The Courier-Journal

Do you have ancestors from Kentucky? Then check out the Courier-Journal on Newspapers.com!

Sample The Courier-Journal front page The Courier-Journal was created in 1868 by the merger of two Louisville papers: the Daily Journal (founded in 1830) and the Daily Courier (founded in 1844 as the Morning Courier). Before their merger, the Daily Journal and the Daily Courier were at odds with each other politically, particularly during the Civil War when the Journal was anti-slavery and the Courier supported the Confederacy. The first edition of the combined Courier-Journal was published on November 8, 1868.

The paper temporarily ended up on rocky ground in the late 1890s due to its vocal opposition to the Democratic presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan. When the historically Democrat Kentucky voted Republican in the 1896 election, local Democratic leaders blamed the Courier-Journal, and the paper lost advertisers and readers.

As the paper moved into the 20th century, it gained a reputation for supporting progressive causes, producing quality journalism, and standing by its sometimes unpopular convictions. The paper increased its coverage by setting up news bureaus throughout Kentucky while also emphasizing national and international news. It currently has been awarded 10 Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1918 and the most recent in 2005.

As the main newspaper in Louisville and an important paper in the region, the Courier-Journal documented the city’s memorable moments, such as the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, the 1890 and 1974 F4 tornadoes, and the Great Flood of 1937.

If you have ancestors or other family members from the Louisville region, try looking for them in the Courier-Journal. The Sunday social pages of the paper are an especially good place to look for mentions and photos of locals. The paper also has the typical lists of births, marriages, deaths, divorces, and more.

With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can view issues of the Courier-Journal from 1830 to 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues between 1923 and 2016.

Get started searching or browsing the Courier-Journal on Newspapers.com.

What Can You Learn from Classified Ads?

Today, a wide range of online resources are available to people looking to find items for sale or to sell items themselves—from Craigslist to Facebook and beyond. But up until about twenty years ago, they usually turned to one place: their local newspaper classifieds. Newspaper classifieds provided a centralized location for individuals to make transactions: buyers could buy, sellers could sell, job seekers could find employment, and employers could find employees.

Livestock not allowed in the streets; Australia 1859When we read classified ads in newspapers from decades and centuries past, it gives us a glimpse into what life was like in other times. For instance, one city government ad in a classified section of an 1859 Australian newspaper paints a picture of what the streets of Melbourne must have been like at that time when it notifies its readers that “all Cows, Pigs, or Goats found Straying on any of the streets of the city after Wednesday next […] will be impounded.”

Similarly, the plethora of ads in a Philadelphia paper in 1784 offering rewards for runaway indentured servants hints at the prevalence of this type of labor in the city at the time. One such ad offers a reward for a runaway “Irish servant woman, named Sarah Welsh,” described as being “of a swarthy complexion, dark brown hair, mixed with grey, pitted a little with the smallpox, has a reserved dark look, and a remarkable protuberance or lump on her windpipe.”

Classified ads can also teach us about social attitudes of the time, through the types of employees requested in job ads. Job ads were historically quite specific in the gender, race, or religion requirements for potential employees. For example one job ad in 1867 New York paper requested a “girl, Protestant preferred, to do general housework,” while another ad in the same issue asked for “a colored woman to do housework,” and yet another from that issue stipulated “an American boy, one that is strong and not afraid to work.”

If you’re curious about what life was like in the town or city an ancestor lived in, try looking through the local paper’s classified ads to gain interesting insights. Who knows? You might even find a relative’s name in one of the ads!

Get started reading the classifieds on Newspapers.com!

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire and in about half an hour killed 146 people, the majority of them young women. It remains one of the deadliest workplace disasters in U.S. history.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire headlinesThe Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was a sweatshop housed in the top three floors of a 10-story brick building in New York City. The factory was one of the top producers in the country of women’s shirtwaists, and it employed hundreds of workers, mostly young women in their teens and twenties who were Italian or Russian Jewish immigrants.

On March 25, a Saturday, workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory prepared to leave at the end of the day. Employees of other businesses in the building had mostly all already gone home. Around quitting time, smoke was spotted coming from a rag bin beneath a cutting table on the eighth floor at about 4:45 p.m. Workers tried to put out the fire, but it spread too quickly and soon traveled through the elevator shafts and shattered windows to the upper floors.

