Ratification of the Constitution

On this day in 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to vote “yea” on the debate of ratifying the U.S. Constitution, officially making it law.

Constitution Ratified 21st June

More states would follow suit later, but only nine of the thirteen existing states had to accept for the Constitution to become valid.

Fun fact: While the United States is a fairly young country compared to others worldwide, it has the oldest written constitution still in use today.

Find more about this defining moment in history with a search on Newspapers.com. 

Make a Difference with History Unfolded!

History Unfolded
November 9, 1938
Anti-Jewish Riots Convulse German Reich (Kristallnacht) Father Coughlin Blames Jews for Nazi Violence April 9, 1939
Marian Anderson Performs at the Lincoln Memorial June 2, 1939
Jewish Refugees Desperately Seek Safe Harbor

Looking for an easy way to make a big difference? Newspapers.com invites you to participate in the History Unfolded project run by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum!

What is History Unfolded?

History Unfolded is a project that seeks to expand our knowledge of how American newspapers reported on Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s so we can better understand what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening.

To help achieve this, the History Unfolded project asks people like you to search local newspapers from the 1930s and ’40s for Holocaust-related news and opinions and then submit them online to the museum. The newspaper articles you submit will be used to help shape the museum’s 2018 exhibit on Americans and the Holocaust and related educational materials. The articles will also be made available to scholars, historians, and the public.

Who Can Contribute?

Everyone! History buffs, students, teachers . . . All you need is an interest in the Holocaust and access to a newspaper from the 1930s or ’40s, either online (using Newspapers.com, for example) or through a physical archive, such as a library. Simply create an account with History Unfolded, and away you go!

How Do I Contribute?

History Unfolded has created a list of more than 30 Holocaust-related events to focus on. Choose one of these events to research, then search for content related to that topic in an American newspaper of your choice from the 1930s or ’40s. After you find an article related to one of the events, submit it online to the museum through the project’s website.

Newspapers.com and History Unfolded

You can contribute to this important project whether or not you use Newspapers.com to do so. But using Newspapers.com makes it even easier to submit the articles you find. Simply use Newspapers.com to create a clipping of an article you’ve found, then submit that clipping through the submission form on the History Unfolded website. The submission form has a special tool created specifically for Newspapers.com users that makes submitting your clipping a snap.

Your help with this project will help shape our understanding of the Holocaust and the lessons it holds for us today. For more information on how to get involved, visit the History Unfolded website.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Today in 1967, the Beatles release their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, generally considered the first “concept album.” The album marked a shift in the group’s career as they moved from being crowd-pleasing stage performers to more studio-focused artists.Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The album got a pretty decent reception, receiving mostly positive reviews to match its commercial success. It topped the US Billboard 200 charts for 15 weeks after release.

Sgt. Pepper review

Same Reverence as Beethoven and Brahms

Find more on this event with a search on Newspapers.com, or browse or search for whatever strikes your fancy.

St. Louis Refugee Ship Forced to Return to Europe: June 6, 1939

St. Louis Refugee Ship Forced to Return to Europe: June 6, 1939

On June 6, 1939, the St. Louis, a German transatlantic liner, was forced to sail back to Europe after more than 900 of its passengers [https://newspapers.ushmm.org/article/4716] (primarily German-Jewish refugees) were refused entry by Cuba; over 200 of these refugees would later die in the Holocaust.

St/ Louis Steams AwayThe St. Louis departed Germany for Cuba on May 13. The majority of the 937 passengers were German Jews fleeing the increasing discrimination and violence against Jews under Hitler, and many planned to stay in Cuba only until they received U.S. visas. However, unbeknownst to most of the passengers, a week before the ship sailed, the Cuban government invalidated one of the types of travel documents held by the refugees.

When the ship arrived in Cuba on May 27, fewer than 30 passengers—those who had the proper papers—were allowed to disembark. Despite days of negotiations, the Cuban government could not be persuaded to allow the refugees to enter. Leaving Cuban waters on June 2, the ship sailed near the Florida coast. Passengers petitioned President Roosevelt for refuge but received no answer. The St. Louis was finally forced to return to Europe on June 6.

