The Village Voice, U2, Hitler – The sky is falling!

December 10, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Many children of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s grew up with the threat of nuclear war hanging over their heads. From “Dr. Strangelove” to “The Day After” – the annual death-march of dystopian movies capsulized the vague dread that everything could end at any moment; or worse still, that the end could begin at any moment — with all of the indeterminate, lingering fallout and devastation. Discussions took place about whether it would be better to live close to a big city that was bound to be a target and promised immediate annihilation, or further out where radiation sickness might destroy. It was a gruesome topic made more appalling by resigned acceptance.

The pop culture of that era seemed to feed one of two perspectives:  distraction or depth. Such publications as The Village Voice articulated both positions. The May 24, 1983 review of U2’s album “Peace with Honor”, contains an editorial observation that has very little to do with the music.

“Though I was born one week after the atomic bomb was dropped on people, I have always expected to live out my appointed days.  But recently it’s been evident that large numbers of teenagers, adolescents, even children now fully expect that their appointments will be cancelled by person or persons unknown, so a vast, anti-militarist ground swell isn’t much of a surprise.”

Note: To add to the uneasiness of the era, a few pages earlier The Voice included an article highlighting the life of Adolf Hitler.

Whether or not you agree with the distinct bias of The Voice, it certainly holds an important value as being an accurate representation of the angst of the generation — and it did so for a few generations.

Nostalgia inspired by a Great Storyteller…

December 6, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

The other day I read a quote by someone who asked, “Is it wrong to be nostalgic for a time before you were born?” I may have actually whispered “Hmmm” to myself as I pondered the question. The truth is, when you are surrounded daily by newspapers which tell of events from years long before you were born, one finds oneself bouncing back and forth between a sense of nostalgia and relief – pining after a day when life was a bit slower and less complicated, and moments later being thankful for not having lived through some of the greatest horrors humanity has endured.

Today the scale tipped to nostalgia as I was scanning an issue of The Christian Science Monitor for March 29, 1909 and came across an article featuring an author who’s children’s stories brought me as much delight as a child as they did children of his day. Joel Chandler Harris had the gift of story telling and teaching important lessons to his readers of all ages. Sometimes a sense of nostalgia can reach back decades or even centuries.

Announcing: Catalog #313 (for December, 2021) is now available…

December 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 313 (for December) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 325 new items, a selection which includes: the Battle of the Alamo, the very historic Duche letter to General Washington, Coca-Cola is sold (in an Atlanta newspaper), Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, New Jersey’s first newspaper (1781), The Oxford Gazette from 1665, the desirable beardless Lincoln issue (1860), a front page print shows Lincoln being assassinated, one of the best issues on the death of Marilyn Monroe, the funeral of Alexander Hamilton (a single sheet “extra”), the formal end of slavery: “Slavery is Abolished!”, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

The 1st Amendment – from 1789 to 1961 to…?

November 29, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

On January 8, 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Richard Price, a Welsh moral philosopher, Nonconformist minister and mathematician. In his letter he expressed the following, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” This belief that the American people, when well informed, were capable of identifying right and choosing it, sits as the core of the 1st Amendment foundation of free speech and freedom of the press.

Flash forward  to a spring day in April 1961 when the current American president, John F Kennedy, spoke to The American Newspaper Publishers Association. Hear, in his closing words as printed in The New York Times for April 28, 1961, the same reverence for the right of the American people to know the facts as was voiced by his predecessor over a century and a half before:

“It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.”

As a lover of history, especially as it is chronicled within the pages of newspapers, I am always thankful our founders understood how necessary freedom of speech and a free press are to maintaining a free republic. It is encouraging to see our government voice a passion in support of this pillar of Democracy for nearly 200 years.  Hopefully We The People will not be silenced and will not permit this inalienable right to be gutted.

Snapshot 1909… The American Spirit takes flight…

November 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

It is easy to assume the 1903 “first flight” in Kitty Hawk instantly made Wilbur and Orville Wright household names, but the truth is this momentous event was ignored by many newspapers, and even when it did appear the coverage was minimal and often buried on an inside page. Sadly, this trend continued for several years, with the newspapers in France being a notable exception. However, continued progress with their experiments in flight, coupled with the setting of one record after another, eventually led to them receiving the recognition they deserved. Although a hair more than 5 years after their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, the January 2, 1909 Scientific American, published shortly after the Wright brothers won the first-ever Michelin Cup, included one of the most eloquent tributes of the era – words which embody what was once meant by “The American Spirit”, and continue to stand tall as a recipe for meaningful achievement.

