New Papers From New Jersey and Kentucky!

Do you have ancestors from New Jersey or Kentucky? This month we’re excited to announce additions to our archives from these states!

The Coast Star is a weekly paper from the beachside community of Manasquan, New Jersey. Our archives date back to 1899 when the paper was known as The Coast Democrat. The population of Manasquan was just 1,500 back then – small enough that when a local mother wanted to visit a neighbor while her baby napped, she simply called the operator and left the line open so the operator could notify her if the baby cried.

After the turn of the century, beach cottages, many belonging to residents of nearby New York City, began springing up along the New Jersey coast. In 1930, plans were made to dredge the Manasquan inlet and open the waterway for boat traffic. Residents soon found that bootleggers were using the waterway to transport booze (it was the middle of prohibition) and stepped up patrols.

The Ocean Star is published weekly in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, just a couple of miles away from Manasquan and serves the northern Ocean County area. It launched in 1998 and among other news, chronicled heavy damage along the New Jersey coast from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The Franklin Favorite hails from Franklin, Kentucky. Our archives date back to 1887 and are a valuable resource for research in Franklin and surrounding communities like Russellville, Richland, Price’s Mill, and Stevenson; and Northern Tennessee towns like Springfield and Orlinda.

The paper reported on local landmark Octagon Hall. The octagon-shaped home was built in 1859 by Andrew Jackson Caldwell and served as a refuge for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Caldwell’s son remembered Confederate soldiers camping in the yard. He also recalled the time a weary soldier needed a place to sleep for the night. The family took him in and soon discovered the soldier was Caldwell’s long, lost nephew! 

The Messenger-Inquirer is published in Owensboro, Kentucky. Our archives go back to 1890 when the paper was known as The Messenger. In 1929, The Messenger was sold to the owners of The Owensboro Inquirer. The two papers merged and became known as The Messenger-Inquirer. Now owned by Paxton Media Group, the paper has a rich history in Owensboro.

Like other Kentucky communities, Owensboro’s history is closely tied to the area’s distilleries, and Owensboro has recently been named part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Messenger-Inquirer also covers surrounding communities like Pleasant Ridge, Cleopatra, and Nuckols. The Neighborhood News column is a great place to search for relatives from nearby towns.

Get started searching our updated New Jersey and Kentucky archives today!

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Shackleton Sets Sail: December 5, 1914

On December 5, 1914, Ernest Shackleton, along with 27 crew members, set sail from the tiny whaling village of Grytviken on South Georgia Island. The expedition hoped to make the first crossing of the Antarctic continent. Instead, they encountered horrific gale winds and ice that destroyed their ship Endurance. The men spent nearly two years trekking across ice floes and struggling to stay alive. Miraculously, every man survived! This is the story of Shackleton’s expedition straight from the headlines as it happened.

Soon after leaving Grytviken in December, the Endurance entered the Antarctic ice pack and crossed the Antarctic Circle. In January, Shackleton spotted “200 miles of coastline and great glaciers discharging into the sea.” The crew had reached part of the Antarctic continent they named Caird Coast.

On January 18th, Endurance encountered gale force winds and ice closing in. Forced to take refuge behind a large iceberg, Endurance soon became stuck in ice. Unable to navigate, she drifted for 10 months. At one point, “the pack drove the ship towards a great stranded berg, and we were saved only by a sudden change in the drift,” wrote Shackleton.

Winter turned to spring, followed by summer. Still encased in ice, pressure mounted on Endurance. Her hull creaked and groaned, and by September her beams buckled. Unable to resist the pressure any longer, the sides of the ship opened up. Shackleton wrote, “Endurance hove bodily out the ice and was flung before the gale against masses of up-driven ice.”

Shackleton gave orders to abandon ship. Three lifeboats, dogs and provisions were lowered to the ice. The crew began a trek across the ice, but cracks and pressure ridges made travel precarious. The journey was “further endangered by the presence of killer whales, which would not hesitate to attack any man unfortunate enough to fall in,” wrote Shackleton.

