We had an incredible year in 2019 and we owe it all to you –
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14.3 million clippings created in 2019
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Three months earlier, in October 1944, the Russian Army
broke through German defense lines in East Prussia, inflicting atrocities on
German civilians. Fearing the approaching army, thousands began to flee west.
The temperatures were freezing, and many suffered frostbite, exposure, and starvation.
In January 1945, the refugees converged on the docks at
Gotenhafen (today Gdynia, Poland) and tried
desperately to obtain passage on transport ships appropriated by German
officials. The Gustloff, which launched
in 1937 as a luxury
liner, was now transporting soldiers to western Germany but allowed
refugees to board as well. The ship was built to accommodate roughly 1,900
people but quickly filled beyond capacity as some
10,000 boarded the ship. Shortly after noon, the ship set sail.
Just beyond the Gulf of Danzig, the Russian submarine S-13
under the command of Capt. Alexander Marinesko patrolled the waters. On the
evening of January 30th, the sub surfaced and spotted the Gustloff
sailing in deep waters to avoid the heavily mined area closer to the coast. Suspecting
the ship held German combatants, Marinesko decided to attack. He maneuvered
S-13 alongside the ship until shortly after 9:00 p.m., when he ordered the
launching of three torpedoes. All three impacted
the ship’s port side.
The torpedoes exploded and the initial impact likely killed
hundreds. Startled passengers clambered to get up on deck and in the panic,
some were trampled, while others drowned as water flooded in. As the Gustloff
began to list, panicked passengers found the davits holding the lifeboats in
place were coated with ice and inoperable. In the chaos, young mother Irmgard
Harnecker clung to her baby daughter Ingrid. Suddenly, an
icy wave swept over the deck ripping the baby from her arms. Harnecker also
lost her sister in the tragedy. Another young mother had given birth to a baby
boy less than 24-hours earlier in the ship’s hospital. She named him Egbert
Worner. When the torpedoes hit the ship, she
ran up on deck holding the newborn but struggled to descend a rope ladder
to a rescue vessel. A nearby soldier called out, “give it to me, you’ll get it
back right away.” She handed baby Egbert to the soldier, but the lifeboat was
lowered before he handed the child back. She watched the ship sink and feared
her child was dead. “I was quaking,” she said. When she boarded a rescue vessel
several hours later, someone placed a bundle in her arms. Her baby had been
The award-winning Rutland
Herald in Rutland, Vermont, has reached a milestone that few papers in
America can claim – they are celebrating their 225th anniversary! We
are pleased to announce that we’ve added this collection of papers
dating back to 1794.
Herald launched as a weekly in December
1794 when George
Washington was president and just 11 years after the end of the Revolutionary
War. The paper had the goal of providing a “useful
and entertaining paper.” When searching early editions of the Herald,
keep in mind that during this era printers often used Old English text and a
letter called the ‘medial S’. The letter looks like an ‘f’ and is found
throughout early editions. For example, this
clipping from 1798 is an advertisement for the return of two apprentice
boys that ran away from their keepers or subscribers. The text, however,
appears to read “fubfcribers”.
In the mid-1790s, a yellow fever epidemic plagued the
eastern United States. The Herald reported that scores of people were evacuating
Manhattan and Philadelphia to avoid the disease. Cities along the eastern
measures to prevent the fever from spreading. About a hundred years later,
in 1894, Rutland became ground zero for the first
outbreak of polio in the United States. Dr. C. S. Caverly of Rutland
carefully tracked the disease’s progression and published
a paper to educate others.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Rutland Herald
published a letter asking the women of Vermont to sew white
linen cap covers meant to reflect harsh sun and heat and keep soldiers from
the Vermont 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments cool.
The paper also reported on 11-year-old Willie Johnston. He enlisted as a drummer
boy in the 3rd Vermont Infantry. In 1863, the Rutland Herald
reported that Johnston had become the youngest
recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroic actions taken during the Seven
In December 1936, Camilla
Warner reunited with her long-lost son 41 years after he was kidnapped and given
away for adoption without her consent. She called it a Christmas miracle made
possible by generous strangers across the country who were touched by her
In 1895, Warner, just 18-years-old, lost her young
husband when he died in an accident. Pregnant with their first child, she
worried about how she could provide for her son alone. She was also a new
immigrant, having arrived from Denmark just two years earlier. Determined to
keep her child, Warner got a job as a waitress and made arrangements with a
maternity home to care for the baby while she was at work. In exchange, she
promised to work for a year to pay her expenses.
