaper covering the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.  Stock market or finance related events are best in the Wall Street Journal, and when events happened in small towns which had no newspapers, the closest major city might be the next best thing.

But some events can’t be had—or can very rarely be had—from the city where “it” happened. What are the best issue in those situations? What’s the best issue for man landing on the moon? Or the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima & Nagasaki? Or the first manned flight around the earth? Or the discovery of the North Pole? Or Edison’s invention of the phonograph? What would be the best newspaper for the sinking of the Titanic?

oak_ridge_atomic_bombThere are many answers; perhaps as many as there are collectors. But I’ll offer a few thoughts. Actually what brought all of this to mind was an issue I recently wrote up for a future catalog. It announced the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and was from Knoxville, Tennessee. The headline reads: “Power Of Oak Ridge Atomic Bomb Hits Japs”. Keeping in mind that Oak Ridge, Tenn., the home of the Manhattan Project which developed the bomb, is less than 20 miles from Knoxville,  it is not surprising that they localized the headline with mention of the role Oak Ridge played. I suspect no other newspaper in the country mentioned Oak Ridge in their headline on the atomic bomb drop. Outside of finding a Japanese newspaper from the day after, I suspect this Knoxville newspaper could be the best issue on this event.

Any space flight issue might best be from the Cape Canaveral area. Or perhaps the hometown of one of the astronauts involved. We offer a Wapakoneta, Ohio, newspaper on man walking on the moon as it’s Neil Armstrong’s hometown, and their headline is localized by: “NEIL STEPS ON THE MOON” while most newspapers reported “MAN WALKS ON THE MOON”.

The graphic appeal of the front page is a major factor as well and in the eye of many is always the deciding factor in determining the “best” for that event. We price Titanic issues almost entirely on the “wow” effect of the front page, as the larger the headline and more dramatic the look the better, regardless of where the newspaper was printed. This holds true for many 20th century events, such as D-Day, V-E Day, V-J Day and and any other military event. Some might argue that the “Stars And Stripes” would be the best paper for a military event, or perhaps newspaper from Washington D.C., home of the Pentagon.

We’d like to hear what you think on the best issues for historic events which can’t be found from the city involved. I’m sure your thoughts will spark other collectors to refine their holdings with better or more appropriate newspapers for notable events. Let us here from you!