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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The Courier-Journal

Do you have ancestors from Kentucky? Then check out the Courier-Journal on Newspapers.com!

Sample The Courier-Journal front page The Courier-Journal was created in 1868 by the merger of two Louisville papers: the Daily Journal (founded in 1830) and the Daily Courier (founded in 1844 as the Morning Courier). Before their merger, the Daily Journal and the Daily Courier were at odds with each other politically, particularly during the Civil War when the Journal was anti-slavery and the Courier supported the Confederacy. The first edition of the combined Courier-Journal was published on November 8, 1868.

The paper temporarily ended up on rocky ground in the late 1890s due to its vocal opposition to the Democratic presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan. When the historically Democrat Kentucky voted Republican in the 1896 election, local Democratic leaders blamed the Courier-Journal, and the paper lost advertisers and readers.

As the paper moved into the 20th century, it gained a reputation for supporting progressive causes, producing quality journalism, and standing by its sometimes unpopular convictions. The paper increased its coverage by setting up news bureaus throughout Kentucky while also emphasizing national and international news. It currently has been awarded 10 Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1918 and the most recent in 2005.

As the main newspaper in Louisville and an important paper in the region, the Courier-Journal documented the city’s memorable moments, such as the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, the 1890 and 1974 F4 tornadoes, and the Great Flood of 1937.

If you have ancestors or other family members from the Louisville region, try looking for them in the Courier-Journal. The Sunday social pages of the paper are an especially good place to look for mentions and photos of locals. The paper also has the typical lists of births, marriages, deaths, divorces, and more.

With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can view issues of the Courier-Journal from 1830 to 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues between 1923 and 2016.

Get started searching or browsing the Courier-Journal on Newspapers.com.

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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What Can You Learn from Classified Ads?

Today, a wide range of online resources are available to people looking to find items for sale or to sell items themselves—from Craigslist to Facebook and beyond. But up until about twenty years ago, they usually turned to one place: their local newspaper classifieds. Newspaper classifieds provided a centralized location for individuals to make transactions: buyers could buy, sellers could sell, job seekers could find employment, and employers could find employees.

Livestock not allowed in the streets; Australia 1859When we read classified ads in newspapers from decades and centuries past, it gives us a glimpse into what life was like in other times. For instance, one city government ad in a classified section of an 1859 Australian newspaper paints a picture of what the streets of Melbourne must have been like at that time when it notifies its readers that “all Cows, Pigs, or Goats found Straying on any of the streets of the city after Wednesday next […] will be impounded.”

Similarly, the plethora of ads in a Philadelphia paper in 1784 offering rewards for runaway indentured servants hints at the prevalence of this type of labor in the city at the time. One such ad offers a reward for a runaway “Irish servant woman, named Sarah Welsh,” described as being “of a swarthy complexion, dark brown hair, mixed with grey, pitted a little with the smallpox, has a reserved dark look, and a remarkable protuberance or lump on her windpipe.”

Classified ads can also teach us about social attitudes of the time, through the types of employees requested in job ads. Job ads were historically quite specific in the gender, race, or religion requirements for potential employees. For example one job ad in 1867 New York paper requested a “girl, Protestant preferred, to do general housework,” while another ad in the same issue asked for “a colored woman to do housework,” and yet another from that issue stipulated “an American boy, one that is strong and not afraid to work.”

If you’re curious about what life was like in the town or city an ancestor lived in, try looking through the local paper’s classified ads to gain interesting insights. Who knows? You might even find a relative’s name in one of the ads!

Get started reading the classifieds on Newspapers.com!

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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