They put it in print, 1917 – “The more things change…”

October 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent post focused on a headline which borrowed Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s famous words from 1849: “the more things change, the more they stay the same” (translated from “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”). This tendency, as applied to human behavior, has certainly been substantiated time and time again in the world of politics.

During former President Trump’s term in office “leaks” were springing up everywhere. For a novice to the political realm this may have appeared to have been a new phenomenon; however, the banner headline from a San Diego Evening Tribune dated January 8, 1917 makes it clear that once again, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr was spot-on. How do we know? They put it in print:

Announcing: Catalog #311 (for October, 2021) is now available…

October 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 311 (for October) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items, a selection which includes: the Articles of Confederation, a nice account of Lincoln’s assassination, a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, George Washington is elected President, Winslow Homer’s famous ‘Snap The Whip’, Washington crosses the Delaware, an issue almost entirely devoted to the Lincoln assassination (with a print of Booth), the first newspaper published in Alaska (with Seward’s speech to the citizens of Sitka), an issue with the iconic Uncle Sam print, a Civil War broadside, the famous Hamilton and Burr duel, the creation of the United States Marine Corps, nice content on Lewis & Clark, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days,

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.

They put it in print, 2003 – “Horses with no names?”

September 23, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Many recognize the names of the most famous racehorses of all time: Seattle Slue,  Man o’ War, American Pharaoh, and Citation to name a few – especially if they were featured in a major Hollywood Movie, but what about their sired offspring? Do we recognize their names? How do we even refer to them? Perhaps “Seattle Slue and his Crew”, “Man o’ War and his War Reenactors”, “American Pharaoh and his Royal Subjects”, and/or “Citation and Prized Awards” would be appropriate? While all of these ideas ended up on the drawing room floor, one did make the cut. Thanks to his jockey’s restaurant, we have “Seabiscuit and his Little Biscuits”. How do we know? In the July 10, 2003 issue of the Los Angeles Times, they put it in print.

While none of Seabiscuit’s foals grew up to become famous in and of themselves, the restaurant he inspired is still in business.

– – – – – – – – –

Update 9/28/2021, compliments of K.W. from Illinois…

A Thankful Heart from the Mouth of Babes…

September 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes an image perfectly captures an emotion or a moment in time. Sometimes that moment is in the present but sometimes it won’t be noticed for decades. Recently, as I was putting together issues for one of our collectors, I came across an image on the front of a Harper’s Weekly dated January 4, 1902 which was that perfect snapshot. Our culture seems to have gotten murky and a bit hard to decipher at times., but on the front of the photo of a little boy captured the simplicity of his life. He was thankful for a man who had sacrificed greatly to make his life better. Perhaps, as a way to cut through the muck and mire of our time, a thankful heart is just what our culture… what we… what I need.

It All Depends On Your Paradigm…

September 6, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Recently, while in Cancun, Mexico I was struck by a small yet complicating life perceptive… one man’s villain may very well be another man’s hero. Here at Rare Newspapers, we see varying sides of news stories on a daily basis… from American Revolutionaries vs. the British perspective to The Confederate troops vs. The Union soldiers. This day, however, as I stood in the Mexican sun, talking history with a young man who was the age of my children, I realized there was a new paradigm I had not considered. As he questioned what I did back in the states, his eyes lit up as he asked if we had any issues covering Pancho Villa. I quickly responded, “Oh, I’m sure we do. Let me check and I will get back to you.” Later as I scrolled through our inventory, I realized I would be hard pressed to find an issue that would excite him since the American perspective of this controversial figure was very different from my new Mexican friend’s view. I determined to find something to show him and finally settled on a rather benign Harper’s Weekly image without a splashy headline. He seemed pleased enough. My take away was a reminder to analyze my own heroes more carefully and to be sensitive to other people’s paradigms. There may only be one truth however, our paradigm can make it hard to distinguish at times.

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