The Kennedy name frequented newspaper headlines…

August 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

A debate during dinner among friends regarding the most notable moments in 20th century American history may cause a few disagreements, however, none would argue with including the assassination of JFK as a noteworthy addition to the list. After all, the Kennedy dynasty ruled politics for decades, and John sat as king until his tragic death in 1963… with Bobby’s and Teddy’s passing larging serving as the final curtain on the Kennedy’s perennial command of newspaper headlines… or so we thought. Just as the name was beginning to be relegated to the dusty chronicles of the past, it has resurfaced on the political stage once again for this up-and-coming presidential election. Whether or not you were or are a fan of the Kennedy’s, major headlines featuring the Kennedy name are likely to soon be found in newsstands throughout America. It is not a stretch to speculate that Robert F Kennedy Jr. (Bobby’s son) is hoping to erase the sad

memories stirred when viewing the front page of THE DAILY MAIL, November 22, 1963 and/or the HERALD-EXAMINER–EXTRA, June 6, 1968, by something a little more positive and forward thinking: “A KENNEDY WINS AGAIN!” Of course such a headline would produce varying reactions based on one’s political bent – but regardless, the dynasty would have new life.

Dramatic Headlines Speak for Themselves… The Assassination of JFK…

March 27, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with THE DALLAS TIMES HERALD, Texas, November 22, 1963, reporting on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy:


Reflection: George Washington’s Birthday…

February 20, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

My five siblings and I grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks”. There really were tracks… and refineries which lit up the night sky… and rodents running around the neighborhood… and other creepy-crawly things which kept us awake at night. We had little money, but our lives were full, and our parent’s efforts to indulge us on a shoestring (when they could afford them) budget were always met with enthusiasm and thankful hearts. Holidays were the best – always soliciting a high degree of anticipation, for our dad would never fail to bring home a special treat to celebrate the occasion. My personal favorite was Washington’s Birthday – the holiday where I discovered the joys of dark chocolate and sweet cherries – the former birthed by “silver coins” to celebrate his amazing talent of throwing silver dollars across the Potomac River, and the latter through delightful chocolate covered cherries which reminded us to never lie – especially about chopping down trees. I didn’t know much about Washington other than him being our first President, but one thing I knew for certain, he must have been pretty awesome – a truth confirmed with jubilance by my tastebuds.

While I embrace the profound value we all have as a result of being made in God’s image, and appreciate the contribution each president has made to this great nation, I was sad to see Washington’s Birthday downgraded to an “all inclusive/generic” holiday. As one of my favorite authors (David McCullough) once said: “If everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless.”

As time went on and I became a bit more educated, I accepted the reality that Washington didn’t actually chop down a cherry tree (let alone own up to doing so); and, while I’m still a bit uncertain, the realization that he likely found better use for silver dollars settled in.

Still, these annual mini-celebrations, flawed as they were, helped awaken my appreciation for our “Founding Parents” in general, and for George Washington in particular. Is everything I learned about him accurate? Of course not. However, one thing I know for sure, the populace cried deep tears of sorrow when their beloved leader, to the amazement of the world, voluntarily steps aside so “We The People” could select their choice for the next to hold the reigns. Is his birthday still worth celebrating? Maybe so, or maybe not, but as for me, I’m picking up some chocolate covered cherries on the way home today.

In honor of this great leader, the pre-resignation announcement as it appeared in The Supplement To The Federal Gazette dated September 20, 1796, is shown below. A truly historic moment!

Snapshot 1941 – Crushing Debt’s Impact on Democracy…

February 10, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

With the U.S. national debt spiraling out of control, many economists are predicting the demise of this once (still?) great nation. Is this merely politics… fearmongering… crying wolf? Such concerns have been voiced as far back as when Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury and continue to this day. One such instance surfaced in 1941 and was chronicled in the Liberty Magazine dated February 15, 1941. These cries in the wilderness seeming fall on deaf ears without the doomsday predictions coming to fruition. However, the problem with apocalyptic events is thy have a tendency to be kept at bey… until one day there being viewed in the rear-view mirror with eyes welled up with regret. Let’s hope our generation is not the one shedding tears on behalf of our children and our children’s children.

A Fly on the Wall at the Constitutional Convention of 1787…

October 17, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

It is not uncommon these days to hear people discussing The Constitution.  How they discuss this crucial founding document may differ radically and the accuracy with which they discuss it may vary as well. As you can imagine, those of us at Rare Newspapers fall into the “Perhaps the best secular document ever written” camp. So, I am sure it will not surprise you to know that I have always longed to have been “a fly on the wall” during the Constitutional Convention. Given the writings of the Founders, I have to imagine we would all be blown away by their passionate discussions. Just the other day I heard someone discussing various states’ desire to hold a Constitutional Convention… to make some changes. His comment went something like this (paraphrased)…

– I have been in favor of a current day Constitutional Convention in the past however, as I look at where we are today as a nation, I do not think we can be trusted as a people to open this precious document and leave it vulnerable to changes made by this culture. –

He went on to say (again, paraphrased) … -I believe the day may come in the future when we could be trusted with such a sobering task, but today is not that day. –

For now, we will just need to content ourselves with protecting this amazing document as is until/if that day comes.

