Terrific “association” item in American history…

October 22, 2009 by  
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One of the joys in collecting early newspapers is discovering the little gem found buried in an issue which was innocuous at the time but which has since transcended to much greater importance in American history. The small advertisement shown, which appears on page 3 of the April 13 issue of the “Daily Morning Chronicle” of Washington, D.C., is one.

Ford_Theater_AdCertainly Abraham Lincoln, and any other Washington, D.C. resident who read this ad, would not have given it a second thought, being a simple notice of the latest show on the stage of a local theater. But as history would tell us Abraham Lincoln attended this very performance of  “The American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre, starring Laura Keene, and would be assassinated there the evening of the 14th.

It’s fascinating to think the original owner of this newspaper may well have read that advertisement, and may actually have attended that performance only to become witness to one of the more dramatic & notable events of American history. This newspaper is truly a piece of Americana which could only be found in a Washington, D.C. newspaper. Certainly this ad would not have appeared in the other–more common–major city publications.

Feel free to respond and share with other readers any similar gems which you have discovered, & which would figure more prominently in history after their publication date. We hope you enjoyed this one!

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2 Responses to “Terrific “association” item in American history…”

  1. Paul Sarna on October 22nd, 2009 9:35 pm

    I had mentioned this before regarding a different topic, but it’s fitting for this one as well.

    The November 22, 1963 editions of the Dallas Times Herald (I’m certain the Dallas Morning News as well) covering the Dallas arrival of President Kennedy and later on his assassination, had something pretty interesting on the inside. On opposite pages on the inside were 2 advertisements…one was for the “Texas Theatre” the moviehouse where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and across from that was an ad for “The Carousel”, the night club owned and operated by Jack Ruby.
    A pretty fascinating “association” item.

    I’ve never owned an April 14th, 1865 issue of a Washington DC newspaper, but have read elsewhere that there was articles mentioning that General Grant was to be Lincoln’s guest that night at Ford’s Theatre. That would be a great one to have!

  2. Thomas Rowley on October 26th, 2009 1:03 pm

    Interesting ad for Fords Theatre. I have been trying to find various theatrical ads for plays with John Wilkes Booth. Its a difficult but fun search!.

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