The Traveler… Presidential election day 1912… the first in New Mexico…

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

First Presidential Election in New Mexico - 1912In today’s journey through the Albuquerque Morning Journal dated November 5, 1912, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I found that it was the day of the Presidential elections with the three candidates, Democratic Woodrow Wilson, Republican William Taft and Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning to the last minute. This issue contains different articles pertaining to the election.

Also within the issue is an article: “New Mexicans To Cast First Vote For President”… “With Closing of Polls Tonight Residents of State Will Have participate In All Duties of Citizenship”. This election would be the very first presidential election for the residents of New Mexico to participate in as they had entered as the forty-seventh state on January 6, 1912. Great to have this report within a newspaper from New Mexico.

Just a reminder that as a free nation, our presidential election is Tuesday, November 6th. Please exercise your valuable gift of freedom and cast your vote… 🙂

~The Traveler

The Traveler… election time… one horse tail…

November 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Our elections have been over for a couple of days, however I found that not the case 100 years ago. In the November 4, 1910 issue of “The Call” from San Francisco, the governor race was heated with the report of a rally of 7,000 people.  “Johnson Hurls Lie Direct in Teeth of Detractors and Lays Bare True Meaning of Battle” is one of the sub-headlines. It seems that politics has not changed…

But the deceit and lies does not stop in the political arena. A man traded a mule under the guise of a “shaved tail” horse. Afterward he began to laugh about it, to the point he could not stop laughing. This continued for hours to which a physician was called in. Finally after 12 hours of laughing, they resorted to electric shock therapy which did stop the laughter. This may truly be a case of who really got the last laugh in this deal!!           ~The Traveler

Contrasting pairs of historic newspapers: another way to collect…

November 11, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

The recent election, reflecting the great strides made socially & politically by the African-American community, brought to mind another opportunity in newspaper collecting not thought of by most. In preparing issues for a future Supplement the “Detroit Free Press” of June 12, 1963 struck me as a interesting contrast to the election of just a few days prior. The headline proclaimed: “NEGROES ENROLL AT ‘BAMA”, noting the struggles African-Americans had just to enroll in universities across the country during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Zoom forward just 45 years and the headline of the “USA Today” read “America Makes History – OBAMA WINS” noting America’s first African-American president. (We have this pair listed on eBay. Click here to view.) I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that in 1963 the thought of an African-American president in any person’s lifetime was considered a serious possibility, yet it happened, and indeed America did make history.

Carrying forward with this “contrasting pairs” idea, a fascinating collection of newspapers could be built around this theme. How about a December, 1903 issue report on the Wright brothers’ first flight alongside an issue of July 21, 1969 announcing man landing on the moon? How about an 1844 newspaper on the first successful telegraph transmission alongside an issue announcing the launching of the Telstar satellite, noting the achievements in distance communication? How about a 1920 newspaper reporting the ratification of the Suffrage Amendment giving women the right to vote, along side an issue just 64 years later reporting Geraldine Ferraro as the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party? Consider the contrast in perspectives of having both a Yankee and Confederate newspaper for the same Civil War date. The advantage that newspapers offer to this interesting theme is they offer physical evidence of achievements & accomplishments…one can display such headline issues side by side.

What other “contrasting pairs” do you believe would be intriguing additions to an historical newspaper collection, and why?

Obama election victory : a follow-up…

November 10, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

I commented previously on the most desirable issue or issues to have on the November presidential election. My thought being a newspaper from the victor’s hometown and/or a newspaper from Washington, D.C. being among the best. Plus, how desirable are presidential election newspapers in the scope of the historical newspaper hobby?

To most collectors, election reports are desired. But this election was different. More than just another presidential election, history was made. The first African-American will be heading to the White House in January and it’s interesting to speculate on how this makes a 2008 election newspaper more desirable than any previous election report.

It has been interesting following the eBay sales over the past six days. Not surprisingly thousands of newspapers have been listed and many have been sold, including at least one lot of over 600 issues of the Chicago Tribune (sold for $1799). The highest sold prices I’ve noticed have been the New York Times, and being one of the more famous & prestigious newspapers in the world I’m not surprised it would command some attention among bidders. I saw bona fide sale prices for individual issues of $400, $300, $265, $255 and another dozen sales above the $100 mark.  Curiously, the highest Chicago newspaper sale price I noted (Tribune) was for $115. Most of these prices were achieved the day after the election as savvy sellers took advantage of the expected post-election euphoria to achieve what seem to have been the highest prices of the week.