When Warner went to pick up her son after work, they told
her he’d been taken
away by a man in a shiny carriage. A devastated Warner began searching for
him vowing that she would never stop. “Nowadays there are kidnapping laws, but
then the law of the six-shooter ruled Nebraska, she said. “I spent all the
money I had searching for him.”
Weeks turned to months, then years, and finally decades.
Warner never gave up hope. She later remarried and moved to California. In
December 1936, she had a
vivid dream where her son appeared to her. “He had a son with him. I said,
‘what a fine boy’ and my son kissed me,” she said. Later that day Warner found
a letter under her doorstep. It included an advertisement placed by a
41-year-old Nebraska man who was searching for his mother and a
note that asked, “Am I your son?” It was from Richard Douglas
Foster, the baby she hadn’t seen in 41 years. He too had been searching relentlessly
Residents living around the lake receive their mail
by boat, a tradition that began
in 1916 when roads were very primitive. The boat travels at a steady 5 mph,
while a “mail
jumper” jumps from the boat, races up the dock and swaps the incoming mail
with the outgoing mail before the boat has traveled out of reach.
Back then, Alexander Graham Bell and his colleague Thomas
Watson shocked the world when they carried on a 30-minute
telephone conversation from two
miles apart. Their newly invented telephones converted sound into electric
pulses that traveled along a wire connecting the phones.
of the telephone quickly grew and soon everybody wanted one. However, it
wasn’t feasible to stretch a wire between every set of telephones, so inventors
developed a telephone
exchange. Each telephone connected to the exchange by wire. To
place a call, a caller would pick up the phone and turn a crank. This illuminated
a light at the switchboard at the central station and an operator would plug a
wire into your jack and ask who you needed to reach. She then connected a wire
to the appropriate customer and sent an electrical current down the line to
alert them with a bell.
The history of Espanola dates back to 1598 when it was
founded as the capital of Nuevo Mexico. Some of the valley’s historic buildings
remain, including La
Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada, a church built in 1733 that is still in
When the Sun published its first edition in the
1950s, the population of Espanola was about 3,000. The first issues were
printed on an old
press that required single sheets of newsprint to be hand-fed
into the press one at a time. The population of the valley continued to
grow and in 1957, local churches
coordinated a door-to-door church
census intending to document every resident.
Genealogists and historians have lamented the loss of the 1890
census for more than a century. When researchers inquire about the 1890
census, their questions are quickly dismissed with the explanation that a fire
destroyed the records. The truth, however, is more complicated. The 1890
census records did sustain extensive smoke and water damage in two different
fires (1896 and 1921), but the damaged records sat languishing in a warehouse
until the 1930s when Congress ordered their destruction.
After enumerators finished the 1890 census, the Department
of the Interior stored portions in Washington D.C. in the basement of Marini’s
Hall. On March 22, 1896, a
night watchman discovered the rear of the building was on fire and notified
the fire department. Firefighters arrived to find dense smoke pouring from the
basement. Though they extinguished the flames before sunrise, the fire damaged
or destroyed the special
schedules for mortality, crime, pauperism, benevolence, special classes
(e.g., deaf, blind, insane) and portions of the transportation and insurance
schedules. The general population schedules, however, were safe and stored in
the basement of the Commerce Building.
On October 2, 1835, ongoing clashes between American
settlers in Texas and the Mexican government escalated
into an open rebellion called the Texas
Revolution, or the War of Texas Independence. Texas colonists led by Sam
Houston fought against Mexican forces led by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
of Mexico. The war resulted in Texas declaring independence from Mexico and the
founding of the Republic of Texas which was later annexed by the United States.
Additional battles were fought including the Battle of the Alamo, where Gen. Santa Anna’s forces overpowered a group of volunteer Texas soldiers occupying a mission near present-day San Antonio killing close to 200; and the Goliad Massacre, where more than 400 captured soldiers were executed by Santa Anna’s troops. The cruelty of the killings acted as a rallying cry for Texas troops who shouted, “Remember the Alamo!” and “Remember Goliad!” during the final battle of the revolution, the Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836. The battle lasted just 18 minutes. Texas soldiers captured Gen. Santa Anna as he tried to flee, and his army retreated south. Held prisoner, Santa Anna was forced to sign the Treaty of Velasco recognizing Texas as an independent republic. In 1845, the United States annexed Texas and it became the 28th state. If you would like to learn more about the Texas Revolution, search Newspapers.com today.
To see more headlines from Texas history, see our Newspapers.com topic page.