The Traveler… “The Big Dipper” sets NBA record… Communism – the beginning of the end?…

February 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to New York City by the means of The New York Times, February 15, 1966. There I found that Wilt Chamberlain, playing for the 76’ers, had scored his 20,884th point to surpassed the record previously set by Bob Pettit.

Blog-2-15-2016-Communism-DeathThe front page also has the reporting of “2-SOVIET AUTHORS ARE CONVICTED” with subheads “Court Finds Works Published Abroad Harmed Regime” and “Sinyavsky Is Given 7 Years, Daniel 5 at Hard Labor”.  Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel were convicted of writing under pseudonym names and sending the books out of Russia for publication. “…The judgment, considered unprecedented in modern Soviet history, called it a criminal act to put into print beliefs and ideas that could be used profitably by ‘enemies of communism’…”  

As historian Fred Coleman writes, “Historians now have no difficulty pinpointing the birth of the modern Soviet dissident movement. It began in February 1966 with the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, two Russian writers who ridiculed the Communist regime in satires smuggled abroad and published under pen names… Little did they realize at the time that they were starting a movement that would help end Communist rule.” [source: Wikipedia]

~The Traveler

They put it in print… The Vietnam Crisis… before it was a crisis…

March 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the attractions of collecting old newspapers is the ability to look at history with the benefit of hindsight. Many times writers were right on the money when it came to predicting events in the future; many times they could not have been more wrong. Both views offer interesting reading.

Not long ago we came across a report of what would become a scar on the military history of the United States, specifically the lengthy war in Vietnam. A “Los Angeles Times” newspaper as early as March 25, 1965, some ten years before the Vietnam War would Blog-3-23-2015-Vietnam-Crisisofficially end (Saigon fell on April 29, 1975) had a headline announcing: “VIET CRISIS GROWS“. This report notes that Red China was committed to sending troops to fight in Vietnam if the Americans persisted in their growing involvement, and that they would: “…fight together with the South Vietnamese people to annihilate the U.S. aggressors.”  This is in response to the event of 3 weeks prior when the first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, joining a force of 23,000 American “advisers”.  American involvement in the Vietnam War would only continue to grow for another 8 years.

I am sure almost no one who read this newspaper in the spring of 1965 could have guessed the future complexity and duration of American involvement in Southeast Asia. This issue constitutes half of what I would call “bookend newspapers”, or a pair of newspapers which report the beginning and end of noteworthy events.

They put it in print… Castro given a year or less…

February 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-23-2015-CastroHistorical perspective offers so much as we reflect upon some of the headlines of the past, particularly those proven to be so wrong. With the reestablishing of relations with Cuba currently in the headlines, we dug through out archives and found a headline which history has shown could not have been more wrong.  The “Detroit Free Press” of October 20, 1960, in announcing the beginning of the embargo against Cuba, ran a banner headline: “CASTRO COLLAPSE FORESEEN” and one of the subheads noting: “Fidel Given Year or Less“.  This is now a newspaper much more interesting today than it was almost 55 years ago.

What a fascinating hobby!

The Traveler… the first admission… “black is beautiful” 1st coined…

February 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-2-2015-John-RockToday I traveled to New York City by the means of two different titles… The New York Times of February 2, 1865 and the Harper’s Weekly of February 25, 1865. In the New York Times I found “J. S. Rock (Colored,) of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, was to-day, on motion of Senator Sumner, admitted an Attorney and Counselor in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The Harper’s Weekly includes a nice illustration of “John R. Rock, Colored Counselor”.  Within the article reads “…Mr. Rock is known in Boston as a first-class lawyer. This even, following two days after the passage by Congress of the proposition to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery in the United States, will be regarded by the future historian as a remarkable indication of the revolution which is going on in the sentiment of a great people. Mr. Rock has never been a slave. He represents the colored freeman, as Mr. Douglass represents the freeman. This extraordinary reversal of the Dred Scott decision is an act almost sublime…”

In doing further research on Mr. Rock, he is also credited with coining the phrase “black is beautiful” while giving a speech in Boston in March of 1858 as a refutation of the western idea that the physical features of African Americans were unattractive. However, further research has found that he did not say those exact words but did in essence about the beauty of the black people.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… Johnson’s “Great Society”… death of a poet…

January 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back to January 5, 1965 by way of The Springfield Union, Massachusetts (January 5, 1965). There I found the reporting of President Johnson’s Blog-1-5-2014-T.S.-Eliot-DeState-of-the-Union message in which he presented several new programs. “…These are all parts of the Johnson design for a ‘Great Society’, he hopes will develop through decades ahead… the search begins for a way to ‘elevate the quality of our civilization.’…” This was to be for a better health care program for the elderly under the Social Security, to help develop regions suffering from distress and depression, new education programs, and more.