On November 21st, the crew watched as Endurance sank. Relying on a series of camps, the men began a slow march toward open water. The crew survived subfreezing temperatures, hurricane force winds, and food shortages. By spring, Shackleton ordered the dogs shot and eaten. In March, they averted tragedy when a crack opened up separating the crew from their lifeboats. They managed to retrieve them.

After five more long months, they spotted land! Elephant Island appeared on the horizon. The men boarded lifeboats and reached the island after a horrendous seven-day journey. In a last-ditch attempt at rescue, Shackleton and five others set sail for South Georgia Island. They rowed and sailed 800 miles over two weeks in rough seas, bailing out water during the journey. Miraculously they made it. All attention then turned to the rescue of the men on Elephant Island. After three failed attempts, Shackleton’s fourth try was a success! On August 30, 1916, 634 days after leaving South Georgia, the remaining crew of the Endurance was rescued from Elephant Island.

To learn more about Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, search our archives on Newspapers.com!

 

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Canadian Collection of Newspapers!

This month we’re excited to announce that our Canadian newspaper archives are expanding! We’ve added several papers from publisher Postmedia Network and will be adding more pages and titles through 2019!  We have papers from Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find.

 

Parliament Burns – February 1916
The Ottawa Citizen

The Montréal Gazette: Founded in 1778, the Montréal Gazette is one of the oldest newspapers in North America. Though originally published in French, the Gazette has been English-only since 1822. Montréal is Canada’s second largest city and established itself early on as an important center for the fur trade. Our earliest issues date back to 1857 when the Gazette published this ad for fur coats made from beaver, doeskin or Siberian fur. This story printed in 1858 teaches readers how to care for and clean their furs. In the late 1800s, expansion on the St. Lawrence River canal system began. The river provided a water shipping corridor and the Grand Trunk Railway provided a land connection, enabling Montréal to undergo rapid growth industrialization. The Gazette recorded births, marriages, and deaths of many of Montréal’s citizens. It also reported on a tragic fire in 1927 at the Laurier Palace Theatre that killed 78 children who had gathered to watch a silent film.

The Calgary Herald: With issues dating back to 1888, we have papers chronicling life in Calgary for the past 130 years! The Herald was initially published in a tent at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers in 1883. Early on, Fort Calgary was established as an outpost for the Mounted Police. As homestead land became available, the population grew along with Calgary’s mining and ranching industries. The world-famous Calgary Stampede started in 1912 and celebrates that ranching heritage. In 1914, the discovery of oil at the Dingman well created a frenzy that died down as the First World War began.

Edmonton Journal: In 1903, around the time Edmonton got its first railway, three newsmen printed the first edition of the Edmonton Journal in the back of a fruit store. The population was just 4,000 back them, and the Journal has chronicled the growth for the past 115 years! In 1947, the Imperial Oil Company struck a rich deposit of “black gold.” The oil discovery sent the population of the city booming and cemented Alberta’s reputation as a province rich in oil and gas.

The Ottawa Citizen:  Royal Engineers set up a campsite in present day Ottawa during construction of the Rideau Canal (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In 1845, the Citizen published its first edition and 12 years later Ottawa was named Canada’s capital by Queen Victoria. Our archives begin in 1898 and cover notable events like the great Ottawa-Hull fire that destroyed a large tract of Ottawa and most of Hull in 1900. The “Social and Personal” column is a great place to search for historic news of your Ottawa ancestors!

Our Canadian newspaper archives are a great way to research your Canadian ancestors or Canadian history. Check back often as we’re updating this collection regularly. Get started searching our Canadian archives today!

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Town Unites to Honor Soldiers During WWII

During WWII, townspeople from Perkasie, Pennsylvania, banded together in a remarkable way to honor and support the young men and women from their community serving in the armed forces. In honor of Veterans Day and those who served, we wanted to share their story!

