From the New York Times, 1901, the story of an escaped spider and the men it terrorized.
Unfortunately for the spider, mercy can only last for so long. The spider was crushed, but it didn’t go down without a fight.
If you’re interested in Nebraska newspapers, come explore the Lincoln Journal Star and some related papers: the Lincoln Star, the Nebraska State Journal, the Weekly Nebraska State Journal, the Sunday Journal and Star, the Courier, and the Lincoln Evening Call. Through these papers, you can go back more than a century in Nebraska history, with some stretching as far back as 1867!
The Lincoln Journal Star was formed in 1995 by the merger of the Lincoln Journal and the Lincoln Star, each of which had its own long history. The Lincoln Journal’s history was complex, with many name changes, buy-outs, and mergers over the decades. The oldest paper in the Lincoln Journal’s family tree was the Nebraska Commonwealth, which was started in 1867. Other papers on the Journal’s family tree include the Lincoln Evening Call, the Courier, and the Nebraska State Journal—just to name a few of many.
Comparatively, the Lincoln Star’s history is straightforward: it was founded in 1902 as the Lincoln Daily Star, and only changed its name once—to the Lincoln Star in 1921. Although the Journal and Star weren’t officially combined until 1995, they had published under a joint operating agreement since 1950 and had published a combined Sunday edition (the Sunday Journal and Star) since 1931 and combined Saturday and holiday editions since 1990.
If you are interested in Nebraska history, the Lincoln Journal Star and its related papers are a treasure trove of information. For instance, you can find an essay by famous author Willa Cather in the Nebraska State Journal that was published in 1891, when she was just 17!
These Lincoln newspapers are also valuable resources for finding your Nebraska relatives. Since many of these papers, especially the earlier ones, overlap in years they published, you are even more likely to find the information you’re looking for. For example, if you were looking for information on an ancestor who lived in Lincoln in 1902, the Courier, Lincoln Evening News (included under the Lincoln Journal Star), Lincoln Star, and Nebraska State Journal were all publishing that year, increasing the likelihood of finding your ancestor.
Get started searching the Lincoln Journal Star on Newspapers.com! With a Basic subscription you can access years up through 1922, or with a Publisher Extra subscription you can access all available years.
This page from the Chicago Tribune, published February 11th, 1900, shares a collection of memories gathered from prominent public members of the city. Some are sweet, some sad, some entirely indifferent.
Here, Rev Dr. J.S. Stone shares his memories of the valentines shared in his youth:
Denis Sweenie, fire chief, had some sweet things to say about a certain significant other:
Want to read the rest? Click through the first image on this post to get to the full page on Newspapers.com.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of the many historical black papers that we have here on Newspapers.com. These include dozens of papers that were either black owned, were geared toward a black audience, or dealt specifically with topics relevant to African Americans. Though some of these papers may only have a few issues available, they still provide a valuable perspective on the struggles, contributions, and everyday lives of African Americans.
Some of the longest running black papers we have on Newspapers.com are the Pittsburgh Courier, Washington Bee, and St.-Paul-based Appeal. Long-running newspapers such as these can be especially useful for tracking long-time residents of a city or for seeing how the community and its inhabitants changed over time. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in a specific time period that was historically significant to black history, such as the post-Civil War and Reconstruction era, you can browse through black papers like the Charleston Advocate, Maryville Republican, and Concordia Eagle.
The historical black papers on Newspapers.com cover a wide geographic area. Though many are based in the South, there are also examples from the Northeast, Midwest, and West. Wherever there was a big enough population of literate African Americans to support a black paper, one often existed (though many were short-lived), with black papers popping up in places you might not initially expect, like Montana.
Though a few papers, like the Weekly Louisianian, were geared to both black and white readers, most black papers focused on content that would be of particular interest to African Americans. The Indianapolis Leader, for example, covered society news from the local black community, and the Nashville Globe, in addition to speaking out on racial issues, promoted a middle-class lifestyle to its black readers, encouraging them to frequent black-owned businesses and buy homes.
Some papers were narrow in scope, concentrating on specific topics like slavery. Two anti-slavery papers you can find on Newspapers.com are the Liberator (established by famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison) and the Anti-Slavery Bugle.
Some of the black papers on Newspapers.com were quite influential during their heyday. In addition to the previously mentioned Washington Bee, some of these include the Lexington Standard, Kansas City Sun, and Richmond Planet. Others were more controversial, like the Broad Ax, which could be rather inflammatory. Papers that are especially useful to historians today include the Sedalia Weekly Conservator (for dealing with a variety of racial issues in addition to the news) and the Seattle Republican (for covering conditions for African Americans across the nation).
Black papers can be especially rich resources for finding information on your African American ancestors, as these papers often reported on people and events that white papers overlooked. So get started searching on Newspapers.com here.
Here’s a little quip found in The Cherokee Times, November 1922. A joke it may be, but it does have a certain poignancy to it.
