Historical Headline October: The World Series

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Hurricane Photos
October is playoff season in baseball, culminating in the World Series at the end of the month. In its 110-year history, World Series teams have had their share of making headline news.

The first World Series championship was held in 1903. The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning five games in the best-of-nine series at Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in Boston. A few things have changed since then, including a name change to the Boston Red Sox, a different stadium—Boston’s beloved Fenway Park—and of course, a shorter best-of-seven series. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the victory which brought “great rejoicing in the City of Culture.”

A banner proclaiming “National pastime no more until end of world war” and “Boston Red Sox are un-crowned kings of 1918 season” tops a page in The Indianapolis News filled with headlines, game stats, and opinions about that year’s World Series. It would be Boston’s last 20th-century world championship. However, declaring “1918 is history” in 2004, The Hays Daily News in Kansas devoted an entire page to the history-making win with additional headlines of “Red Sox end years of disappointment,” “From cursed to first,” and “Boston fans celebrate first title in 86 years.”

The Great War was over in 1918 so the game resumed despite the previous year’s announcement. In 1919, the Chicago Daily Tribune sponsored an electric scoreboard on the front of the Colonnade building so fans outside the park could keep up with the action. In far-away San Bernardino County, California, fans could listen to the games and watch the electric board at the Opera House.

Path of the Hurricane
Those who remember their baseball history know that the 1919 World Series was marred by scandal. It was another best-of-nine series, this time between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. Known as the Black Sox Scandal, some members of the White Sox team plotted with gamblers to lose the series. The Tribune published the “Inside Story of Plot to Buy World’s Series” in their September 25, 1920, edition.

Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier in 1947, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that also made it to the World Series that year. Jackie’s mother flew East to watch him play. The Dodgers lost to the Yankees in seven games—their 11th World Series win.

In over a century of World Series history, there are a lot of highs and lows reflected in the headlines of home-team papers and in the sports pages of newspapers around the country. Catch up on the latest in historical headlines on Newspapers.com.

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Content Update – British News and Perspectives

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Tongues of FireIn addition to millions of editions of more than 1,700 U.S. newspaper titles on Newspapers.com, the site also hosts 41 titles published in England, bringing you over 650,000 pages of news from abroad between 1700 and 1921.

In addition to rather well-known papers like The Guardian and The Times—the two together making up the vast majority of our British holdings—there are lesser-known publications with much smaller runs now online. In the tradition of their day, these 18th- and 19th-century titles are inundated with large and enticing advertisements, providing today’s readers with entertaining insights into the products and fashions of the time period.

Some of the more eclectic and unusual titles include The Librarian, The Pottery Gazette, The Post Boy, and Tongues of Fire, the herald of the Pentecostal League. The Wife: A Journal of Home Comforts is not directed at the uxorial audience its title suggests, but rather is a diverse array of news concerning commodities, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is entertaining, too, as can be seen in this story of Henry Cheesebro’s battle with a 378-pound “maddened sword fish” off the coast of Connecticut in 1893.

The American Settler, from the early 1890s, is “a guide to British emigration and settlement in North America” complete with a column on American Humor. To give readers an idea of the scope of places to which they may wish to emigrate, the newspaper prints a handy map of the U.S. on the front page of every 8-page issue with a list of states and European countries according to area. Letters from heads of families that settled in California enhance advertisements drawing settlers to colonies with fine grape and alfalfa lands north of Fresno.

U.S. map ca. 1892In the Times, we see the other side of the War of 1812 in this letter written from Fort George to the British Secretary of War, reporting on the capture of Detroit. Or, we can read the British take on less weighty matters affecting Americans like Mary Pickford’s divorce and incidents of liquor smuggling during Prohibition.

Foreign and Colonial news is reported regularly in the Guardian, typically concerning trade and politics, with a bit of gossip mixed in for good measure. Occasionally, the United States gets top billing as in the beginning of this political report regarding strengthening the military armament of the country after the U.S. Civil War. Biannually, you’ll find indexes to items published in previous issues like these for January-June 1894 and July-December 1895.