Servicemen's Edition News HeraldIn June 1942, Perkasie community members gathered at the local Fire Hall to organize the Perkasie Community Service Group (C.S.G.). After some discussion, the C.S.G. made a list of things they wanted to accomplish. They agreed to: send a weekly letter to every service member from the community; include a special servicemen’s pocket edition of the News Herald with community news; send each service member a dollar bill once a month.

The effort would require funding and donations. Members went door-to-door soliciting dimes, quarters and dollars.  Benefits and fundraisers were held. Members of the community were each assigned special duties. Some of those responsibilities included addressing envelopes or keeping the mailing list updated. Before the war ended, nearly 800 young people serving from Perkasie would receive 70,000 letters and more than $17,500 from the C.S.G. When a soldier didn’t make it home, the C.S.G. presented the family a Gold Star Flag and a letter of condolence.

Grateful service men and women loved the letters! Many sent expressions of gratitude to the News Herald. Richard E. Moyer was a 21-year-old infantryman who was wounded and sent home. He told the C.S.G. how he and 8 buddies spent months isolated in the Italian war theatre. “No mail, no nothing,” he said, “not even pay reached us for months.” Finally, when communications were re-established, Moyer received a backlog of 196 pieces of mail, but still no paychecks. “Among them were five C.S.G. letters with a buck each. As I opened one, the bill fell out and my buddies gasped ‘real money’, and asked whether my dad sent it. As I continued to open mail and find more dollars, I explained that all the kids from my home-town get a buck-a-month from the community, and my buddies decided they came from the wrong town. We had a glorious time spending the first five dollars we saw in months,” Moyer said.

Sgt. Howard Krout received his letter from the C.S.G., but two bills had inadvertently been placed in the envelope. Several weeks later he returned the extra dollar to the C.S.G. with the explanation, “two bills were sticking together, and I knew that I am entitled to only one.”

Another recipient was 21-year-old seaman Wilbur F. Hendricks. He kept these pocket edition newspapers long after the war ended. Upon his death in 2007, his family donated the newspapers to the Perkasie Historical Society in his honor. His collection is now digitized and available to view for the first time here.

Newspapers.com salutes veterans like Richard Moyer, Howard Krout, and Wilbur Hendricks; and we salute the Perkasie community. How did your hometown support the troops during WWII? Search our archives today to learn more!

 

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World War I Ends: November 11, 1918

WWI Ends!

WWI Ends! Mon, Nov 11, 1918 – 1 · Chicago Tribune

On the morning of November 11, 1918, at 1:55 A.M., the telephone rang at the offices of the Chicago Tribune. An Associated Press operator delivered a news flash with the short message, “Armistice Signed,” and then hung up. Fifty minutes later, the U.S. State Department released the official announcement: Effective this morning at 6:00 A.M. ET, the world war officially ends. An Armistice signed by Germany in the 11th month, on the 11th day, and in the 11th hour of 1918 brought an end to the fighting in WWI. 

In France, thousands of American heavy guns fired parting shots at that exact moment. WWI, also known as the Great War, resulted in more than 37 million military casualties and 8.5 million deaths worldwide. American Expeditionary Force (AEF) casualties numbered 323 thousand with nearly 117 thousand deaths. 

As the news broke, a sleepy nation woke to celebrate! In Chicago, US Navy men (nicknamed Jackies) poured into the streets cheering. News reached the West coast just before midnight. Fireworks summoned residents in Oakland, California, to a party downtown! 

With the fighting over, transporting troops home became the next big logistical challenge. Most soldiers made it home within a year, but a few thousand didn’t return until 1920. Every available ship, and a few seized German ships, helped to “bring the boys home!” 

All over the country, communities held celebrations. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, 50,000 citizens greeted returning soldiers with a confetti parade. 

Not all the boys were coming home whole. The physical and emotional trauma suffered by the sick and wounded was astonishing. Legislation like the Adjusted Compensation Act; the Soldier Rehabilitation Act of 1918 (that provided prostheses for those who lost limbs); and the organization of the American Legion sought to help returning soldiers. 

