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

The peaceful transfer of power…

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As we approach President’s Day, there is a part of me which is somewhat sentimental about my childhood memories surrounding Washington’s Birthday. I sure do miss it as a stand alone national celebration. I fondly remember my father bringing home a cardboard version of an ax (with a chocolate-covered cherry hidden within) to present to each of us to commemorate the holiday, and without fail, reminding us to be just like George Washington – that is, to never tell a lie. Was there a bit of lore surrounding this sacred event? Sure. Did it teach us a valuable lesson? Absolutely. Somehow we’ve lost the innocence and value of oral tradition, and I wonder if we are the better for it.

Perhaps Washington never chopped down a cherry tree… and my guess is he probably told a lie at some point, but I challenge anyone to name another political leader who, in the face of such power, tradition, and popularity, was willing to hand over the reigns of power with such humility and grace.  The Massachusetts Spy, Or Worcester Gazette for March 15, 1797 records much of the proceedings of this momentous event. The link provides access to considerable details. Of particular note is his response to the Massachusetts’ Representatives of Congress who basically asked him, “What now?”  His response is precious (see below). Please enjoy!

#23 – Thoughts on the collecting of Obama inauguration newspapers… (*revisited)

February 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems that with every election or inauguration I get asked about the collectability of such newspapers, so I thought I might share my thoughts with you, and encourage you to do the same.

USA Today - Obama Election & Inuguration

USA Today – Obama Election & Inuguration

As for pure collectability, sure, election and inauguration issues are collectible because they document a very important part of American history and the democratic process. The smooth transfer of power from one person or administration to another does not come easily to many countries today. And to be able to add such historic issues to a collection for 50 cents or a buck is a great opportunity.

But I suspect the real interest of many who inquire about the collectability (of Barrack Obama election and inauguration issues) is the potential for such issues to increase in value. My opinion is, in general, no. They will not increase much in value in years to come. Now I’m speaking of “recent” history, say the last 30 years or so. I feel the public has become very collector-focused the last several decades, and many, many “historic” newspapers have been set aside in attics and drawers only to be found by their children many years later.

For a newspaper to appreciate dramatically in value I believe it requires several things: 1) Historic content. Yes, elections and inaugurations are historic; 2) Rarity. No, elections and inaugurations of the past 30 years are not rare because they were hoarded in large quantities and will always be relatively common; and 3) Something unique or dramatic. A “screaming” headline in tall, bold letters, or a cleverly worded headline, or something else which makes the issue unusual.

Supposedly the New York Times printed an extra one million issues of its January 21 inauguration issue, and I suspect most of them will be hoarded in quantity. The Washington Post printed a much larger quantity than normal, but they didn’t comment on the exact quantity. I’m sure it was sizable, and many of those issues will be hoarded. All this means that 20 years from now issues will be showing up on eBay (or its equivalent at that time) and anywhere else people might try to sell collectibles. With millions of such newspapers in the marketplace will the values get higher and higher? I doubt it.

Issues which tend to increase in value are those which were NOT saved. Most major headlines pre-World War II have appreciated nicely in value because they were not hoarded in quantities. I just don’t think the American public was collector-conscience then, so consequently they are genuinely rare in additional to being historic. And add a huge headline or terrific graphic and you have the potential for a very desirable newspaper; one which has appreciated nicely in value.

As an interesting side note, I understand that the New York Post printed a special afternoon inauguration edition on January 20. Given that most major newspapers are morning publications, coverage of the inaugural proceedings would be in their September 21 issue. But the Post had coverage in their January 20 issue, the same day as the election. A friend, stopping by a newsstand in New York city bought several issues of the Times of January 21 and noted a stack of other issues in the back. Inquiring what they were he was told it was the Post of the 20th, “…but they came in too late to be sold on the newsstand, so they will be returned. We can’t sell a day old newspaper…” the friend promptly purchased them all. I’d be curious to hear how many of the January 20 afternoon edition were actually sold on the streets and not returned for destruction. Perhaps that edition will have a real rarity component.

But don’t let this deter you from collecting historic events of the last 30 years and events yet to come. One of the great aspects of this hobby is the ability to assemble a great collection of truly historic newspapers at a nominal cost–at the newsstand price if you are lucky.

What are your thoughts?