Although I have no statistics upon which to base this thought, I don’t believe past election newspaper sales resulting in so many $100+ final sales. I suspect the added historical appeal this election provided had much to do with both the demand and the prices achieved. We are selling election issues from 2004 for $28 (interesting pair from Florida: see listing) and $50 for the Washington Post.

But how will prices be affected going forward? As is the case with all collectibles, buyer demand will set the mark. The degree to which collectors recognize or appreciate this election as being different from most, and the shear quantity of issues hoarded last week–and which come on to the market over the next ten years–will determine whether prices will languish in the $10 to $25 range or whether $75 might be a typical sale price. Time will tell.

What’s your thought?

The vast majority of Chicago issues and the New York Times sold the past 4 or 5 days seem to be in the $10 to $25 per issue range although there are exceptions at both ends of this range. Looking forward ten years… will they be considered bargain purchases? Again, time will tell. It’s part of the fun of collecting! 

All this being said, please note:  When the potential investment value of a newspaper becomes the primary motivation for purchasing historic newspapers rather than the intangible value of holding history in your hands, the joy of the hobby may well be sacrificed. Keeping true to the hobby, we urge “collecting” and not “investing”.

Where have all the real men gone?

November 3, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

A life surrounded by rare newspapers helps provide a tether to the past as a stronghold against the prevailing winds of revisionist history; a hidden advantage the hobby provides which would be difficult to find within the list of benefits offered by any other collectible.  Case in point:

Tomorrow’s U.S. presidential election has caused many of us to ponder the past, the present, and the future of our country, and to grapple with the decision concerning how we might vote.  This reflection has led me to  wonder how we have come to be where we are in this beloved country of ours.  One side-bar of being surrounded daily by “history… as reported from the day it occurred” is that the contrast between our forefathers and ourselves is laid bare.  Old newspapers reveal harsh and sometimes violent differences in opinion, partisan politics, and hostile political verbal exchanges in the public square.  Sounds like today.  So what’s the difference?  Although there were extreme differences in political ideology, there were absolutes which rarely faltered.  Regardless of their differences, our forefathers, for the most part, were united in their belief that:

1)  the Constitution was designed to be a document to be interpreted through the eyes of “what the country was not permitted to do to its citizens” rather than “what the country should do for its citizens”.

2)  the “pursuit of happiness” meant that citizens should be able to flourish through determination, a strong religious mooring, and the sweat of their brow.  Class and specific religious affiliation were not to predetermine one’s socioeconomic status… future… hope.

3)  regardless of religious affiliation, the Judeo-Christian ethic was essential in providing the foundation for the Republic – and the degree to which its citizens and leaders embraced this ethic would largely determine the long-term success (or failure) of this experiment is self-government.  Even the deists embraced this thinking!

Most importantly, they were united in their desire to create, nurture, and protect a government which would provide a better world for their children, and their children’s children.  No one had a sign on the back of their gold plated carriage which stated:  “I’m spending my children’s inheritance”.  Rather, they would have denied themselves everything if it could in some way make a better tomorrow for future generations.  They gave their very lives for this cause… and would do it again if able.  And they weren’t the only ones who grasped the principles of hard work, solid mooring, and self-denial.  How many millions more left everything, risked death on the open sea, and passed through the mass of humanity at Ellis Island, all for the opportunity to kiss the dirt of a country which they knew would give them the hope of providing a better future – not for themselves, but for their families as they progressed through future generations?

Now, partisan politics is paramount – voting our conscience is what we claim, but the voice from within has long been silenced by our pursuit of self gratification.  Queen, one of the many flamboyant bands of the 70’s and 80’s, described us well when they sang “I want it all… I want it all…  I want it all, AND I WANT IT NOW!”

However, it’s not too late.  We can still be “…the champions my friends…”, but we need to return to the dream of our forefathers, gather our moorings, break a sweat, and start thinking of our children’s children.  With the election at hand, why not examine yourself, seek truth, awaken the voice from within (or even better, the VOICE from within), and vote your conscience rather than simply the party line or for what is expedient?  It’s time to sacrifice.  It’s time to be men!

What other collectible would have solicited such reflection?

Note:  This post is focused intentionally on men.  I’m convinced most women still have their natural God given “motherly instincts” intact.  Even if subdued for a time, their desire to do right by their children is poised to leap into the future like a roaring lion.  Thanks women.  🙂

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Harper’s Weekly with Thomas Nast’s 1st Republican Elephant: November 7, 1874

Harper’s Weekly with Thomas Nast’s 1st Democratic Donkey:  January 15, 1870

Harper’s Weekly with both images as shown above:  September 19, 1908