Snapshot 1973 – Henry Kissinger – 1st ethnic Jew & 1st naturalized U.S. citizen to become Secretary of State…

June 7, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to politics and ethnicity, gender, religion, etc., U.S. firsts are noteworthy. A few which stand out are John F. Kennedy (1st Roman Catholic President), Barack Obama (1st black President), Kamala Harris (1st female and 1st black Vice-President), Antonin Scalia (1st Italian-American Supreme Court Justice), Hiram Revels (1st former slave to serve as a U.S. Senator), etc. The list of such significant milestones is almost endless.

Although it took place during my lifetime, to my loss one failed to capture the attention of my (then) 14-year-old mind. However, thanks to a collector’s request to see if we had coverage of the tragic death of singer-songwriter Jim Croce, my digging within our archives turned up a September 22, 1973 News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) which not only had a report on his death, but also featured the front-page headline: “KISSINGER CONFIRMED IN 78-7 VOTE” – telling of his becoming both the first Jewish-American AND first naturalized citizen to be confirmed as Secretary of State. He was sworn in the following day. Quite historic. Such “finds” are nearly a daily occurrence in the lives of our Rare & Early Newspapers’ staff – just one more reason to love this collectible!

National Day of Prayer… Love our neighbors… Newspapers provide perspective…

May 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

As we reflect on the political, religious, racial, socio-economic, etc., etc., etc. diversity of the citizens of the United States on this National Day of Prayer, one cannot ignore what appears to be our ever-increasing polarization and wonder if our days are numbered. Is it possible to learn to appreciate our differences… to be kind… to play nice? When we were just sprouting, many of us were taught the Biblical mandate to love our neighbors – albeit a difficult task, at least we could wrap our minds around the concept.

However, Jesus, in His famous Sermon on The Mount, upgraded this calling to a height eclipsing human reason:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

Is this really possible? Can we actually learn to love those who violently oppose us – who would wish us harm? God tells us that with Him, ANYTHING is possible. He also provides considerable encouragement when He states: “You often do not have because you do not ask.”

Reading news from the day it was first reported through historical first-hand accounts as found in Rare & Early Newspapers provides incredible perspective. Our shared heritage was built upon diversity. Did we make mistakes, have passionate disagreements, and even come to the brink of our demise? Absolutely! However, through it all we managed to stay together – to be a melting pot unlike any the world had ever experienced. Was this… is this a God-thing? One thread woven throughout our history has been the calls by our leaders (Presidents, Governors, etc.) to seek God through prayer – often given as Proclamations for a Day of Thanksgiving, Humiliation, and Prayer. The truth is, prayer has been woven throughout the fabric of our nation from the start.

So, on this agreed upon, country-wide, National Day of Prayer…

Dear Lord,

We, as a nation, need Your help. Please give us the ability too see others through Your eyes and to love those with whom we fervently disagree. We understand the truth in President Lincoln’s words: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We realize there are many from outside our borders who are actively fomenting such division, and rather than steeling ourselves against such attacks, we too often respond as mere pawns.  Help us to unite against such nefarious intentions. Help us to appreciate our common Source – that we are all made in Your image, our common citizenry, and the abundance of our shared experiences – birth, death, and a ton of joys and sorrows in between. Help us to play nicely with one another – to seek common ground whenever possible, and to agree to live peacefully with our differences. While humanly absurd, please give us Your strength to love one another. We grasp this is a You-size quest and therefore come to You with child-like humility – pleading for You to do that which we cannot do ourselves. We, as a nation, need Your help. Thanks in advance.

Amen

The following is a post from the past which, in my opinion, is worth a second look:

America – pulling a nation back together…

blog-11-14-2016-jfk-jr-photoMy Fellow Americans: Devastating hurricanes, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the end of WWII, Lindbergh’s 1st flight across the Atlantic – while there is much that divides us, there have been times throughout our history when both triumphs and tragedies have inspired us to lay down our weapons and to unite as one. While these times of mutual good will are typically short-lived, they often act as a reset to help center us on that which binds us together. We need such a time!

It is was with the current atmosphere of angst as a backdrop that I was moved by an under-the-radar prayer found buried on page 11 of an issue reporting the assassination of President JFK. His death, airmailed via television directly into the living room of nearly every home in America, brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike and unified us around shared grief.  May a day come when such unity of spirit flourishes without the inspiration of deep sorrow, tragedy, or war. As another assassinated President once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Abraham Lincoln).” It is time for us to lay down our weapons. Much is at stake.blog-11-14-2016-prayer-jfk

Snapshot 1954… Ellis Island… The final chapter…

January 9, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently came across a New York Times dated November 12, 1954 which told of the closing of Ellis Island, and included a large photo of the last group of immigrants to take the oath as new citizens (see below). If you’ve never visited this historic landmark, it is a moving experience – certainly worth the trip.