Throughout May and June, newspapers across the United States covered the plight of the refugees on board the St. Louis. However, reactions and opinions varied on the question of the refugees and on the related topic of immigration from Europe. For example, one letter to the editor, featured in Iowa’s Des Moines Register on June 11, was passionate in its support of the refugees: “As a human being, as a Christian, and as an American, I object to the treatment of 900 Jews aboard the ship ‘St. Louis.’ Surely […] we could shelter these tortured people until some permanent settlement could be made.”

In sharp contrast, another letter to the editor, this time from the De Kalb, Illinois, Daily Chronicle on June 20, took an isolationist stance regarding people fleeing Europe: “Until we [the United States] prove that we can handle our own political affairs intelligently, the proper thing for us to do is stay in our own back yard, lock the gate, and take care of our own troubles, which are plenty. Let Europe take care of their own destitute.”

Upon returning to Europe, the St. Louis was allowed to dock in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 17. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands agreed to divide the passengers among them, but safety for many of the refugees was short lived. Except for the refugees accepted by the United Kingdom, many of the former passengers were subject to Germany’s destructive sweep across Europe during World War II; 254 of the St. Louis‘s refugees would die during the Holocaust.

Interested in the St. Louis or other subjects related to the Holocaust? Newspapers.com invites you to participate in the History Unfolded project run by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As part of an effort to learn more about what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening, the History Unfolded project asks people like you to search newspapers (on Newspapers.com, for example) for Holocaust-related news and opinions and submit them online to the museum. Not only will your findings be made available to scholars, curators, and the public, but you’ll also be helping to shape our understanding of this important period of history. For more information on the project, visit the History Unfolded website.

Dracula Released

On this day in 1897, Bram Stoker’s sensational novel Dracula is released upon the London public.

Excerpt from

…and it was pretty well received! By most, anyway. Though some reviewers found the novel not to their taste, many remarked on Dracula‘s ability to capture your attention from beginning to end.

Exciting story from beginning to finish

Early Review of Dracula

Dracula

Dracula has since become one of the quintessential classical Gothic novels and has inspired countless other stories in the years since its release.

Have you read Bram Stoker’s Dracula? What’s your favorite vampire story?

Find more like this on Newspapers.com with a search, or try your luck with browsing.

 

New and Updated Papers on Newspapers.com

Come explore *four new and updated papers on Newspapers.com: the Chicago Tribune, the Fort Lauderdale News, South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Morning Call!

Sample Chicago Tribune front page
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune was founded in 1847. By the Civil War, the Tribune had adopted an anti-slavery stance and was influential in the election of President Abraham Lincoln. In 1974, the Tribune made history when it became the first newspaper to publish overnight the transcripts President Nixon had released of his infamous White House tapes. Today, the Tribune has one of the largest circulations in the country and remains an important paper in the Great Lakes region. Newspapers.com has issues from 1849 to 2016.

Sample Fort Lauderdale News front pageFort Lauderdale News and South Florida Sun Sentinel
The Fort Lauderdale News and South Florida Sun Sentinel are two related papers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Fort Lauderdale News traces its roots back to a paper founded in 1911, while the Sun Sentinel began publishing in 1960. In 1963, both papers were bought by the same company, with the News as its evening paper and the Sun Sentinel as its morning paper. The News stopped publication in 1992, while the Sun Sentinel is still published today. The Sun Sentinel serves Broward and Palm Beach counties and has one of the largest circulations in South Florida. It is recognized for its investigative reporting and editorial sports coverage, among other things. Newspapers.com has issues of the Fort Lauderdale News from 1925 to 1991, and issues of the South Florida Sun Sentinel from 1981 to 2017.

