U.S. Troops Withdraw from Vietnam

On this day in 1973, U.S. troops officially withdraw from South Vietnam and the remaining U.S. prisoners of war are freed. While the war continued violently on between North and South Vietnam, the departure of American forces marked the end of U.S. history’s longest and most unpopular foreign war.

Check out the headlines below:

US Ends 12-year Direct Military Role in Vietnam

Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam today

Headlines from March 29 (1973)

May not end the war

Last GIs Fly out of Saigon

Many more headlines and articles like this can be found with a search on Newspapers.com. Or, search or browse Newspapers.com‘s pages for a topic of personal interest to you.

Spring is Here!

Spring has officially sprung, according to the calendar. Warmth and regrowth are generally a very welcome sight following wintertime, and many newspapers from around this date in any year have articles to prove it.

SpringNot everyone is especially thrilled by spring-themed writing assignments. This writer for the Daily Republican (Pennsylvania, 1939), with his First Day of Spring story about how he didn’t want to write a First Day of Spring story, is just one example (click through for an larger version on Newspapers.com):
Not everyone thrilled by Spring writing assignmentsFortunately, there are always willing children. The clippings below are just a few of the responses to a writing prompt about what to do on that “first great day of spring,” found in the Press and Sun-Bulletin, 1993.

Lisa Collins had a full schedule planned:

A solid planSarah Holmes had her priorities well in order:

Alligators are a spring necessityAnd how sweet is Sarah Von Esch’s response?

How sweet is this?Find more first day of spring articles and clippings with a search on Newspapers.com, and Happy Spring!

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Why the Shamrock?

St. Patrick’s Day has arrived again, and with it comes an assortment of traditions. Green clothes, corned beef and cabbage and shamrocks are the order of the day. So what’s the deal with the shamrocks, anyway? Check out the clippings below for the story of this little leaf and why it is spotlighted this day each year:

The use of the Shamrock

Excerpt from a poem about St. Patrick's non-IrishnessDid you know shamrocks are said to have magical abilities? Just for fun, here’s a little clipping on just a few of the mystical properties of the shamrock:

The magical powers of the ShamrockAnd lastly, if you’re looking for something to do today, maybe give this festive shamrock puzzle a try? (Clues found here.)

Shamrock PuzzleHappy St. Patrick’s Day! Find more St. Patrick, shamrock, and green related articles with a search on Newspapers.com.

Have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions? Share them below!

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Four Women in Writing

Happy International Women’s Day! All throughout time women have changed the world with their bravery, inventions, and insights. Many have fallen into obscurity through the years as their contributions were either forgotten or misattributed, but a few made lasting impressions that are recorded in first hand accounts, journals, and newspapers. Below are four such trailblazers, written forever into the pages of history.

1. Sayyida al Hurra, pirate queen of the Mediterranean Sea (1485 – after 1542):
Sayyida al Hurra, pirate2. Aphra Behn (code name Astrea), playwright and political spy for Charles II (1640-1689):
Aphra Behn, writer
Aphra Behn3: Lozen, Apache warrior and prophet (c.1840 – 1889):
Lozen, Apache warrior
Lozen, warrior4. Qiu Jin, feminist and revolutionary (1875 – 1907):
Qiu Jin, revolutionary
Qiu Jin, feminist revolutionaryFind more on these women and more with a search on Newspapers.com.

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Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire and in about half an hour killed 146 people, the majority of them young women. It remains one of the deadliest workplace disasters in U.S. history.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire headlinesThe Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was a sweatshop housed in the top three floors of a 10-story brick building in New York City. The factory was one of the top producers in the country of women’s shirtwaists, and it employed hundreds of workers, mostly young women in their teens and twenties who were Italian or Russian Jewish immigrants.

On March 25, a Saturday, workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory prepared to leave at the end of the day. Employees of other businesses in the building had mostly all already gone home. Around quitting time, smoke was spotted coming from a rag bin beneath a cutting table on the eighth floor at about 4:45 p.m. Workers tried to put out the fire, but it spread too quickly and soon traveled through the elevator shafts and shattered windows to the upper floors.