In addition to giving us retrospective glimpses of bygone eras in Great Britain written in the language of the day, these historic papers, published abroad, provide intriguing perspectives of how the world viewed America, our politics, entertainment, military prowess, and industrialization. Take your journey back in time to another country via Newspapers.com’s British newspapers.

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September 1928: The Lake Okeechobee Hurricane

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Hurricane Photos
We’re in the midst of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. Eighty-five years ago, in 1928, before hurricanes were officially named, a storm known as San Felipe II, the Storm of ’28, and the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane killed over 5,000 people in Puerto Rico and Florida. The climactic climatic news filled our nation’s headlines. It remains the second deadliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

The hurricane hit Puerto Rico (spelled “Porto Rico” in the newspapers of the day) on Thursday, September 13, made landfall near Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, September 15, and continued to Lake Okeechobee where its impact was devastating.

Galveston, Texas, the site of the worst hurricane in U.S. history in 1900, reported early estimates of the death toll rising into four figures even before the full impact of the Lake Okeechobee flooding was known. A front-page article in The Indianapolis News on August 15, 1928, proclaimed “Lake Okeechobee Now Florida Sea” when Florida’s largest lake grew to become an inland sea when a storm surge breached a dike, a scenario all too familiar to those who survived Hurricane Katrina eight years ago. Early estimates of lives lost were under 2,000, yet current tallies put the figure closer to 2,500.

Estimates of fatalities in the Caribbean approached the same number. The Portsmouth Daily Times of Ohio reported that thousands were dead and as many as a million, or half the island’s population, were homeless. Famine was a very real concern. A descriptive first-hand account by a boy in Puerto Rico was published a couple weeks later in Maryland’s Denton Journal. Two months afterward, The Indian Journal of Eufaula, Oklahoma, reported that Americans raised $5 million in relief for the victims.

Path of the Hurricane
The Reading Times in Pennsylvania published photos from Palm Beach and San Juan, while The Indiana Gazette printed a photo of the hurricane “in action,” and a map of the path of the Porto Rico-Florida storm. By September 19, stories were flooding the dailies, with first-hand accounts of heroism and narrow escapes. Surely, however, someone could have chosen a less-offensive headline than “Among the Missing” for a story that followed this last, which appeared in The Bee of Danville, Virginia. It was a joke about a missing husband used as filler and unrelated to the storm.

Search Newspapers.com for news of how hurricanes and other natural disasters may have affected your family and the communities in which they lived. And, please stay safe this hurricane season.

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The Bee of Danville, Virginia

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In recent weeks, Newspapers.com has added over a hundred thousand pages of content to The Bee, published in Danville, Virginia. Editions of this newspaper now span a significant number of decades in the 20th century, from 1922 to 1977, and total over 200,000 pages

Society NewsDanville, an independent city located along the Virginia-North Carolina border, south of Lynchburg, was settled in 1793 and incorporated in 1835. Locate it on the map on The Bee‘s information page at Newspapers.com where you can also review sample issues, see who else is interested in the paper, and enjoy reading clippings made by other Newspapers.com subscribers with family roots and other interests in the area.

Like many cities in America, Danville’s population relied on its industries. Cotton and tobacco were the local cash crops, therefore tobacco news garnered headlines in nearly every issue. Anyone with family in the area will find society news of interest with announcements of weddings, births, and personal tidbits. Like most cities, Danville celebrated its hometown heroes, like these three men who saw action in Leyte in World War II and returned home on leave in 1944. Look for photos of your ancestors in issues of your hometown papers, too. Anybody know these May Day beauties at Longwood College in 1953? Plus, every town boasts a few well-known citizens. One of Danville’s most famous is Wendell Scott, NASCAR’s first African American race car driver, an accomplishment that introduced him to Hollywood notables, and on whose life the movie Greased Lightning was based.

