Florida Secedes from the Union: Today in Headlines

On January 9, 1861, “Florida Secedes” appears in newspaper headlines.

January 9 in Headlines: Florida SecedesJanuary 9 in Headlines Wed, Jan 9, 1861 – 1 · The Daily Exchange (Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

The secession became official the following day, making Florida the third state to leave the Union after South Carolina and Mississippi. Nine more states would join them in the months that followed, and it would be seven years before Florida officially rejoined the Union again.

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com, or browse through January 9th headlines in the papers.

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“She Used to be a Flirt and was Getting Young Again”

This “aged mother” wanted to be the flirt she once was again, but her daughters found the cost too high. Found in the papers of 1910:

Mother spending too much on bonnets, parasols, and a young new husbandMother spending too much on bonnets, parasols, and a young new husband Wed, May 4, 1910 – Page 11 · Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey) · Newspapers.com

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com.

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From Frog-Snake-Slug to Rock-Paper-Scissors

Some things are so culturally ubiquitous that we rarely think to wonder where they came from. Children’s games fall under this category quite often (Ring Around the Rosy, anyone?). When you and a friend have to choose who gets the last cookie, what’s the go-to game of choice? Very likely, it’s Rock-Paper-Scissors, or, as it used to be known, Jan-ken (or Janken, or Jan Ken Po/Pon).

Japanese game of Japanese game of “ken” (rock, paper, scissors) Thu, Jun 30, 1910 – Page 8 · Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Blair, Pennsylvania, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Rock-paper-scissors (or whichever version of the name you use) went through many historical variations before it became the game it is today. The concept of a game where a hand signal can always lose to one and beat another is quite old, originating in China. Earlier versions used gestures for various animals, or simpler signals using the thumb, index and pinky fingers.

Transition from single-finger gestures to paper, scissors, stone signalsTransition from single-finger gestures to paper, scissors, stone signals Thu, Apr 9, 1953 – 28 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Today’s version has morphed from all of those to feature the familiar closed fist, flat hand, and scissor shapes. It didn’t appear in America until the 20th century, when Japanese immigrants introduced it in Hawaii. Today it’s as popular in the U.S. as it continues to be in Japan, and is a beloved go-to for all manner of disputes.

For example, these two girls…

Rock Paper Scissors solves seat disputeRock Paper Scissors solves seat dispute Wed, Jun 4, 1997 – 48 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Find more articles on Rock-paper-scissors and other similar games with a search on Newspapers.com.

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New Year’s Traditions Beyond Toasts and Resolutions

Toasts, resolutions, and kisses on the hour are some of the biggest traditions associated with New Year’s Eve. However, they are just some of many. Here are a few found in the Newspapers.com archive that you might recognize—and some you might not.

New Year’s Tree

This tradition sounds like a creative excuse for keeping your Christmas Tree up past its own holiday. But it actually originated as a separate tradition in countries like Russia and Turkey. It seems there are several ways now to incorporate this tradition into turn-of-the-year festivities. New Year's Tree

New Year’s Tree Mon, Jan 3, 1910 – 2 · Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vermont, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
This is a more goals-oriented approach: hanging your resolutions from the tree like decorations.
New Year Tree at LaSalle UniversityNew Year Tree at LaSalle University Tue, Jan 10, 1928 – 11 · The Times (Munster, Indiana, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Or you can set it up alongside your Christmas Tree with similar decorations.
New Year's TreeNew Year’s Tree Sun, Jan 6, 1963 – Page 83 · The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut) · Newspapers.com

Traditions Rooted in the Family Tree

There are also traditions that only appeared in America when they were brought over from much older countries. First-footing is just one example of these, a somewhat superstitious practice that originated in Scotland.
First-Footing Scottish New Year CustomFirst-Footing Scottish New Year Custom Thu, Dec 30, 1926 – Page 8 · The Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Sioux, Iowa) · Newspapers.com

Off to First-footOff to First-foot Fri, Jan 1, 1897 – 5 · The Courier and Argus (Dundee, Tayside, Scotland) · Newspapers.com

Festive Foods

What holiday would be complete without traditional foods? And there are several to choose from. You can go with a traditional New Year’s Cake originating from the Netherlands:

New Year's CakeNew Year’s Cake Thu, Jan 4, 1990 – Page 62 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California) · Newspapers.com

Or perhaps the 12 grapes tradition of Spain, still widely practiced today:
New Year's GrapesNew Year’s Grapes Mon, Dec 24, 1962 – Page 19 · The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Scott, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

Or the tradition of eating black-eyed peas, a tradition that hails from the Southern United States:

Southern U.S. New Year's tradition: Black-eyed PeasSouthern U.S. New Year’s tradition: Black-eyed Peas Wed, Jan 5, 1955 – Page 14 · El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, El Paso, Texas) · Newspapers.com

.There are countless more traditions, big and small, to go along with the passing of the old year into the new. What are some of the more unusual ones you’ve heard of?

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com.

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Lingering Leftovers? Here’s How to Use ‘Em

With all the feasting that accompanies the holiday season, there are bound to be leftovers a-plenty. This newspaper article from 1945 has some tips and tricks to help an “ingenious cook” use them up!

Use Those Christmas Left-Overs!Use Those Christmas Left-Overs! Thu, Jan 4, 1945 – 13 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.com

Have you ever tried any of these methods before? Let us know if any of these recipes or tricks find their way to your dinner table in the coming weeks!

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com.

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Boxing Day: Why is it Called that Anyway?

Ever wonder about the origin of certain words or names? Boxing Day, for example, may conjure up images of rope-lined rings and gloved fists. But where did the name come from, really? This article from 1936 sums it up quite nicely (with a tidbit about “Yule,” as well):

Boxing Day name originsBoxing Day name origins Tue, Dec 22, 1936 – Page 33 · The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) · Newspapers.com

Happy Boxing Day!

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com.

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“Treet” Your Cat for Christmas

If you are a fan of both Christmas and your cat, this one’s for you! A Christmas tree fit for a queen—or at least for a feline who acts like one. If you haven’t hung liver on your tree before….maybe now’s the time?

Cat's Christmas TreeCat’s Christmas Tree Wed, Jan 2, 1901 – Page 2 · The Tennessean (Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Maybe you can dress ’em up like Santa while you’re at it.

Do you have special Christmas traditions for your furry friends? Find more ideas like this one with a search through past papers on Newspapers.com.

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Mary Poppins Popping Up in Papers

Winds in the east, mist coming in, like somethin’ is brewin’, about to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, but I feel what’s to happen all happened before. -Bert in “Mary Poppins,” 1964

Mary Poppins is blowing in on an east wind this week in the form of a new film, Mary Poppins Returns. But her tricks and triumphs earned her a place in the land of imagination long before her appearance on the big screen.

Literary Appearance

It all happened once upon a time in 1934. The name “Mary Poppins” popped up in ads and reviews for a new children’s book by the same name written by P. L. Travers. The book’s whimsy and magic didn’t just captivate children, though, as evidenced by the glowing reports.

“Mary Poppins” affecting adults who are “mere children at heart” Sat, Dec 15, 1934 – 15 · The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

“Let Mary Poppins cure you of your humpy-dumps.” Sun, Dec 16, 1934 – 52 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Poppins Flies into Film

Thirty years after the first book was released, she made her grand appearance on the big screen. A concerned P. L. Travers avoided movie deals for years, worried what might become of her story in the wrong hands. But with the help of Walt Disney, Travers relented. It seems she regretted it later, but viewers did not—the movie was an instant success. (Reluctant fans of all things sweet and charming will enjoy this review, which satirically bemoans the presence of plot, talent, and cuteness in the film.)

The 1964 movie was also Julie Andrews’ screen debut, taken on despite her own nervousness about performing before a camera instead of an audience. She needn’t have worried, of course—her charming performance won her an Oscar for Best Actress in 1965.

Mary Poppins is EnchantingMary Poppins is Enchanting Fri, Sep 25, 1964 – 111 · Daily News (New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

The High-Flying NannyThe High-Flying Nanny Sun, Sep 6, 1964 – 103 · Daily News (New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Snippets of Success

The success of the movie prompted merchandise, fashion, a musical, more books and a return to “fun shows.” Travers even wrote a story-cookbook, full of recipes that she says Mary Poppins herself would have used.

Mary Poppins Pops into StyleMary Poppins Pops into Style Sun, Nov 1, 1964 – 61 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Mary Poppins musical revives Mary Poppins musical revives “fun shows” Sun, Apr 4, 1965 – Page 58 · Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, Brown, Wisconsin, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Both in words and on screen, Mary Poppins has become a beloved and unforgettable character. This latest film promises to be yet another magical success for her to tuck away into her endless carpetbag.

If you have any Mary Poppins experiences or stories, please feel free to share them in the comments! And for more articles on everyone’s favorite mysteriously magical nanny, try a search on Newspapers.com.

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Get Your “Tall Hats” Good and Glossy in Chicago

The up-and-coming city of Chicago had the latest innovations for shiny, squeaky clean tall hats. Check out the clipping below for the perfect meld of technology and fashion in this article straight from the papers of 1892:

A new electric machine polishes silk hatsA new electric machine polishes silk hats Thu, May 19, 1892 – Page 1 · Arizona Weekly Republican (Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona) · Newspapers.com

There are so many glimpses of the past like this one to be found on Newspapers.com—try a browse for more!

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Elsie Leslie: America’s First Child Star

Before the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the gleam of studio lights, and wall-sized screens, there was the stage. And just as with movies, the stage brought out the stars. Elsie Leslie Lyde (known as Elsie Leslie) was just one of these, but her youth made her special. She first stepped into the spotlight at only four years old, and within years had gained such celebrity that she’s now considered to be America’s first child star. Elsie Leslie . . . first child starElsie Leslie . . . first child star Sat, Jan 20, 1979 – 10 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

America's first child star, Elsie LeslieAmerica’s first child star, Elsie Leslie Sun, Jan 15, 1978 – Page 36 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Childhood Success

Elsie may have had her start in 1885, but it was her charming performance as Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1889 that caught the public eye. She then went on to star in Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper,” as stated in the article above.

Elsie LeslieElsie Leslie Tue, Jan 8, 1889 – 9 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Discovery of Elsie LeslieDiscovery of Elsie Leslie Tue, Jan 8, 1889 – 9 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Elsie LeslieElsie Leslie Sun, Jan 15, 1978 – Page 36 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Famous Friends

With Leslie’s fame came notable friends: the young Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and even Mark Twain himself, to name a few. She kept many correspondences with her friends throughout her young acting career and beyond.

Elsie's Famous FriendsElsie’s Famous Friends Sun, Jan 15, 1978 – Page 36 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Taking a Break

In the mid-1890s, Leslie took a break from acting. No one believed it would be a permanent retirement, however, and the public awaited her return with curiosity. Would the young starlet who captured hearts in her youth retain any talent as a mature actress? It’s a question that hangs over the heads of most child actors, even today.

Elsie LeslieElsie Leslie Sat, Feb 15, 1896 – Page 2 · The Chanute Daily Tribune (Chanute, Neosho, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Elsie Leslie rumored to soon return to the stage, 1896Elsie Leslie rumored to soon return to the stage, 1896 Fri, Feb 28, 1896 – 6 · The Press (Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

Return to the Stage

In 1898, newspapers announced Leslie’s return to acting. The young “Lord Fauntleroy” was now a lovely young woman, starring in roles like Lydia Languish of “The Rivals,” Glory Quayle in “The Christian,” and later as Katherine in “The Taming of the Shrew,” which she played opposite her then-husband Jefferson Winter.

Elsie Leslie as Katherine, Taming of the ShrewElsie Leslie as Katherine, Taming of the Shrew Wed, May 13, 1903 – 6 · The Sun (New York, New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

However, though her performances earned mostly favorable reviews, Leslie never quite recaptured the success of her earlier years. Not that she needed it—her childhood fame was said to have set her up nicely.

Find out more about this child prodigy with a search on Newspapers.com.

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