Among the many injured were Pvt. Anthony Kulig, 24, who spent 19 months at Walter Reed Hospital recovering from an amputated arm, a knee injury, and 52 wounds on his body. First Lt. John W. McManigal chronicled his injuries and others he observed during his time as a POW in a dramatic five-part series printed in the Kansas Democrat in 1919. He recalled one soldier in a POW hospital having both legs amputated without any anesthetic. 

The development of an improved veteran healthcare system is just one of the legacies left to future military generations by WWI veterans. Do you have an interest in military history or have ancestors that fought in WWI? How did your hometown celebrate the Armistice? Tell us about it and search our archives at Newspapers.com!

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Newspaper Highlights: Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois and Iowa!

This month we’re excited to highlight a few of our papers by publisher Lee Enterprises. If you have roots in Wisconsin, North Dakota, or the quad cities of northwest Illinois and southeast Iowa, these newspaper archives are a valuable resource!

Special Midnight Fire Edition - October 16, 1908
Wisconsin State Journal: In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state. That same year, printer turned publisher David Atwood purchased a small paper called the Wisconsin Express that would later become the Wisconsin State Journal. We have issues of the State Journal dating back to 1852! The State Journal has chronicled news, births, deaths, anniversaries and community news from the greater Madison area for more than 175 years!

One story that shocked the nation happened in 1914. Noted architect and Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright built his famous home Taliesin outside Madison in Spring Green. The home was the scene of a brutal mass murder when a deranged servant murdered Wright’s companion Mamah Borthwick, her two children, and four others at Taliesin by setting fire to the house and then killing the occupants with an ax as they tried to escape.

Bismarck Tribune: In the 1870s, railroads were given land grants to expand the rail system into the Dakota territory. In June 1873, the first train rolled into Bismarck carrying a hand-set press. Within a month, the first edition of the Bismarck Tribune was published. In this introduction in the first issue, the paper urged citizens to support it and help bring prosperity to the tiny settlement. The Bismarck Tribune is the oldest paper still published in North Dakota. It advocated for the relocation of the Territorial Capital from Yankton to Bismarck, and then lobbied aggressively for statehood. The paper recorded notable events like the fire of 1898 when flames raced through downtown buildings constructed of wood; or the floods in 1952 when snowmelt and ice backed up causing major damage in the city.

The Rock Island Argus and The Dispatch: The archives for these two papers (that later combined to form the Dispatch-Argus) are a great resource for anyone with roots along the Mississippi River in the quad cities of Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois; and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. The Rock Island Argus gets its name from the largest island in the Mississippi River (now known as Arsenal Island) and is one of Illinois’ oldest papers. We have issues that date back to 1855, about the time the railroad expanded to the island. This clipping from 1859, urges residents to play an active role in bringing industry to town. The island housed a fort, and later an arsenal, and was a hub of activity during the World Wars. Clippings like this one from 1863 listing citizens who have a letter to claim at the Post Office are a great way to research ancestors who lived on Rock Island.

A few miles from Rock Island lies Moline, Illinois – home to The Dispatch with papers dating back to 1894. The paper recorded the dramatic fire that ignited in the psychiatric ward of Mercy Hospital, known as St. Elizabeth’s, in 1950. Frantic patients trapped behind windows locked shut by rusty bars fought to escape. Before it was over, 41 lost their lives.

To see these newspapers and other titles, search our archives at Newspapers.com!

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October 1918: Outbreak of Spanish Flu Kills Millions

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

In 1918, the most severe pandemic in recent history spread across the globe. The Spanish flu, or the H1N1 virus, infected 500 million people (about a third of the world’s population). Before it was over, about 40 million people died worldwide!

Spanish Flu Pandemic
The Spanish flu arrived in three waves. It initially appeared in the spring of 1918. The first wave was mild. Symptoms included chills, fever and fatigue, but those infected recovered relatively quickly. By fall, however, the virus took a dramatic turn. The second wave was deadly, especially for people ages 20 to 40. In addition to the sudden onset of earlier flu symptoms, many developed a virulent strain of pneumonia. Their lungs filled with fluid and many victims died within hours or days after coming down with symptoms. The third wave hit that winter, and by the spring of 1919 the virus had run its course.

