Collecting statehood newspapers…

January 12, 2009 by  
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There are many “series” of historical significance which lend themselves nicely to the hobby of collecting newspapers. Reports of presidential elections, presidential inaugurations, major military battles, state-of-the-union addresses, and an issue from every possible decade are but a few ways to create a collection with a common theme.

Statehood newspapers are a logical theme for collecting as well. With states joining the union from 1787 until the mid-20th century a very wide range of dates and reporting styles are evident. The earliest official statehood events were when each ratified the Constitution and can be challenging finds, although we’ve offered most if not all through the years. Later statehood entries were typically inconspicuous and brief, which adds to the quaintness of reporting styles of the 19th century given their historical significance.

Of recent attention is the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood which happened on January 3, 1959.  Later this summer we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaii, the last state to Join the Union.

The search can turn up some interesting tidbits and provide some trivia facts which would surprise most. Do you realize that five states joined the Union in the 20th century? (Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii). What was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join? (Arizona: Feb. 14, 1912). What was the first state beyond the original 13 to join the Union? (Vermont: 1791). What was the only state to join the Union during the Civil War? (West Virginia: 1863). What was the first state to join in the 19th century? (Ohio: 1803).

Search for such issues can be fun and interest will grow with each statehood report found.

What other “series” of events have you found interesting?

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3 Responses to “Collecting statehood newspapers…”

  1. Todd Andrlik on January 13th, 2009 12:08 pm

    I recently visited the Newseum and chuckled when I saw the local Alaska newspaper announcing its statehood. The headline screamed “WE’RE IN!” On a side note, I was rather excited to purchase my Illinois statehood paper from you a while back. Thanks!

  2. James on August 16th, 2009 11:51 am

    Some time ago I found a Canadian newspaper marking this event –,_1867

    What do you think? Save it 8 years for the 150th?!


  3. TimHughes on October 26th, 2009 10:15 am


    Yes, we find that historic events do better on anniversary years as there is typically extra press “hype” at such times. Good luck with it!

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