Workers on the eighth floor tried to escape via the two passenger elevators [https://www.newspapers.com/clip/8830401/elevator_operator_saves_fire_victims/] and two stairwells, and many succeeded. Likewise, many of the workers on the tenth floor were able to evacuate to the roof, where they crossed via ladder to a neighboring building.

The workers on the ninth floor, however, had a much harder time evacuating. The door to one of the stairwells was locked, and the other stairwell quickly became impassible due to smoke and fire. Some tried to use the fire escape, but it soon collapsed under the weight of too many people. Others tried to jump down the elevator shafts, and while some survived this, many others did not. As the fire intensified, dozens of workers began jumping out of the windows, dying upon impact on the ground below, despite the attempts of onlookers to catch them with life nets.

Though the fire department arrived quickly, their ladders only reached the sixth floor, and the fire burned too quickly for them to save many of the people trapped inside. Within about half an hour, the fire was put out, but of the approximately 500 people who worked at the factory that day, 146 died—in the fire, from smoke inhalation, or from jumping [] to their deaths.

The tragedy proved the impetus for reform, and legislation was passed in New York that improved safety and fire regulations. Although the owners of the factory were put on trial (for the locked door on the ninth floor), there was not enough evidence to prove guilt and they were acquitted.

Learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire by searching Newspapers.com.

Remembering Mr. Spock

Today marks two years since the death of beloved actor Leonard Nimoy. Below are a handful of newspaper clippings that look back at his most familiar role, the memorable Mr. Spock of Star Trek.

Mr. Spock
Leonard Nimoy, the voice of Mr. Spock
Leonard Nimoy:
Leonard Nimoy:

There are many more articles on Leonard Nimoy and his famous role that can be found with a search on Newspapers.com. Or click on the images above to be taken to the clipping on Newspapers.com, where you can read the full articles.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

You are browsing through the internet, the square of your screen casting a bluish-white glow on your face. In your World Wide Web wanderings you come upon a blog that has just published a new post, ready to be perused.

If you decide to move on to some other corner of the internet, click away.
If you realize you’ve been online for far too long and you are starting to feel hungry, close the browser and find a snack.
If you are intrigued by the blog post, keep reading…and maybe grab a snack anyway.

CYOAChoose Your Own Adventure books are now a familiar (or at least nostalgic) part of children’s literature, but really they’re a pretty recent addition to the literary scene. The concept of a reader-protagonist who makes decisions every few pages to change the story’s outcome was pretty much unheard of before Edward Packer, the man who turned bedtime stories to his daughters into a new book genre in the 1970s.

Though his first book, The Adventure of You on Sugar Cane Island, was repeatedly rejected during the first decade of Packard’s attempts to publish, his idea finally took off once it was picked up by Bantam Books under the newly created genre of “gamebooks. It spread like wildfire, with Packard and other (contracted) authors writing dozens upon dozens of titles for young readers to enjoy.

The Choose Your Own Adventure books had their shining moment throughout the 80s, but by the end of the 90s computer and video games took over with their own, similarly addictive interactive formats. The popularity of the Choose Your Own Adventure books waned, but they set the standard for innovative storytelling and book series for years to come.

Did you read any of the Choose Your Own Adventure series? Which were your favorite? Find more on the history of CYOA books with a search on Newspapers.com.

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The Pedestrianism Craze

In the late 1800s, the spectacle of competitive walking was all the rage. Sometimes it took place in arenas with other pedestrians in the form of hours- or days-long “races,” and sometimes it was performed solo as feats of distance and time.
Ada Anderson, famous female pedestrian

Not everyone was a fan, particularly when pedestrianism spectacles took place on the Sabbath:

Not Everyone Pleased with PedestrianismNot until the invention of the safety bicycle (the sort we’re familiar with today) did the thrilling sport of pedestrianism fade into history.

It was the bicycle which killed pedestrianism

Find more on pedestrianism in the pages of Newspapers.com.