July 23rd… Why collect Rare & Early Newspapers?

July 23, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

It has often been said (by Tim Hughes and other collectors of historical newspapers) that “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported”. When past events are studied through the eyes of those who experienced them first-hand, revisionism, “woke”-ism, and the politicizing of history is kept to a minimum. The breadth and depth of our understanding of the past is undoubtedly enhanced when we view past events through the lens of contemporaneous reporting. This is one of the great satisfactions those of us at Rare & Early Newspapers enjoy on a daily basis, and the driving force behind why more and more people are joining the ranks of those who collect newspapers.

While history certainly has its share of triumph and tragedy, success and failure, progress and regression, together they combine to form the tapestry of our shared human experience. Warts have been part of daily life since we made our all-to-quick exit from The Garden, but hopefully, as we study history in order to learn from the good and the bad, the knowledge we gain by observing the past will inform our actions of the present to help pave the way for a few less blemishes in the future. Our hope is that those who collect historic newspapers 100… 200… 500 years from now will find we were good stewards of our own current events.

It is with the above in mind we will occasionally post the list of newspapers we have for a specific day in history.

Today we explore:  July 23rd

 

Memorial and Independence Day’s behind us… Veteran’s Day before us…

July 19, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Days come and days go. Time ticks by ordinary days and extraordinary days … work days and holidays. Another President’s day comes and another one passes. Another anniversary … birthday … Christmas in the rear view mirror. Each holiday blending into the one before. If I’m going to be completely honest, this Memorial Day came and went without me giving it the amount of focus I normally do. Fortunately, as I was writing up some issues for a future catalog here at Rare Newspapers, I came across a moving poem with illustrations on the front page of a Nov. 11, 1921 CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE. This poem was 1st published on August 7, 1914 but, on this November day it was republished as they dedicated The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Below is the poem and above is a link to that issue so you can see the artwork as well. Perhaps everyday should be reverently approached as Memorial Day, with a grateful heart and compassion for the sacrifices made by others on our behalf.

Gold and green are the fields in peace.
Red are the fields in war.
Black are the fields when the canons cease.
And white forever more.

 

Creativity with Consequences…

July 12, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Whereas hindsight is 20/20, or so they say, it is sometimes hard to reconcile this statement with our lack of propensity to learn from our mistakes. However, when Orson Wells picked up his morning paper the day after his incredibly creative radio broadcast of War of the Worlds had filled the airwaves, there is little doubt his hindsight had perfect vision. e realized he should have handled things differently. The reality  that this new medium of radio was powerfully persuasive and must be handled with a large degree of responsibility could not have been missed. While we may not know which paper he held in his hands when this truth struck him like a ton of bricks, the discovery of a GREENSBORO PATRIOT (NC) for October 31, 1938 recently brought this moment to our attention.

Some Legacies Change the World…

July 5, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

We all leave our mark on this world to a greater or lesser extent. Most of us never know, this side of eternity, all the impacts we have made however, some legacies change the World in a way all can see and are without dispute… such is the case of Orville and Wilbur Wright. This summer I am once again headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my extended family for a time of rest and relaxation. We are scattered to the four corners of the wind and so this very large house gives the 25 – 35 of us an opportunity to reconnect each year. Inevitably, each trip includes a visit to the Orville and Wilbur Wright museum in Kitty Hawk. In light of my upcoming excursion, I took a quick look at issues we here at Rare Newspapers currently have in our archives describing the world changing legacy these 2 adventurers left for us. We have many issues to choose from however, one issue particularly caught my attention. Next day reports are always very desirable. In some cases, an event may not get the amount of recognition we feel it deserves until later, however, the December 18, 1903 issue of The San Francisco Chronicle reported the Wright Brothers 1st flight from December 17, 1903. In retrospect, we might think it should have been on the front page, however, the publisher may have had a difficult time imagining the extent to which the Wright Brothers Legacy would forever change our world.

Life’s Irony… Rachel Carson…

June 25, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost daily, as we read through issues here at the RareNewspapers Office, we are smacked in the face with the ironies of life.  Here is the latest one to grab my attention.  Rachel Carson, wildlife specialist and crusader, wrote a book in 1962 titled, “The Silent Spring”.  Her book decried the use of pesticides and rallied President Kennedy to initiate a special study by his Science Advisory Committee.  Ironically, Miss Carson died of cancer at the not so old age of 56.  The April 15, 1964 issue of THE SPRINGFIELD UNION has a front page obituary in tribute to her and her work (see photo).

Apparently, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Started Long Ago…

June 21, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

While looking through issues for a future catalog, I came upon an odd headline: “A Female Soldier”. As you can imagine, this gave me pause as I was looking at an issue of THE GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE from June of 1750. The brief story told of Hannah Snell, a British woman who disguised herself as a man and became a soldier (see photo below). Clearly, a woman before her time.