The red, white and blue… The Traveler…

May 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I journeyed today to Baltimore, Maryland, via the Niles’ Weekly Register of May 9, 1818. I found the announcement of “An act to establish the flag of the United States. Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America in congress assembled, that from and after the fourth day of July next the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be twenty stars, white in a blue field.  Sect. 2. And be it further enacted, That, on the admission of every new state into the union, one star be added to the union of the flag; and that such addition take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.” This was approved on April 4, 1818 and signed by President James Monroe.

Fly them high and proud!

~The Traveler

Talk about frustrating!!!

May 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

As I was contemplating the abundance of critical issues facing our nation, you can imagine my frustration when I picked up a newspaper and found the following article buried on an inside page:

Seriously? AND the most frustrating thing of all…

The article was found inside the Findlay Daily Jeffersonian dated December 21, 1880. I agree with the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, what if it is broke?

The Traveler… the President takes office, again…

March 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-3-6-2017-woodrow-wilsonToday’s travels took me to Springfield, Massachusetts, by the means of the Springfield Republican dated March 6, 1917, where the headlines announce “President Wilson Takes Oath”, “Firm Stand for Armed Neutrality – Nation Poised on Verge of War”. “Woodrow Wilson, with the major part of the world at war and America poised on its verge, consecrated his second inauguration as president of the United States at Washington yesterday with a last message of hope for peace… the president renewed his 1916-election-mapoath of allegiance to the constitution, praying to God that he might be given wisdom and prudence to do his duty in the true spirit of the American people…” Just in case anyone thinks the United States is more politically divided by geographic region today than it was 100 years ago…

~The Traveler

The Traveler… oh my stars and stripes!

January 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-1-16-2017-flagToday I traveled Boston, Massachusetts via the Boston Commercial Gazette, January 16, 1817. There I found that a change was being made that would be an on-going occurrence every fourth of July… sometimes. It was the new flag design! The Star Spangled Banner — “The stripes are to be reduced permanently to their original number of thirteen; but the stars are to be constantly increased in number, equal to the number of the States in the Union. The first change to take place on the 4th of July next, and the change of every additional star after that to take place on the succeeding 4th of July…”. Let the flag continue to fly, free and proud!

~The Traveler

Must have been a slow news day…

January 12, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

Perhaps a precursor to what would now be a typical Facebook post…

The June 19, 1804 issue of “The Balance & Columbian Repository newspaper from Hudson, New York, has a brief and seemingly purposeless news report reading in its entirety: “Monticello–Yesterday morning the President arose precisely fifty-nine minutes past four, and put on a clean shirt and breeches.” Had this appeared on the President’s Facebook page today, what might be some of the comments from his followers?

America – pulling a nation back together…

November 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-14-2016-jfk-jr-photoMy Fellow Americans: Devastating hurricanes, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the end of WWII, Lindbergh’s 1st flight across the Atlantic – while there is much that divides us, there have been times throughout our history when both triumphs and tragedies have inspired us to lay down our weapons and to unite as one. While these times of mutual good will are typically short-lived, they often act as a reset to help center us on that which binds us together. We need such a time!

It is was with the current atmosphere of angst as a backdrop that I was moved by an under-the-radar prayer found buried on page 11 of an issue reporting the assassination of President JFK. His death, airmailed via television directly into the living room of nearly every home in America, brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike and unified us around shared grief.  May a day come when such unity of spirit flourishes without the inspiration of deep sorrow, tragedy, or war. As another assassinated President once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Abraham Lincoln).” It is time for us to lay down our weapons. Much is at stake.blog-11-14-2016-prayer-jfk

Looking back at past elections…

November 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-11-10-2016-lincoln-electedNow that the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is in the rear view mirror, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at past elections.Which were the most impacting? hotly contested? controversial? The History Channel has an interesting post (Memorable Elections) which explores these questions. It begins, in part:

“With the chance to serve as chief executive of the world’s premier power at stake, the race for the U.S. presidency has delivered its share of hotly-contested elections. George W. Bush became the fourth president to win despite losing the popular vote in 2000, an election that wasn’t decided until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a Florida recount to be unconstitutional. Harry S. Truman won in 1948 despite the publication of a newspaper that announced otherwise, while Rutherford B. Hayes moved to the White House only after a controversial electoral commission helped him overcome a massive popular-vote deficit in 1877… (read more).”

Please enjoy the currently available authentic historic newspapers containing election content, spanning from George Washington to Barack Obama. The list has been arranged in reverse-chronological order:  PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS  (excuse the stray reports regarding non-U.S. elections).

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