Also in the issue was the report of the death of poet and playwright T. S. Eliot. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1948 “for his outstanding pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”. His book of poetry “Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats” is what the musical “Cats” was based on, which has been the third longest running show in Broadway history.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… a great loss…

October 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, by way of The Springfield Union dated October 21, 1964. There the front page had the headline of “World Mourns Death of Herbert Hoover”, “President Orders 30-Day Observance; Leaders of Both Parties Join in Eulogies”. “Herbert Clark Hoover, the son of a blacksmith who rose to serve his nation as president and the world as one of history’s great humanitarians, died Tuesday. He was 90…”. This includes a small photo of President Hoover as well as a photo of the flag being lowered to half staff over the White House. Inside the issue is a photo of the home where Hoover was born, where he would also be buried on a hillside nearby.

~The TravelerBlog-10-20-2014-Herbert-Hoover-Death

Government in action… yet another proud moment…

September 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

At first blush, this issue appears to be exactly what one might expect from a Government sponsored publication. However, upon closer inspection of the lower right corner, we soon realize… this is exactly what one might expect from a government sponsored publication. Somewhere, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are smiling. Please enjoy the cover of the April, 1944 issue of the U.S. Army-Navy Journal:Army & Navy Journal

The Traveler… the surrender… presidential nomination…

September 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-9-1-2014-Fort-Morgan-SurrenderToday I journeyed to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated September 1, 1864. There I found the rebel account  on the surrender of Fort Morgan, Mobile, Alabama. “The flag of truce boat returned last evening. The Yankees say Fort Morgan capitulated at 2 o’clock last Tuesday. On Monday afternoon they concentrated their fire on the fort, when the bombardment was renewed spiritedly… The fort did not fire Tuesday. Gen. Paige destroyed everything in the fort, and spiked his guns. He and the garrison, numbering 581 men, were sent to New-Orleans… The enemy have a strong force of 4,000 on the mainland at Grant’s Pass.”

Also in the issue was the coverage of the Democratic Convention being held in Chicago. “…The president then stated the question before the convention to be on ordering the previous question, (nomination  a candidate for the Presidency,) and it was ordered without dissent. The vote was then taken by States… the vote stood as follows: For (Gen.) McClellan – 162, Scattering – 64… The President then announced the vote, which was received with deafening cheers, the delegates and the vast audience rising, the band playing, and the cheering lasting for several minutes… The question was then taken on making the nomination unanimous, and it was declared carried. The shout that responded was deafening…”

~The Traveler

Where this governor ranks in the day’s news…

January 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Merrick County Item” newspaper of Central City, Nebraska, has a very inconspicuous & brief page 2 report in its December 1, 1880 issue announcing, almost casually, “Gov. Robinson, of Colorado, was on last Monday morning accidentally shot and killed.” This placement did rank above: “The National Grange will again convene in Washington, Nov. 1, 1881.” but below: “Trickett beat Ross in the sculling match on the Thames, last Monday, by about four lengths.” (see below)

A Three Stooges skit on the House floor…

January 24, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

“The New York Times” of February 6, 1858 reports a brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives the day before. Although perhaps not as infamous as the Charles Sumner/Preston Brooks attack, this one between Lawrence Keitt and Galusha Grow was more raucous.

The photo below reports some of the exchange of words between the two, but the better report is found in the Wikipedia account of the affair:  “A large brawl involving approximately 50 representatives erupted on the House floor, ending only when a missed punch from Rep. Cadwallader Washburn of Wisconsin upended the hairpiece of Rep. William Barksdale of Mississippi. The embarrassed Barksdale accidentally replaced the wig backwards, causing both sides to erupt in spontaneous laughter.” The entire NY Times coverage may be viewed at:  “The New York Times” of February 6, 1858

« Previous PageNext Page »