Wendell Scott Nascar RaceHeadlines sell newspapers, so a front page typically displays plenty of intriguing headlines to capture a reader’s interest. Headlines below the fold on this 1938 front page caught our attention with provocative titles like “Dog Attacks City Assessor; Bites His Leg,” “Stolen Hen is Recovered Before Eggs Got Cold,” “Reopen Grave So Daughter May See Her Father,” and “Danville Woman Asks Gov. Price to Help Her Find a Husband.” In this last, a lonely 48-year-old Danville widow wants “to raise chickens and cuddle them up,” stating that earlier suitors “were not sober and had no regular job.”

Newspapers can be informative when we look for family history. In the pages of The Bee and other hometown papers on Newspapers.com, read about life events, catch a bit of trivia, discover a family photo or two, and learn what news affected your family on a daily basis.

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Tip: A Video Introduction to Newspapers.com

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Take five minutes and learn how to use Newspapers.com through a new video tutorial now available in the “Newspapers.com Basics” section of the Help Center.

The video explains how to navigate the site and reviews search, advanced search, and browse techniques. It also includes an overview of the clippings feature, how to clip an article, create a headline, share your discoveries with others, and save your searches.

Enjoy the video and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see in the next tutorials already in the planning stages. We hope this video presentation helps you make the most of your visits to Newspapers.com.

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Historical Headline August 1910: Motion Pictures Are Made to Talk

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Moving pictures become talking pictures
On August 27, 1910, the New York Times reported that Thomas A. Edison exhibited his new kinetoscope to a small audience in West Orange, New Jersey. It was reported as the first demonstration of his moving picture invention synchronized with sound.

The article noted that a man entered the frame of the film and as his lips moved the sound of his voice issued from the concealed phonograph. The illusion was reported to be “perfect” and Edison’s “plans for the future of his kinetoscope are boundless.”

Edison boasted that he would not be satisfied creating simple moving and talking picture shows, but wanted “to give grand opera” to people in “far stranded towns.” The next day, another Times reporter opined that the new invention would never “supplant opera and drama in its natural form,” but might increase demand “by cultivating the taste of the multitude.” Looking back now, over a hundred years later, the success of that point is debatable!

The Indiana Democrat mentioned Edison’s talking picture demonstration with a scant one-sentence report a few days later. The Springfield Missouri Republican marveled that the man in Edison’s film “dropped a dish or two and the crash sounded as natural as the real thing” and that the “experiment gave assurance that in a year the moving picture will also be a talking picture.” News reached across the pond to London where The Times reported that it “will soon be ready for general use.”

Moving pictures appear to talk with new invention by Mr. Edison
Talking pictures produced by Hollywood were still many years in the making, despite Edison’s hope for a speedier launch. When The Jazz Singer debuted in 1927, it revolutionized the film industry and notoriously upset things in the 1952 musical Singing in the Rain. In that fictional account, a man demonstrated talking pictures by getting quite close to the camera to say, “Notice, it is a picture of me and I am talking. Note how my lips and the sound issuing from them are synchronized together in perfect unison.” We can imagine it may have been similar to Edison’s 1910 demonstration.

Headline news of the past brings a fresh perspective to many things we take for granted today. Catch up on many more historic events by immersing yourself in the headlines and stories on Newspapers.com.

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Content Update: Going International

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This month we head north of the border to introduce you to recently added newspapers. While the greatest concentration of Newspapers.com titles are from papers published in the United States, there are currently 42 titles from Great Britain and 3 from Canada.

New PotatoesIf you’re looking for news from Ottawa, Winnipeg, or Chilliwack, you’ll find nearly a century’s worth within Newspapers.com’s virtual pages. You likely know that Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and that Winnipeg is the country’s gateway to the west, but you may ask, “Chilliwack? Where the heck is Chilliwack!?”

