The Illustrious Washington

In the wake of today’s divisive politics it seems unimaginable that one candidate could be unanimously chosen as President of the United States. But it has happened before—twice, in fact. Both times it was the same man: George Washington.

Washington for President

The people are in favor of Washington and Adams as President and Vice-President

Washington was elected as the first president of the United States on February 4, 1789, by an unusual voting process wherein electors cast votes for two people without distinguishing which should be president and which should be vice president. All present electors voted for Washington, and the majority of the rest also voted for John Adams. Thus, Washington was considered the unanimous choice for president, while Adams was given the vice presidency.

Public opinion of Washington before, during, and after his presidency was incredibly high. He was considered not only a national hero, but a man of integrity and wisdom. The clipping below comes from an ode written about the president in the same year he was first elected:

An ode to President Washington

In 1796 Washington revealed that he would not be running for president in the following election, setting a two-term precedent that eventually became law in 1951 with the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

See more articles on Washington from the year of his election using this search, or try another search for more articles and clippings from some of Newspapers.com’s oldest papers.

Groundhog Day

Didn't seem to care a darn about seeing his shadow

Punxsutawney Phil has done it again. The famous groundhog’s prediction this morning suggests an early spring is in our future this year based on the reliable fact that he did not see his shadow. This unusual tradition has happened in the United States every February 2nd for over a hundred years, though unofficially it’s been practiced even longer. And how is the forecast decided?

Phil

Phil whispers weather forecast

The groundhog whispers it into a representatives ear. From the looks of it, there have been just as many skeptics throughout the decades as there are now.

groundhog is a phony

February 2nd ---

No convincing statistical evidence

Belle Plain and the fallacy of the groundhog tradition

The clipping above was taken from an article in which the author details the predictions and results of 9 consecutive Groundhog Days to prove that “that little animal” can’t really predict anything. Click on the image or go here to read the rest.

There are hundreds of articles about this whimsical holiday—find more here or here make your own search using the search page on Newspapers.com. Oh, and don’t forget to take down your Christmas decorations!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Released Nationwide: February 4, 1938

Halifax Explosion: December 6, 1917

Snow White and Her Prince
On February 4, 1938, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs—the first full-length animated feature film—had its general release to theaters throughout the country, where it was an instant success.

Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney had gained fame for his innovative use of sound, color, and multi-plane camera technology in animation through his animated shorts of Mickey Mouse and his Silly Symphonies. Always searching for new ideas, Disney announced to his studio in 1934 that they would be creating the first full-length animated film, based on the Grimm’s fairy tale of Snow White.

The process of making Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would take the Disney studio three years and cost about $1.5 million—many times above the original budget. The studio grew from about 200 to 600 employees to handle the multi-step process of hand cel animation, which would eventually result in more than 200,000 drawings for the film.

Snow White's Seven Dwarfs

With Disney’s high standards for the film, and the animators’ and other staff’s need to innovate solutions to problems that hadn’t been encountered before, the film progressed slowly. As the date of the Hollywood premiere neared, many skeptics doubted whether “Disney’s folly,” as some called it, would be completed on time.

But when the premiere date rolled around on December 21, 1937, not only was the film complete, but the star-studded Hollywood audience loved it. The film was released to Radio City Music Hall in New York in January, where it ran for five weeks—a run longer than any other film previously shown there. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had its general release in the United States starting on February 4, and over the following months it played at theaters all over the country, as well as overseas.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs glasses
The film was a hit, receiving both popular and critical acclaim. Theaters were packed, and some had multiple runs of the film to accommodate all the fans. Snow White—themed merchandise, from hats and dolls to garden seeds and glasses, was everywhere, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ended up earning $8 million (over $100 million today) in its first year. It remains one of the top grossing American films of all time.

Do you have any memories of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Tell us about them! Or you can find thousands more articles about the film by searching Newspapers.com.

Challenger Disaster

On this day in 1986, the Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger broke apart within minutes of launch, resulting in the deaths of all 7 crew members. Investigations into the cause of the accident called into question factors of NASA’s work environment and attention to safety in engineering, and the space shuttle program went on a 32-month hiatus. See below for newspaper clippings from the days and years that followed the disaster.

Explosion's reverberations still being felt - Jan 1987

Challenger Disaster

Management and Safety Problems

Challenger explosion

Challenger Launch Sequence

Reagan speaks at service

73 seconds of silence

Still fresh a decade later

The Seven

For more on the Challenger disaster, try this search or another one here, or try one of your own using the search page on Newspapers.com.

Object: Matrimony

In the days before the internet, newspapers were the answer to keeping people connected. Online dating has its origins here, in the stark black and white print of advertisements from hopeful singles looking for a match.

Here’s the rub, though. Much like online dating in its early days, ads meant to track down a spouse were looked down on as cheap and ridiculous, or sometimes even disreputable and scandalous.

A New Crusade

But that didn’t stop hundreds of people from sending their information (anonymously) to papers and matrimonial bureaus to be printed and eventually perused by like-minded souls. Those interested could then send in a response, and a correspondence would begin.

Something New Under the Sun

Matrimonial Agency

Just a few of these types of ads are below:

object, matrimony; no joke.

Two lonely orphan girls

Widower seeks widow or spinster

Desirous of opening a correspondence

A lady neither young nor middle aged

More than one marriage began in this way, though few would ever admit it.

One opinion of these ads took note of the impressively consistent perfection of the applicants:

They all have fine forms, excellent morals, no bad habits

But honest or not, the ads often got the desired results for their buyers.