Note: The Times News (out of Lehighton, PA) interviewed Tim concerning this topic. The article may be accessed at: http://www.tnonline.com/about

—————

*The Fall of 2013 marked the 5th anniversary of the History’s Newsstand Blog by Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers. We are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the newspaper collecting community, and appreciate those who have participated through guest posts, comments, and readership. In 2014 we will revisit the top 25 posts (measured by activity), with the number 1 post being revisited during the first week of 2015. Please enjoy. If you would like to contribute a post for consideration of inclusion on the blog, please contact Guy Heilenman at guy@rarenewspapers.com.

The Traveler… Taft is notified… have we learned yet?

August 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Farmington, Maine by way of The Franklin Journal (August 6, 1912). There I found that “President Taft was formally notified Thursday of his nomination by the National Republican convention at Chicago.” This would be a year in which a four-way presidential election occurred — Republican, Democratic, Progressive and Socialist.

In part of the acceptance speech, “…the president launches into a bitter attack upon ‘those responsible for the popular unrest’ of the present day… Votes are not bread, constitutional amendments are not work, referendums do not pay rent or furnish houses, recalls do not furnish clothing, initiatives do not supply employment or relieve inequalities of condition or of opportunity…” (see below). Here we are in another election year, 100 years later, with what sounds like the exact same issues…

~The Traveler

The Traveler… a presidential nomination… a bit buggy…

May 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today’s travels took me to Baltimore, Maryland, through The Weekly Register (Niles”) of May 23, 1812. There I found the “Presidential Nomination” had occurred “…For JAMES MADISON, 82 — No other person being voted for… On motion of Mr. Campbell of Ten. it was then Resolved, As the sense of this meeting, that JAMES MADISON, of the state of Virginia, be recommended as a proper person to fill the office of President, for four years from the third day of March next:…”. Additional information is within that article as well as additional articles pertaining to “The Nomination” and “Presidential Election”.

“The Locusts of Africa” article is interesting as it states that that “…when they visit a country it behooves every individual to lay in a provision against a famine; for they are said to stay three, five, or seven years…”. I can’t begin to image dealing with those bugs for a portion of a day let alone for years!

~The Traveler

Believe it or not…

May 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

While posting an October 31, 1804 issue of THOMAS’S MASSACHUSETTS SPY, OR WORCESTER GAZETTE,  Massachusetts, onto the Rare Newspapers website due to the presence of two letters from George Washington (written before 1800) and another from Thomas Jefferson, another item caught our interest.  Under “Deaths” we found an obituary which seems unbelievable.  Which is harder to believe, that newspapers from 1804 containing 3 Presidential letters are still available, or, that the details within the shown obituary are true?  Fact or fiction?  You decide.

Here… take the shirt off my back…

March 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

While preparing to place a newspaper announcing the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (USA Today, May 20, 1994), we discovered another unrelated item which provided a bit of comic relief.  Please enjoy:

The Traveler… Battle of Tippecanoe…

December 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to December 5, 1811 where I found the Middlesex Gazette from Middletown, Connecticut carried an extract of a letter sent to a Member of Congress. This was reporting on “an action between the troops under Gov. Harrison and the Indians under the Prophet… There were 170 whites killed and wounded, and as many Indians… The battle was fought in sight of the Prophet’s Town…. There has been dreadful slaughter…”, being a report on the famous Battle of Tippecanoe.

Governor William Harrison later became our ninth President of the United States which had the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too”. He also the shortest serving president and the first president to die in office.

A little tidbit of history for this day… 200 years past!

~The Traveler

She prepared for the end…

February 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Some news reports we discover in our newspapers are so beautifully written that they beg to be share with more than just the collector who buys the issue. This is one. Not only is the report of Martha Washington’s death eloquently presented, it is interesting how she knew her time was coming to an end and was prepared for it.

This report appeared in the “Farmer’s Museum or Literary Gazette” from Walpole, New Hampshire, June 8, 1802:

The unearthing of a President… yet another discovery!

October 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The image  shows a portion of a full-page ad found buried in the back of the January 4, 1902 edition of Harper’s Weekly Illustrated.  One of the joys of collecting rare and early newspapers is the fun collectors have digging up hidden treasures.  A student at Arizona State University recently noticed that one of the contributors listed in an ad for encyclopedias was Woodrow Wilson, more than 10 years before he would be elected as the 28th President of the United States.  In case one did not already know, this ad also reveals that he was a Professor at Politics at Princeton.   I wonder if any other noteworthy individuals are named within this ad??? Additional close-up images can be found at:  Additional Images.  Feel free to add your finds.

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