Located about 100 kilometers east of Vancouver, along the Fraser River in British Columbia, Chilliwack was a frontier town with a bit of a gold rush in the 1850s but it is mostly an agricultural area. It can best be appreciated through the pages of The Chilliwack Progress where, in its first issue in 1891, the salutatory message promised to serve the interests of the citizens in the “beautiful Chilliwack Valley.” It’s a community where a story about new potatoes can garner a column inch of front-page space a hundred years ago. Also featured, is an update on a poultry fattening station, how the city council took exception to a false report that “Chilliwack Doesn’t Want Any More Settlers, No Matter How Wealthy They Are” (it was “the other fellows” who said it), and a weekly feature with news of Chilliwack of Twenty Years Ago (that would have been 1893).

Wild and WoollyChilliwack may have felt isolated from the rest of the country as supported by a 1946 headline asking, “Where is Toronto?” Chilliwack’s championship cherry pie eating contest, won by an Ontario mayor and possibly “the smallest chief magistrate in Canada,” apparently made front-page news 4,000 kilometers away in a “special article,” with a picture of “the champ.”

Chilliwack didn’t often make news in Ontario, but when Prime Minister King visited British Columbia in 1941 to gain first-hand knowledge of Canada’s war effort, his attendance at a church service in Chilliwack earned a note in The Ottawa Journal on 30 June 1941. Closer to home, Chilliwack made wild and woolly headlines in The Winnipeg Tribune in 1949 as a man there was accused of good old-fashioned “cattle rustling.”

Explore all three Canadian newspapers in the growing collections of international news on Newspapers.com.

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Tips: Travel News and Vacation Plans

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People love reading about themselves in the paper. Gossip about others ranks right up there, too. Historically, vacation and travel information were regular features in newspapers around the country, especially in summertime.

Davenport Democrat
Let’s check in on a few of these “personals” columns to get news of vacation plans for residents of communities around the country in decades past. In an August 1890 issue of The Ironwood Times in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we learn that Florence Bassett returned from her vacation to Minnesota, and Dr. McLeod was heading there for a chicken hunt, after meeting up with his buddies John Ross and attorney George Hayden.

An entire page of The Galveston Daily News in July 1923 was devoted to “The Week’s Society in Various Texas Towns.” In this section, we learn that Dr. and Mrs. Norris and their little son spent a month in California before returning to Madisonville, TX. In the column next to it, we read that several people in Sealy “motored” to their destinations.

If you were picnicking and swimming at Stonewall Sportsman’s Club Lake in Ada, OK, in August 1962 and wondered why the Morgans were driving a blue car, you’ll learn that they had car trouble and had to borrow one. Those were the days when everyone’s business was a community affair.

Davenport Democrat
A hundred years ago, Floridians headed out of state on their vacations. Dr. Liken and his wife left the beach for a sojourn in the mountains before spending several weeks in New York City. Rev. Bowen, while vacationing in Kansas, wrote his wife that he “had really forgotten how disagreeable Kansas weather is” as it was 110 in the shade and dust was flying.

As people traveled a lot, there were obviously others ready to receive visitors. The Kokomo Tribune in Indiana reported on house guests, as well as reunions. Sometimes these help us find family relationships like when Miss Aseneth Hanson visited her sister Mrs. Billy Jackson, in the Oakland neighborhood.

Naturally, Canadians like to vacation, too, so it’s no surprise to find news in The Winnipeg Tribune under “At the Beaches” in August 1922 with a list of 15 families enjoying their summer vacations by the water.

Search for family surnames in locations your ancestors and their cousins may have lived. Add keywords—vacation, visit, guest, travel—if you want to concentrate your search on a particular activity. Or, simply browse the society or community columns for your family’s local paper on Newspapers.com to see what summer adventures they had.