The American Dream at Work…

June 10, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

What is the American Dream? We often hear that phrase bantered about but people seem to have differing views of just what it means. I was recently reading an article by a young woman in her early thirties with 2 small children. She and her husband had decided to move to Hawaii for a simpler life… a life not cluttered with as many things or as many stresses. Her final words on the subject were, “we chose to give up the American Dream”. WHAT !?! She had me until that final statement. Is it possible she could have grown up in this country and not actually know what the American Dream is !?! Could she have been deluded to believe the American Dream is about things and schedules and the size of your home? Ok … I’ve taken a breath and calmed down a bit. One of the blessings we have as students of American History is a foundational knowledge of what our Founders believed the American Dream was. Let me allow them to speak for themselves:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The pursuit of Happiness … very different from guaranteed happiness. In many ways, the ability to pursue something is a far greater gift than it being given to you. There is often joy and a deep sense of accomplishment in the striving. Being handed something on a silver platter lacks the ability to give the same growth and satisfaction.

On April 14, 1964, The Leominster Enterprise wrote a front page article covering the Academy Award winners from the night before. One of these stars was Sidney Poitier, “who struggled from the poverty of a Caribbean tomato farm … Poitier, who was born in Florida, but who was raised on a tomato farm in Nassau, was unable to addend school until he was 11 years old. Two years later he was forced to help support his family. When he was 16 he moved to New York City with a series of odd jobs, including ditch digger, store clerk, pin-boy in a bowling alley and longshoreman. He finally joined the American Negro Theater and worked as a janitor in exchange for acting lessons. He advanced to small roles and moved on to stage parts…”.

Now there is the American Dream at work!

PS. That evening, Sidney Poitier became the 1st black man to win an Academy Award – all due to his PURSUIT of the American Dream.

History’s Hidden Gems… President Lincoln, July 4th, 1861…

June 7, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana or, as we history buffs like to say, “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it”.

Lately, I have developed a bit of an obsession with Abraham Lincoln. I am sure there are many who would chuckle and say, “what took her so long?” Granted, I knew all the Lincoln Basics. I have helped my 6 children memorize the Gettysburg Address. I have stood more than once, for more time than my companions were comfortable, gazing in awe at each word on the Lincoln Memorial. But most recently I’ve been struck with wonder when I come across the more obscure, hidden treasures of our 16th President. . . overcome with a sense that his insights into his times may be equally applicable to mine. This last week I heard someone mention a portion of President Lincoln’s speech before Congress on July 4th, 1861. I have shared a portion of it below so you can make your determination as to whether his call to see beyond the surface events, to the heart of the matter, is as relevant today as it was then. If you agree, then we should be a people who remembers our past so we do not repeat it and for those fellow Lincoln lovers out there, let’s keep digging for his more obscure hidden gems.

“It might seem at first thought to be of little difference whether the present movement at the South be called “secession” or “rebellion.” The movers, however, well understand the difference. At the beginning they knew they could never raise their treason to any respectable magnitude by any name which implies violation of law. They knew their people possessed as much of moral sense, as much of devotion to law and order, and as much pride in and reverence for the history and Government of their common country as any other civilized and patriotic people. They knew they could make no advancement directly in the teeth of these strong and noble sentiments. Accordingly, they commenced by an insidious debauching of the public mind. They invented an ingenious sophism, which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps through all the incidents to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the National Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully , withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State. The little disguise that the supposed right is to be exercised only for just cause, themselves to be the sole judge of its justice, is too thin to merit any notice.
With rebellion thus sugar coated they have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than thirty years, and until at length they have brought many good men to a willingness to take up arms against the Government the day after some assemblage of men have enacted the farcical pretense of taking their State out of the Union who could have been brought to no such thing the day before .” ~ Abraham Lincoln, July 4th, 1861

 

Love of History Takes Many Forms…

May 27, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I firmly believe that a love of history in one area often seeps into many other areas as well – that it is possible to be completely enthralled with each battle of the Revolutionary War and Vintage Ads for Cream of Wheat or Firestone Tires at the same time. With this in mind, I put out the following “all call”…

Calling all Disney fans !!!!!

Those of us who are Disney lovers in any form and specifically Disney Park lovers may find the following  interesting in light of the upheaval the Disney parks have faced over the last year+. On June 14, 1981, the Los Angles Times had the ad shown in the photo. Disneyland was beginning their shift from individual ride tickets to all-day passes. Later, they would move to annual passes which allowed locals to come and go at will, making Disneyland a part of their everyday life. What a memorable moment in Disney history for Disney Park fans.

You’ve Come A Long Way Baby…

May 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Oftentimes, when I see a headline or an issue here at Rare Newspapers, some old fashioned turn of phrase or idiom comes to mind and today was no exception. As I leafed through a volume of Harper’s Weekly’s looking for a customer request, I glanced through the issue dated one week earlier. “You’ve come a long way baby” sprang to mind as I paused to pour over the vintage automobile and tire ads in Harper’s Weekly’s “Annual Automobile Number” issue. Ironically, the front color cover had a baby in a 1912 car barely missing 1911, represented by an old man trudging across the road. These new cars must have seemed a tremendous upgrade from Henry Ford’s Model T in 1908 and may have caused a pedestrian on the curb to murmur, “We’ve come a long way baby”, however, I am sure their jaw would drop at the thought of electric and self-driving options 100+ years later.  These are the things Jules Verne dreamed of as he put pen to paper. I like to imagine that someday, a 100+ years from now, another person may very well see a newspaper from today with the headline: “Tesla’s Autopilot Technology Faces Fresh Scrutiny”(NYT) and quip, “We’ve come a long way baby”, as they climb into their hover car.

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