Though the origin of the virus is not known, it arrived during WWI, when troop movements and the living conditions in military camps helped it to spread. Governments were slow to report on the flu’s severity, for fear it could be seen as a military weakness. But when the flu arrived in neutral Spain, newspapers reported widely on it. As a result, the virus became known as the Spanish flu. It even infected the King of Spain. When it was over, the Spanish flu killed more than the war did. In fact, of the US soldiers who died in Europe, half of them died from flu and not the enemy.

Back on the home front, in an effort to contain the wildfire-like spread of the flu, gatherings of all types were cancelled, weddings and meetings postponed, and churches shuttered. Schools closed, prompting The Nebraska State Journal to offer students cash prizes for the best written entries on how they were spending their school break.

Unsure how to best combat the spread of the virus, Health Departments advocated fresh air as cure. Restaurants advertised new sterilization techniques, movie theaters required patrons to spread out with empty seats and rows, and drug stores advertised remedies to keep the flu away. Eventually many public gathering places closed altogether.

The human toll of the pandemic was astonishing. Children everywhere were left orphaned when parents succumbed to the virus. Families buried their loved ones one by one. Hospitals were overcrowded and undertakers and coffin makers were unable to keep up with demand. Homes of the sick were quarantined and family members often too sick to care for one another. Officials discouraged gatherings of any type, including funerals. Only close family members could attend the funerals of loved ones, and funerals were limited to 15 minutes!

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 affected everyone in some way. One-quarter of the country became infected and 675,000 Americans lost their lives to the virus. How did it impact your family tree? If you would like to learn more about this pandemic, search our archives today!

Search our archives today to find the obituary for your ancestor!

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The Peshtigo Fire: October 8, 1871

The Peshtigo Fire: October 8, 1871

The deadliest forest fire in American history swept through Northeast Wisconsin on October 8, 1871. The Peshtigo fire, named after the small town it obliterated, claimed 1200 lives. The Peshtigo fire has been somewhat ignored by history because it started the same day as the great Chicago fire.

Painting from Peshtigo Fire Museum
It was an unusually dry summer that year. Small fires used to clear land for farming and railroads had been smoldering, but didn’t cause alarm. That all changed on the evening of October 8th. As parents tucked their children into bed, an ominous rumbling “like the distant roaring of the sea or like a coming storm” had them nervously scanning the horizon. In the distance they could see the glow of a fire. The winds were picking up, but residents still had no idea what was approaching.

About 10 p.m., hurricane force winds, accompanied by lightning, blew into town. Gusts that preceded the firestorm ripped roofs from houses and felled large trees. Alarmed residents ran to investigate and witnessed a huge inferno, described as a tornado of flame, bearing down.

The Guardian, reported that “The wind blew with such tremendous violence that people endeavoring to escape were lifted from their feet and blown into burning houses. The wind blew super-heated clouds of sand on to those running to escape. Each grain burning and blistering.”

Those that could, began a mad dash to the river. Mothers, unable to make it to the water, tried desperately to protect their children from the flames. The fire was an “oxygen-sucking firestorm” whose power has been compared to an atomic bomb. Residents, unable to outrun the fire, burst into flames. Those that did reach the river encountered frightened livestock that trampled over them. Burning logs floated on the river’s surface. Once immersed in the river, faces of those trying to escape were badly burned each time they surfaced for air. Some, unable to make it to the river, jumped in wells to escape the flames. The intense heat caused the water to boil, killing them. Within two hours the town was reduced to ashes.

When relief workers entered Peshtigo after the fire, they found the town and surrounding woods littered with burned bodies. As the magnitude of destruction became apparent, people from surrounding towns stepped up to care for survivors. Those who managed to survive the flames lost everything. Today, Peshtigo is rebuilt and thriving, and as the Green Bay Press-Gazette says, is “Truly reborn from the ashes.”

If you would like to learn more about the Peshtigo fire, or have ancestors from that area, search our archives at Newspapers.com to learn more!

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