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National Parks

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National Parks

Davenport Democrat
Summer is just a few weeks away, school is out in most places, and families have made their vacation plans. Many are heading to America’s national parks and historic sites. Called “the best idea we ever had” by writer Wallace Stegner, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916. But even before that, America’s most captivating scenery was preserved by the United States government for people from around the world to enjoy.

Yellowstone became the nation’s—and the world’s—first national park on March 1, 1872, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed the law providing for Yellowstone National Park. A day earlier, on February 29, 1872, the passage of the Yellowstone Park Bill was heralded by the New York Times, with descriptive phrases of the day like “no scenery in the world surpasses for sublimity that of the Yellowstone Valley.”

Twenty-two years later, in June 1894, the Davenport Democrat and Leader addressed poaching and land grabbing issues in Yellowstone. Despite America’s love of our national lands, disputes are omnipresent. One hundred years ago this month, the New York Times wrote about the controversy to provide water to the San Francisco Bay area by constructing a reservoir in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley. It wasn’t until 1934 that San Franciscans saw water flow into their city from Yosemite’s dammed reservoir.

Heading for GlacierWhile campers and automobiles are the most prominent vehicles in the parks, there are usually a good number of bicyclists, too, as was true fifty years ago. In June 1963, The Daily Inter Lake printed a photo of a biker Heading for Glacier with a spare tire over his shoulder. The paper had an edge for reporting Glacier National Park news, however, as it published from nearby Kalispell, Montana.

The Beatrice Daily Sun, another local to an NPS site, also reported in June 1963 that Nebraska’s Homestead National Monument was an important tourist attraction since with “no Grand Canyon” to draw people to the plains they had to come up with creative events and attractions.

Society and community columns in newspapers for smaller cities and towns often published details of their citizens’ excursions. In The Fort Wayne Sentinel we learn about Captain and Mrs. Kelsey’s 6-week vacation plans in 1918, including a trip to Yellowstone. When planning your summer vacation, check out your destination’s history through the headlines and articles in the online historical newspapers on Newspapers.com.

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Content Update: News from the Arizona Territory

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Basketball Team Shapes UpNewspapers published in 19th-century Arizona are among the newest titles on Newspapers.com. Of the 28 Arizona newspapers now available on the site, some of the new and updated include the Tombstone Daily Epitaph, the Arizona Weekly Citizen, The Arizona Kicker, and the Spanish-language El Fronterizo. The stories and advertisements within these papers reflect the location and era in which they were published, a very different place 125 years ago compared to today.

Take a trip back in time to the 1880s and ‘90s, when Tucson’s population was around 5,000. It was the largest incorporated town in what was then the Arizona Territory. Copper mining, land, irrigation in that arid climate, and livestock were making headline news. When the University of Arizona accepted its first students in October 1891, the Arizona Weekly Citizen included an account of the first day. The Tucson paper also published local and national highlights under a Telegraph headline in each issue.

Orchids To The Girl Who Can Manage To Get Them The earthquake reported in that May 7, 1887, edition created a new source of water for one lucky rancher in Tombstone. The Tombstone Daily Epitaph noted that “pure water is belching forth” from a newly exposed source on the Abbott Ranch, making it “the most valuable ranch in Arizona” if the water supply continued. Of course, being the infamous town of Wyatt Earp and O.K. Corral fame, businesses played on the town’s reputation in their ads. A few include the OK Corral Livery & Feed, a clothing store declaring they “Cheat and Swindle,” and stagecoach lines linking tourists and mail delivery to railroads and the rest of the country.

There are only two issues on Newspapers.com of The Arizona Kicker, also published in Tombstone, but the images of livestock with brands and owners’ names featured in the October 12, 1898, edition are interesting. In a ranching community, keeping track of stray cows was financially important.

Arizona newspapers can be browsed or searched as a group from this link: www.newspapers.com/place-arizona/. Catch up on all the newest editions and latest headlines through the New & Updated page on Newspapers.com.

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