Happy Groundhog Day, one and all! On this day in 1887, the first Groundhog Day was officially celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Since then this tradition has been both beloved and besmirched, but every year a groundhog continues to faithfully emerge in towns and cities across the continent and predict the coming weather based on his shadow. Or is he just walking around, being a groundhog? Up to you!
Below, for your enjoyment, a poem about the groundhog from 1891:
How did your grandparents, great grandparents, and even earlier ancestors celebrate Valentine’s Day? Through the eyes of newspaper readers of the past, we can transport ourselves back to earlier decades to see how affection was shown and sentiments exchanged on February 14.
An 1839 column in the New Orleans Daily Picayune quotes Shakespeare on the subject and discusses 15th-century British customs where “the first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on St. Valentine’s day, is marked as their Valentine for the ensuing year. “It notes another contemporary custom of “young people sending complimentary or satirical letters … accompanied with a carricature engraving” which numbered fifteen thousand posts in New York alone in 1831.
Parade magazine, published in the 9 February 1958 edition of the Long Beach, CA, Independent Press Telegram, wondered if “you know all about love” and offered a quiz with a more scientific slant to its readers. Even Dennis the Menace flustered his father that year by questioning the history of a day that tormented him as he received “about sixty million valentines.”
Loveland, Colorado, became “Sweetheart Town,” when the president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce realized the town’s postmaster was remailing valentines in the 1940s as requested by romantics in other parts of the country. He took advantage of the opportunity and notices of “Cupid’s Haven” appeared in newspapers around the nation in 1947, promising remailed valentines complete with the Loveland cancellation stamp.
Valentine’s Day commercialism was as prevalent in decades past as it is today. Publishers ramped up readership with enticing recipes for Valentine desserts in 1953, and promoted unusual floral fashion trends in 1941. Retailers used the sentimental day to increase sales. Ads offered everything from racy, spicy, sparkling cards for soldiers in 1863 wartime America, to televisions and telephones, not to mention dry cleaning services, in more recent publications. Who knew that in 1932 Montana, chiffon stockings could mend a broken heart?
Whether through Valentine’s Day sentiments of the past or via more modern traditions, love, hope, and infatuation monopolize our culture and our newspapers every February 14th.
Do you have ancestors or other family from the Tampa Bay area? Or are you interested in Florida history? Come explore the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), as well as the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times, on Newspapers.com!
The Tampa Bay Times, currently Florida’s largest paper, got its start in 1884 as a small weekly paper called the West Hillsborough Times. During the 1890s, the paper moved to St. Petersburg and the name was changed to the St. Petersburg Times, a title it would retain for more than a century. As the St. Petersburg Times, the paper ran twice weekly beginning in 1907, published six days a week starting in 1912, then became a true daily in the 1920s.
Perhaps the most notable figure in the St. Petersburg Times’ history is Nelson Poynter, who was at various points the Times’ general manager, editor, and majority stockholder. The Times’ flourished under Poynter’s hand, becoming the respected, Pulitzer Prize-winning paper it is today. Upon his death in 1978, Poynter willed most of the paper’s stock to a non-profit journalism school (today’s Poynter Institute), ensuring that the Times’ could remain independent and locally owned.
In 2012, the St. Petersburg Times changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times to more accurately reflect the geographical area it served. Then, in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times bought its long-time rival, the Tampa Tribune, which then ceased publication.
The Tampa Tribune, prior to its demise, had its own long history, dating back to the 1890s. In the 20th century, that history became interwoven with a paper called the Tampa Times (founded in 1893), which the Tribune purchased in 1958 and continued to publish until 1982.
All three papers—the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Tribune, and the Tampa Times—have recorded the happenings of the Tampa Bay area since the 19th century and provide a wealth of information on the history and inhabitants of the area. For instance, if you’re curious about Tampa’s famous Cuban cigar industry, take a look at this page from the 17 December 1922 issue of the Tampa Tribune celebrating the industry’s most productive year up to that date. Or if the region’s inhabitants are what interest you, take a look at these great photos from a 1941 state band competition that were featured in the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times).
Get started searching or browsing the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Tribune, and the Tampa Times on Newspapers.com. With a Basic subscription, you can access issues up to 1922; or with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues from later years.
This week in history, eleven Boston men commit one of the smoothest and most lucrative bank robberies in history.
It took almost two years of meticulous planning for the approximately 30 minute robbery to go off without a hitch. No evidence was left behind, no one was hurt, and the group made off with over $2 million—the biggest robbery in U.S. history, at the time.
The group agreed to leave the money untouched for six years to wait out the statute of limitations on their crime. It probably would have worked if one of the robbers, “Specs” O’Keefe, hadn’t been jailed on another charge. He got antsy about his cut, the group sent a hitman to keep him quiet, and he escaped with both his life and a deal with the FBI.
Six of the men were arrested with less than a week to go on the statute of limitations. Two more were caught a few months later, and the other two died before the trial began. All were given life sentences except O’Keefe, who received 4 years. Only $58.000 of the 2 million was ever recovered, and the location of the rest has since become a thing of legend.
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