Note: The image shown above announcing a quorum had finally been reached at the Constitutional Convention was taken from THE INDEPENDENT GAZETTEER; OR THE CHRONICLE OF FREEDOM, Philadelphia, May 26, 1787.

A Fly on the Wall… The Birth of a State….

July 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

This is the second in the series… “A Fly on the Wall”.

It recently occurred to me that those of us at Rare & Early Newspapers have the unique opportunity to view the passage of time through the abundance of historical reports found within our extensive inventory. One case in point: In 1876 Colorado achieved Statehood, and like all of America’s states, its citizens had done much work, achieved lofty goals, and covered extensive ground before their adoption into the United States of America. The following issue of THE WEEKLY ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Denver, Colorado, Nov. 15, 1865, is a sneak peek into Colorado Territory years before its big day of adoption. It would have been fun to be a fly on the wall during the proceedings which marked its statehood birth.

While the newspaper shown below is the earliest Colorado newspaper we currently have on hand, each issue covering a territory’s journey to statehood gives a fascinating look into the hearts and minds of those who formed the backbone of this great country.

Journalism from Early America to the Digital Age… Election Fraud and more…

June 10, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Someone recently brought to my attention an article posted on the website “Brewminate: A Bold Blend of News and Ideas”. While scanning the article I was intrigued by the presence of illustrations of newspapers we have or have previously offered. One in particular which caught my attention was the timely political cartoon by Thomas Nast found in the Oct. 7, 1871 issue of Harper’s Weekly. While a degree of election fraud is (unfortunately) part-and-parcel of the election process, I was inspired to read through the entire article, and in so doing, found it to be quite informative… and wondered if the friends of Rare & Early Newspapers might also find it interesting. Hopefully you will also enjoy reading it:

“Journalism from Early America to the Digital Age”


Popular Categories – A Deeper Dive into the Legacies of U.S. Presidents…

May 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Most people have their favorite President of the United States. I’m sure if we each came up with our short list of five favorites there would be considerable overlap. Washington, Lincoln, Ronald Regan or Barack Obama (depending on which side of the isle the person resides), etc. – each president, popular or otherwise, has their own fascinating history which often includes failure, success, and often a few quirky tidbits of fun facts. The wonderful thing about original newspapers is they give collectors the ability to dig into the more obscure details of the lives and legacies of each of these once-upon-a-time “leaders of the free world”. In fact, newspapers containing such mentions are so sought after, we have a dedicated link on our website to help with the exploration: Presidents (U.S.)

As I began perusing collectible issues related to this post my attention aroused by an interesting story regarding our 37th president, Richard Nixon. To counter-act the ever-growing tension which plagued the latter years of his administration – both Watergate and the “resignation” of his VP, Spiro Agnew, President Nixon nominated a replacement for Agnew whom he knew would be easily and quickly confirmed, but who also believed in his innocence in regard to Watergate – one who would likely pardon him if the need arose. President Gerald Ford, after taking the oath of office upon Nixon’s resignation, did in fact give him an unconditional pardon for any and all crimes he may have committed against the United States. Although this particular use of a Presidential pardon has only occurred once in U.S. History, now that the box has been opened, it likely won’t be the last.

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.


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

Snapshot 1844 – Voter Fraud… “death by a thousand cuts…”

April 8, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Political scientist Robert Dahl defines a free and fair election as one in which “coercion” is comparatively uncommon.

Did voter fraud occur in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election? Of course. To think otherwise would be naive. Some degree of fraud has likely occurred in most, if not all elections which involve an imperfect people. This may seem a bit jaded, but I’m actually encouraged by the degree to which most elections in America have been “free and fair”. Still, complaints regarding election fraud have been documented throughout our history. True? In some cases, yes. Enough to impact the final outcome? It’s hard to know.

One such cry came from Louisiana in 1844, and was recorded in the National Intelligencer dated Nov. 30, 1844 (originally printed in the New Orleans Bee). Truth be told, fraud cannot be stopped. However, for the sake of the confidence of the electorate (i.e., to preserve a free and fair election), every intention must be made to keep it to a minimum – while not inhibiting citizens from voting. Balancing both is no small task – but is worth our ongoing effort.


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