Sample The Morning Call front pageThe Morning Call
The Morning Call, based in Allentown, is Pennsylvania’s third-largest newspaper. It serves nine counties in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey and is the leading paper in Lehigh Valley. The paper was founded in 1883 under the name the Critic but was renamed the Morning Call in 1895 as part of a contest in which the schoolboy or girl who could guess the paper’s new name would get five dollars in gold. The Morning Call was run primarily by the Miller family for most of its history, up until the 1980s. It is today known for its watchdog journalism. Newspapers.com has issues from 1895 to 2017.

Explore these and other papers on Newspapers.com!

*With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can see issues of these papers through 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years and additional issues from 1923 onward.

Mothers of History

There can be no argument that mothers across the world play an incomparable role in raising, teaching, helping and loving their children and the children around them. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three mothers whose contributions to their families and to history were truly remarkable.

Candy Lightner

Founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
Candy Lightner, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers)

As the article above (from The Town Talk, 1985) says, Lightner’s teenage daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 1980. The organization has only grown since then and continues the fight to end drunk and drugged driving and offer support to those affected by these avoidable tragedies.

Abigail Adams

 First Lady

Abigail Adams is recognized as an extraordinary woman whose strong intellect, attention to politics, and fierce support for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery made her a true trailblazer. Public sentiment at the time shows similar respect for her hard work in every area of life…
Notable Mother Abigail Adams….and whose opinion can be trusted more than that of her own son?
Tribute to Abigail Adams

Irena Sendler

Mother of the Children of the Holocaust

A fearless woman who was as much a mother to the children around her as she was to her own, Irena Sendler risked her life to save thousands of others.
Irena Sendler

As an employee of the Social Welfare Department in Warsaw, Sendler had permission to enter the Ghetto to conduct inspections. Instead, she used her time there to smuggle out young Jewish children and babies in whatever ways she could, with the help of a small network of volunteers. Around 400 of these children were aided by Sendler directly, a risk for which she eventually paid when she was arrested, beaten, and sentenced to death in 1943.

Brave beyond measure

A friend bribed the guards to let Sendler go and she was freed…after which she jumped right back into helping those who couldn’t help themselves.

Of course there are countless more amazing mothers who could not all be mentioned here. Why not try a search today on Newspapers.com for other famous mothers or a relative? Or feel free to browse the papers—who knows what sort of interesting things you might stumble upon?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tip: Using Newspapers to Learn about Your Ancestor’s Life in the Poorhouse

Do you have ancestors who lived in a poorhouse? If so, newspapers are one of the resources you can use to discover what life may have been like for those family members.

Article about why many poorhouses are closing, 1938Alternatively called poor farms, county farms, or almshouses (depending on the region of the United States), poorhouses were typically run by counties (or sometimes towns) as a way to take care of people who were poor, old, disabled, or homeless and who had nowhere else to go. In Great Britain, such institutions were more often called workhouses. In the United States, poorhouses began to disappear after the Social Security Act was introduced in 1935, and they had almost totally disappeared by the 1950s.

It can be difficult to find records from poorhouses, so newspapers can be quite valuable in your research. Although individual “inmates” (as they were often called) of poorhouses are rarely mentioned by name in newspapers, you can typically discover quite a bit about the poorhouse they lived in from newspaper articles and piece together a picture of what your ancestor’s life in that poorhouse may have been like. (If you’re not sure if you have any ancestors who lived in a poorhouse, try reading this helpful article by Ancestry for guidance.)

If you know the name of the poorhouse where your ancestor resided, simply search Newspapers.com for the institution’s name to bring up search results. If you are unsure what the name of the poorhouse was in a certain area, use Newspapers.com to search the newspapers in the town or county (or even state) where the poorhouse was located using search terms like “poorhouse,” “county farm,” “poor farm,” or “almshouse.” You can then narrow the results by date range (such as your ancestor’s birth and death dates) if you desire.

If a broader look at poorhouses in America interests you, the St. Louis Star and Times published a series of articles on poorhouses in Missouri in 1922 and 1923 as part of a public awareness campaign to improve conditions in those institutions. Many of these articles paint a vivid picture of what some poorhouses were like at the time and can be quite eye-opening!

Get started learning more about poorhouses by searching on Newspapers.com!