The tension revealed between Halloween and All Saint’s Eve…

October 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Who decides what is right and what is wrong – what is evil and what is good? Is it man – and therefore a moving target based upon a majority view, or is it static – absolute, established by a Supreme Being who calls the shots? Is truth relative, or fixed? This philosophical question has been debated since the dawn of time. If the answer is “man”, then we had better get “it” right, or the consequences to the human race could be catastrophic. If the answer is a Supreme Being, then blog-10-31-2016-lucifer-the-light-bearerthe debate is meaningless – regardless of who comes out on top.

Whereas most historic newspapers printed in Europe and the United States have shown to be rooted in a Judaeo-Christian ethic which promotes the latter view, one 19th-century Chicago title stands out as having embraced the former – elevating itself to a position of being a bearer of self-determined truth. There is no doubt the identification with another bearing this name is no accident. Read for yourself what it says about itself, and make your own decision as to the truthfulness of its claims:

Lucifer, The Light Bearer

Of course if the latter answer (Supreme Being) is correct, your (and my) opinion as to whether its claims are true will have no bearing on the truth. 🙂

I’m New Here: Week Thirty-Three…

October 11, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

This week, while pulling issues that contain Emily Dickinson death notices, I read about the first public appearance of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and also the institution of the Income Tax.  As this was in 1886, I was surprised at the latter.  Actually, I was surprised to see so many famous names and events in just a ten day span within that May.  Oscar Wilde was hosting parties, Chicago was caught up in the Haymarket affair, and Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist.  The rabbit trail I chose to follow (after investigating this whole Federal Income Tax thing that has historically been attributed to Woodrow Wilson’s presidency almost thirty years later) began with the following words to the Editor of the New York Times:  “Mr. Putnam’s remarks on the impropriety of republishing [Washington] Irving’s works in their unrevised form, have but one fault; they are not strong enough.”

It is Autumn with a capital “A” in the northeast United States where, flanked by hilly vistas of multi-hued splendor, every street corner proclaims this the month of Hallowe’en.  Washington Irving, author of the famous ghost story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, could easily have been one of the serialized authors featured in the 1869 “Saturday Night” issues I have been pulling for a Philadelphia area collector.  And October is definitely the time of year in which strange, extraordinary and macabre stories would have provided thrilling weekend entertainment to a 19th century culture blessedly devoid of electronic clamor.

I didn’t know about Irving’s first published work, or the misinformation campaign to hype interest prior to the release of A History of New York.  I read about his “Knickerbocker” alter ego whose fictitious disappearance sparked a national following.  This moniker influenced sports teams, architectural structures, social groups, and even a toy company.  To this day, a resident of Manhattan is a Knickerbocker — nicknamed after a man who never was.

So, I am thankful for the censure that drew my attention away from the tax tables and the following words of “THE NEW INTERNAL REVENUE LAW. Topics of Interest to Everybody”:

Among these the Tax and Tariff laws are prominent, possessing an interest for every one, inasmuch as they most sensibly affect the cost of living, enhancing the prices of everything we eat, drink, or wear, adding to the value of articles of both necessity and luxury.  The Tax law especially appeals directly to our pockets; and we find that a share of our profits from manufacturing any article, as well as a proportion of the income which we annually receive, is due to the Government.

I would much rather consider impropriety of a literary kind.

 

 

“Believe It Or Not” – 1866 edition…

October 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While browsing a set of rare Daily Wisconsin Union’s from 1866, I came across an interesting set of articles within the December 29, 1866 issue which seemed appropriate for Halloween – although I’m sure Charles Dickens would beg to differ. Please enjoy the following stories involving ghosts and dreams:

Feel free to also peruse our Halloween-themed blogs and listings.

A ghost robs a bank (revisited)…

October 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

And just in time for Halloween, a report from “The Observer” of London, January 1, 1797 (original post, 2010):

An eerie coincidence? A Chippewa legend…

October 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As I began preparing this post I realized with a degree of angst that the date for the post is October 31st – Halloween. To say this is not a holiday I embrace is a gross understatement. Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas are certainly more in my wheel-house. So, what to do??? As fate (?) would have it, the very next issue I picked up contained an article more than suitable for this infamous day: “The Dancing Ghosts – A Chippewa Legend”.  Was this just an eerie coincidence, or something more? Please enjoy (to view the entire article, go to: National Intelligencer (September 11, 1849):Blog-10-31-2014-Dancing-Ghosts-Chippewa-Legend

 

Long live the dead… a zombie love affair?

October 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The New-York Observer (August 14, 1856) has a report which seems right out of a Hollywood Halloween-Thriller script (or crypt?). Was this a bogus story? Perhaps the blockbuster “Ghost” (1990) wasn’t fiction after all. I’ll save the “being married to a dead-beat” jokes for another post.

A ghost robs a bank…

October 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

And just in time for Halloween, a report from “The Observer” of London, January 1, 1797: