Remembering 10 Classic Cars through Newspaper Ads

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

Any car buffs out there? If cars are your passion, newspapers are a great place to learn more about your hobby. You can find ads from a car’s first appearance and learn things like what the original price was, what the first selling points were, what unique features it had, and how car dealers, car experts, and the general public reacted to the car when it was first sold.

We’ve gathered newspaper ads from 10 famous classic cars. Take a look and let us know if you learned anything new

  1. 1908 Ford Model T adFord Model T. As the first car that was affordable for middle-class Americans, the Model T was a big hit as soon as it rolled off the assembly line in the fall of 1908.
  2. ’32 Ford Coupe. This car became a popular hotrod in the 1940s and inspired the 1963 Beach Boys song “Little Deuce Coupe.”
  3. '55 Ford Thunderbird  ad’55 Ford Thunderbird. The first of the Thunderbirds, the successful ’55 model emphasized comfort and convenience. The later ’58 Thunderbird was so popular it created a whole new market segment: the “personal luxury car.”
  4. ’57 Chevrolet Corvette. Corvettes are one of the most iconic sports cars, and the ’57 model touted a bigger V-8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and other performance-oriented options.
  5. ’59 Cadillac. First introduced in the 1948 model, tailfins hit their peak in the ’59 Cadillac.
  6. '69 Chevy Camaro adTriumph Spitfire 4. First sold in late 1962, the small, relatively inexpensive Spitfire was the quintessential British two-seat convertible sportscar.
  7. ’69 Dodge Charger. The ’69 Dodge Charger was immortalized in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard by the bright orange General Lee.
  8. ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. A classic muscle car, the ’69 Camaro had a sportier, more aggressive appearance than earlier models.
  9. '77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am ad’69 Ford Boss 302 Mustang. A variant of the ever-popular Mustang, the Boss 302 Mustang emphasized performance (rather than power) and competed with the Chevy Camaro.
  10. ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Another car made famous on screen, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was featured in Smokey and the Bandit.

Find more classic car ads by searching for the year, make, and model on Newspapers.com!

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Haymarket Riot: May 4, 1886

Haymarket Riot: May 4, 1886

On May 4, 1886, a bomb was detonated during a peaceful labor demonstration in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. The bomb and ensuing violence left seven policemen and a number of civilians dead and many others wounded.

Headline about the Haymarket Riot
The day before the incident at Haymarket Square, two striking workers had been killed at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company during an altercation with police. The following day, thousands of people gathered in Haymarket Square to protest the police violence and to listen to a number of labor leaders speak in support of better working conditions.

The gathering was peaceful and, due to poor weather, eventually dwindled to about three hundred people. When 180 policemen were dispatched to disperse the crowd, someone threw a bomb at the police. The police (as well as some in the crowd) responded by opening fire, and when things finally calmed down, one policeman and at least four civilians had been killed (six other policemen would later die of their injuries); numerous other policemen and bystanders were wounded.

Although the person who threw the bomb was never identified, eight labor activists were arrested and put on trial. Seven received death sentences, and the other was given 15 years in prison. Of the seven who were sentenced to death, four of them were hanged in 1887, one committed suicide, and two had their sentences commuted to life in prison. In 1893, the surviving three were pardoned by the governor based on the unfairness of the original trial.

Public opinion immediately following the Haymarket Riot generally landed on the side of the police. Because the eight defendants (and others involved with the labor movement) were immigrants and socialists or anarchists, the public increasingly saw the labor movement as a hotbed of foreign-born radicals. Anti-anarchist hysteria grew, spurred by the exaggerated accounts of many newspapers. However, for those within the labor movement, the Haymarket Riot came to represent the struggle for workers’ rights, and the event inspired many future labor activists.

Do you have any family stories about the Haymarket Riot or the labor movement? Share them with us! Or learn more about the event by searching Newspapers.com.

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Austin American-Statesman

Do you have ancestors from central Texas, particularly the Austin area? Or are you interested in newspapers from that region? Then come explore the Austin American-Statesman on Newspapers.com! Newspapers.com has issues dating back to 1871, the year the paper was first published. We also have issues of two related papers: the Austin American and the Austin Weekly Statesman.

The Austin American-Statesman got its start in 1871 as the Democratic Statesman, which was published thrice weekly. That same year, a once-weekly version of the paper, the Weekly Democratic Statesman, also began publishing (and would continue to publish under various titles until 1906).

In 1915, the Statesman (which by then had become a daily) combined with the Austin Tribune. Then in 1924, it was merged into a company with a paper called the Austin American, which had been around since 1914. However, the two papers continued to publish separately (except for a joint Sunday edition) until 1973, when they were combined to form the Austin American-Statesman. Today, the Austin American-Statesman is the main paper in Austin and central Texas.

Austin has long been a cultural, educational, and political hub, and this focus has been reflected in the American-Statesman’s content over the years. The paper has also traditionally had strong local and regional coverage, making it a valuable resource for learning about interesting and important events in Austin’s past. For example, you can read about the unsolved serial murders committed between 1884 and 1885 by a perpetrator dubbed the “Servant Girl Annihilator.” Or read about a dam collapse in 1900 that resulted in the deaths of 18 people.

The American-Statesman’s strong local coverage also makes it a great resource for genealogical research. Read about your ancestors’ births, marriages, and deaths, as well as stories from their daily lives, such as this piece from an 1883 issue about a local boy who narrowly avoided being killed by runaway horses.

Get started searching or browsing the Austin American-Statesman on Newspapers.com! With a Basic subscription, you can access issues up through 1922; or with Publisher Extra, access those early years plus issues from 1923 and beyond.

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7 Common Historical Newspaper Abbreviations
and Terms

Tips, Hints and Helps

It feels great to find an ancestor in the newspaper—whether it’s in an obituary, marriage announcement, or other type of notice. But sometimes historical newspapers used abbreviations and terms that are no longer common, leaving some of us scratching our heads.

To help you get the most out of historical newspapers, we’ve come up with a list of some of the most common abbreviations and terms:

  1. Death notices describing many of the women as relictsRelict – This term is used to describe a surviving spouse, often a widow. It comes from the Latin term “relictus,” meaning “relinquished” or “left behind.”
  2. Née – This term is French and means “born.” It is used to indicate a woman’s maiden name.
  3. Instant (Inst.) – This is used to refer to the current month. For example, a newspaper article published in December that says “12th inst.” means December 12th.
  4. Proximo (Prox.) – Essentially meaning “next,” this is used in newspapers to indicate the upcoming month. So “12th prox.” in a December newspaper would mean January 12th.
  5. Ultimo (Ult.) – This refers to the previous month. A December newspaper that says “12th ult.” is referring to November 12th.
  6. Old style/New style (O.S./N.S.) – These terms refer to dates that are either prior to approximately 1752 (“old style”) or after about 1752 (“new style”). This is because in 1752, Britain (including its American colonies) adopted the Gregorian calendar, which resulted in skipping 11 days that year. To make matters even more complicated, the first of the year was moved from March to January. So to remove confusion, newspapers around the time of the change included “O.S” or “N.S” to indicate which system was being used for the dates they provided.
  7. Example of name abbreviations being usedName abbreviations – Name abbreviations are common in old newspapers. Some abbreviations are merely the first few letters of the name followed by a period, while others are contractions (the first part of the name plus the final letter). Some abbreviations are derived from the name’s Latin equivalent, which makes them a bit trickier to decipher. Below are the most common name abbreviations:
    • Chas – Charles
    • Wm – William
    • Geo. – George
    • Jno – John
    • Jas – James
    • Thos – Thomas

We hope you found the explanation of these terms and abbreviations useful! Get started searching or browsing historical (and modern!) papers on Newspapers.com.

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Major Earthquake Strikes San Francisco: April 18, 1906



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<p>On April 18, 1906, at 5:12 a.m., <a href=San Francisco and the surrounding area was struck by a destructive 7.8-magnitude earthquake,
whose epicenter lay just 2 miles west of the city. The earthquake was quickly followed by massive fires that, over the course of three days, burned a large
portion of the city. Three thousand people would be killed, and half of San Francisco’s population would become refugees.

Images of San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake and firesWhen
the earthquake struck not long after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, most people were still in bed. A brief initial shock was followed by the main quake,
which lasted 45 to 60 seconds. In that minute, buildings throughout the city crumbled or sank into the ground, roads cracked, water and gas mains broke,
and thousands of people were killed, trapped, or injured.

It wasn’t just San Francisco that was affected; nearby cities such as Santa Rosa and San Jose were equally decimated by the earthquake, and tremors were felt as far north as Oregon and as far south as Los Angeles. A strong aftershock around 8 a.m. sent further buildings toppling.

The destruction caused by the earthquake was devastating enough, but within half an hour more than 50 fires had been reported in San Francisco. Despite the response of local firemen, some of the fires grew into massive conflagrations that burned through well-known neighborhoods, including the city’s downtown,
Chinatown, and Nob Hill. By the time the fires were finally put out on Saturday, 4.7 square miles, 500 city blocks, and 28,000 buildings had burned.

As a result of the earthquake and fires, more than 200,000 San Franciscans (out of a population of 400,000) became homeless. Initially, many camped in
parks or other open spaces, but soon many fled the city altogether—some
temporarily, others permanently. Organized relief efforts distributed food, water, and shelter to the refugees, and millions of dollars in aid and donations were given to the city.

The clean-up from the disaster would take two years, and rebuilding the city would take even longer. By 1915 San Francisco had recovered enough to host
the Panama—Pacific International Exposition. In some respects, however, the city never fully recovered from the earthquake: before the disaster, San
Francisco had been the leading city on the West Coast, but following it, Los Angeles took its place.

Do you have family members who lived through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the disaster on
Newspapers.com.

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Quad-City Times

If you have ancestors from southeastern Iowa or northwestern Illinois—or if you’re interested in the history of these two regions—come explore the Quad-City Times on Newspapers.com.

Newspapers.com also has a host of papers from the Quad-City Times family tree, including the Daily Leader, the Davenport Weekly Leader, the Davenport Weekly Democrat and Leader, Weekly Davenport Democrat, the Democrat and Times, the Daily Times, the Davenport Weekly Gazette, and the Democratic Banner. Some of these papers go all the way back to the 1850s, giving you more than 160 years of Iowa and Illinois history!

The Quad-City Times has existed under that name since 1975, but it was previously called the Times-Democrat because in 1964 the paper was formed by the merger of two papers: the Daily Times and the Morning Democrat (found on Newspapers.com under the Quad-City Times). The Daily Times‘ history was fairly straightforward, starting out as the Blue Ribbon News in 1878, before becoming the Northwestern News in 1879 and then finally the Davenport Daily Times in 1886.

The Morning Democrat, in contrast, had more than two dozen titles in its family tree, starting with a paper called the Democratic Banner, founded in 1848. The various papers competed, merged, and changed names over a 100-year period, until the Morning Democrat emerged as the sole surviving paper out of the bunch (at least until the Morning Democrat’s own merger with the Daily Times in 1964).

As its name implies, the Quad-City Times serves the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline), as well as the surrounding counties. The Quad-City Times, along with the earlier papers it grew out of, has documented more than a century and a half of goings on in the region. From big events (like the 1901 fire that burned 8 blocks of Davenport) to smaller occasions (like weddings and school excursions), these newspapers were there to capture local happenings, making the papers a great resource for finding stories about your ancestors or learning more about area history.

Get started searching or browsing the Quad-City Times on Newspapers.com!

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Find: Bigfoot Sightings in History

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

Frame from famous 1967 Bigfoot filmIf you think reports of Bigfoot sightings are relatively recent phenomenon, guess again. Accounts of creatures similar to Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, have been showing up in American newspapers for at least 200 years!

Take a look at these newspaper stories from the distant (and not-so-distant) past and decide for yourself whether you think Bigfoot is real!

  • Long-Island Star, 1818: “He is described as bending forward when running, hairy—and the heel of the foot narrow, spreading at the toes.”
  • Weekly Arkansas Gazette, 1851: “They were followed by an animal bearing the unmistakable likeness of humanity. He was of gigantic stature, the body being covered with hair.”
  • Southern Shield, 1852: “He is described by them as being about 7 feet 2 inches high, and covered completely with black hair, interspersed now and then with gray.”
  • Cincinnati Enquirer, 1895: “She was suddenly confronted by a naked giant, who sprang into the road in front of her horse, making savages gestures and yelling.”
  • Boston Post, 1895: [https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17486340/wild_man_account_1895/] “…that this being had a hirsute growth on its face […]; that it uttered a loud howl or yell, and with amazing swiftness leaped into the recesses of the forest.”
  • Florida Today, 1979: “…[saw] over 1,000 footprints ascribed to a crippled Bigfoot.”
  • Town Talk, 1995: “He saw three of the creatures staring back [at] him. The creatures appeared to be large stumps, but Bryant could discern heads and shoulders.”
  • Daily Record, 2012: “He looked like a human being with an ape head and had jet-black hair all over him.”
  • Detroit Free Press, 2016: “[The creature was] standing on two legs and looking back at him from the woods with glowing eyes. […] And it just casually turned to the left, walked into the woods and it met up with […] three others.”

And don’t miss these images!

  • Image of a frame from the famous 1967 Bigfoot film (from the Press and Sun-Bulletin, 1999), as well as a description of the creature in the film (from the Star Press, 1967)
  • Photo of casts of Bigfoot footprints (Decatur Herald, 1967)
  • Another photo of a Bigfoot footprint cast (Great Falls Tribune, 1967)
  • A map of 50 years of Bigfoot sightings in New Jersey (Daily Record, 2012)

Want to read more? To find further installments of the stories above, try checking the next day’s issue of the paper the story was featured in (e.g., if it was in Monday’s paper, check Tuesday’s). If it’s not in that issue, try checking the next issue that falls on the same day of the week (e.g., if it was published on Sunday, check the next Sunday’s issue).

Got any Bigfoot stories? Share them with us! Or find more articles about Bigfoot sightings on Newspapers.com.

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The Great Blizzard of 1888 Hits the Northeast:
March 11–14, 1888

Memorable Moments in Winter Olympics History

During the night of March 11–12, 1888, heavy rain falling across the northeastern United States turned into snow, heralding the start of a blizzard that would kill hundreds of people and cut off major hubs like New York City from the rest of the country for days.4.

Great Blizzard of 1888The weather had been warm and mild leading up to the blizzard, but a cold, snowy storm moving in from the Great Lakes region collided with a warm, wet storm moving up from the south, creating a blizzard that not only dumped 20–60 inches of snow but was also accompanied by hurricane-force winds and below-freezing temperatures.

The blizzard was at its worst on the 12th and 13th. The wind blew so hard that snow accumulated in drifts sometimes dozens of feet high. Trains were unable to run for days, telegraph lines were knocked down across the northeast, and hundreds of boats along the coast were sunk or beached. Due to the cold temperatures and whiteout conditions, people froze to death in the streets and livestock died in the fields.

On the 13th, while New York City was still in the grips of the blizzard, the New York Tribune described the previous day of the storm:

“The forcible if not elegant vocabulary of pugilism supplied the phrases which will, perhaps, best reveal to the popular imagination the effect of the storm that visited New York yesterday. New York was simply ‘knocked out,’ ‘paralyzed,’ and reduced to a condition of suspended animation. Traffic was practically stopped, and business abandoned. […] Chaos reigned, and the proud, boastful metropolis was reduced to the condition of a primitive settlement.”

The storm had mostly dissipated by the 14th, but the cleanup was only beginning. Mountains of snow had to be cleared from the roads and train tracks, communications lines had to be repaired, and debris blown around during the storm had to be removed. To make matters worse, when the weather warmed back up, flooding from the snowmelt occurred in some places.

The consequences of the storm made a big impression on local officials, and as a result, major cities like New York began moving their trains and communication lines underground.

Do you have any family stories about the Great Blizzard of 1888? Share them with us! Or find more articles about the storm on Newspapers.com.

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Lincoln Journal Star

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.

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Black History Newspapers

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

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.

The Hound of the BaskervillesSome 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.

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