Find hundreds more of ads like these here, or more articles about matrimonial agencies here. Try your own search using the search page on Newspapers.com.

Elizabeth Finnern

The Civil War was a tempestuous time in American history. The recently liberated nation divided and fought “brother against brother,” as the slogan goes. But we know now that some of these brothers were actually sisters—brave, incensed, loyal women who disguised themselves as men in order to fight. Hundreds of women fought in this way, and Elizabeth Finnern was just one of them. She followed her husband into a war and remained undiscovered for 90 days, after which she worked as a battlefield nurse for several years until her husband was discharged.

Elizabeth Finnern

Elizabeth and her husband died long after the war, within a few years of each other. They were buried together beneath a stone that acknowledged not only his contributions to the regiment, but hers as well.

Elizabeth Finnern

Elizabeth Finnern

This search has many more clippings related to Elizabeth Finnern and her involvement in the Civil War and after. There are many more stories like hers to be found in the pages of Newspapers.com—try a search for more of them here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Who was Martin Luther King?

In November 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill that made Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday.

Remarks from Reagan's speech during the signing ceremony

The change took effect three years later, when the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated on January 20, 1986, at the federal level. It wasn’t until 1991 that all states observed the holiday under various names, and it wasn’t uniformly known as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” until 2000.

First National Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The decision to make a holiday after Dr. King was a fraught one, filled with concerns about the cost of making another paid holiday for federal employees as well as whether a holiday should be given to a private civilian when such a thing had never been done before. But over 15 years of campaigning and voting eventually won out over the opposition, and the holiday is now celebrated on the third Monday in January every year.

Find more about the holiday and its namesake on Newspapers.com using this search or one of your own.

Introducing Publisher Extra

Publisher Extra

Many people ask us, “Why don’t you have this or that newspaper? Where can I get access to this newspaper archive?” Many times the answer is: We just don’t have the rights to that newspaper or the publisher still owns the rights to that paper so you will have to contact the publisher. Today we are introducing Newspapers.com Publisher ExtraPublisher Extra is a subscription that provides unique access to many newspapers’ archives that are still under copyright with editions as recent as last month. By working directly with publishers, we are now able to provide access to long runs and recent editions of some the most valuable papers out there.  Even if you don’t subscribe to the Publisher Extra subscription, every Newspapers.com Basic subscriber will get access to the out-of-copyright* editions for these newly added newspapers as they become available.  For more recent years you will need to upgrade to Publisher Extra. Here is a list of some of the papers available today.

Featured Newspapers with Publisher Extra Issues

Publisher Extra years – Denotes Publisher Extra years available

  • Arizona Republic (1850-1921, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • Cincinnati Enquirer (1841–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • Courier-Journal (1830–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • Des Moines Register (1871–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • Detroit Free Press (1831–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • Indianapolis Star (1903–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • The Poughkeepsie Journal (1785–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2015)
  • The Tennessean (1812–1922, Publisher Extra years1949–2015)
  • The Pantagraph (1848–1963, Publisher Extra years1964–2013)
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1786–1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2014)
  • Palm Beach Post (1850-1922, Publisher Extra years1923–2004)
  • The Sydney Morning Herald (1831–1955, Publisher Extra years1956–2015)
  • and many more… See complete list

We are excited to offer this one-of-a-kind subscription for those who are interested in access to longer run newspaper archives that have never been available online before. If you’re a newspaper publisher and would like to know how to work with us to get your newspaper archive online, please contact us.

*Newspapers.com Basic subscribers will still have access to the years up through 1922 and in some cases even up through 1963 for these newly added newspapers.

The Tompkins Square Riot

A Small Riot Quelled

In January of 1874, both Europe and North America were in the midst of an economic depression that left thousands unemployed. It was called the Panic of 1873, though it lasted for several years, and it brought about demonstrations by workers movements throughout the country for better public works programs to aid in providing jobs. But change was slow in coming.

Meeting of the unemployed

On January 13th, around 7,000 New Yorkers gathered in Tompkins Square Park in New York City. A group called the Committee of Safety had organized the meeting to protest the city’s lack of help creating jobs. Newspapers labeled the Committee a menace and turned civilians against them and the protesters, calling them idlers and ruffians.The night before the demonstration, the Police Board requested that the committee’s permit to meet in the park be revoked. Protesters came anyway, of course, completely unaware that anything had changed.

Just before the meeting was set to start, police entered the square and began to disperse the demonstrators with clubs and force. Mounted police cleared the streets, brutally assaulting anyone in their way. In retaliation the demonstrators fought back—one man even hitting an officer in the head with a hammer—and what had been simply a meeting quickly became mayhem.

Newspaper recounts the events of the riot

Several dozen arrests were made in the aftermath of the riot. The unemployment movement was basically demolished. Efforts to organize more marches fell through, and the Committee of Safety dissolved itself. There were attempts to fire those on the Police Board, but nothing came of them. The city’s police department only increased its harassment of supposed “radicals” and political organizations.

Check out Newspapers.com‘s collection for more articles like these. Try a search for a any topic here, or take a leisurely stroll through the available papers in the browse section.

Find: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

April 1968: M.L. King Jr. is killed in Memphis
This year on January 18, the nation will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., born on January 15, 1929. Though he was just 39 when he was assassinated in 1968, the civil rights leader made an indelible impact on the civil rights movement and on the country as a whole.

You can read thousands of articles about important events during the public life of Martin Luther King, Jr., on Newspapers.com. Below is a selection to get you started:

Do you have any personal stories about Martin Luther King, Jr.? Tell us about them! You can also find many more articles about Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement on Newspapers.com.