Workers on the eighth floor tried to escape via the two passenger elevators [https://www.newspapers.com/clip/8830401/elevator_operator_saves_fire_victims/] and two stairwells, and many succeeded. Likewise, many of the workers on the tenth floor were able to evacuate to the roof, where they crossed via ladder to a neighboring building.

The workers on the ninth floor, however, had a much harder time evacuating. The door to one of the stairwells was locked, and the other stairwell quickly became impassible due to smoke and fire. Some tried to use the fire escape, but it soon collapsed under the weight of too many people. Others tried to jump down the elevator shafts, and while some survived this, many others did not. As the fire intensified, dozens of workers began jumping out of the windows, dying upon impact on the ground below, despite the attempts of onlookers to catch them with life nets.

Though the fire department arrived quickly, their ladders only reached the sixth floor, and the fire burned too quickly for them to save many of the people trapped inside. Within about half an hour, the fire was put out, but of the approximately 500 people who worked at the factory that day, 146 died—in the fire, from smoke inhalation, or from jumping [] to their deaths.

The tragedy proved the impetus for reform, and legislation was passed in New York that improved safety and fire regulations. Although the owners of the factory were put on trial (for the locked door on the ninth floor), there was not enough evidence to prove guilt and they were acquitted.

Learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire by searching Newspapers.com.

The Guardian

Newspapers.com now has issues of the Guardian, one of the United Kingdom’s leading national papers! With issues dating back to 1821, you can explore nearly 200 years of British news and history.

Sample The Guardian front pageThe Guardian was founded in 1821 in the industrial city of Manchester, where the paper would remain (as the Manchester Guardian) until the 1960s, when it moved to London. The paper first began with weekly issues (and later twice weekly issues), since a tax on newspapers made it too costly to publish more frequently. But after about 30 years, after the government dropped the tax, the Guardian began publishing daily in 1855.

Originally founded as left-leaning paper, the paper temporarily shifted right in its early years, before returning to the left, where it remains today (in the center-left). Though it was long an important regional paper, the Guardian first gained its reputation nationally and internationally during the 57-year tenure of editor C.P. Scott, which began in 1872.

The Guardian remains internationally respected today and is particularly known for its investigative journalism. The Guardian has been owned by a trust (now a limited company) since 1936, which allows the paper to maintain its financial and editorial independence. After the paper’s move to London in 1964, it faced greater competition and financial challenges, but a series of innovations and redesigns in the 1970s and ’80s (and in the decades since) allowed the Guardian to maintain its status as a leading national paper of the UK.

Since the Guardian was long based in Manchester, the paper can be a good resource for finding ancestors from that area, particularly if they were involved in any news-worthy events. Even if you don’t find mentions of your relatives, the Guardian is rich in information about what was going on in Manchester (and later, London) and the rest of the nation, enabling you to learn about local and national events that may have affected your family members.

With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can view issues of the Guardian from 1821 to 1900; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, view those early years plus issues from 1901 to 2003. Issues of the Guardian’s sister paper, the Observer, are also available (1791–1900 with a Basic subscription; 1791–2003 with Publisher Extra).

“War Time” Daylight Saving Begins: February 9, 1942

U.S. Presidential Inauguration: January 20, 2017

On February 9, 1942, “War Time”—a year-round daylight saving time—began in the United States. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the year-round daylight saving time required that clocks be moved ahead one hour for the remainder of the war as a national defense measure to conserve energy.

Missouri votes on daylight saving time, 1947America first implemented a partial-year daylight saving time in March 1918, during World War I, and though there was popular support for the wartime measure, there was also disapproval, primarily from farmers and the railroads. The national daylight saving time was repealed after the war ended, but it continued on at the local level, especially in the North, East, and parts of the Midwest.

A national daylight saving time was again implemented during World War II, but this time, rather than lasting only part of the year, daylight saving time lasted all year. The purpose of “War Time,” as this form of daylight saving time was called, was to conserve power and provide extra daylight for war industries to increase production. As with World War I, after World War II ended, the national daylight saving time was quickly repealed, but it remained a local issue, with each state, city, and even business deciding whether it would adopt daylight saving time or not.

This patchwork form of daylight saving time caused much inconvenience and confusion, and in 1966 a national law was signed calling for daylight saving time to fall from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October, with the option for states to exempt themselves. The energy crisis of the 1970s once again prompted the adoption of a year-round daylight saving time beginning in January 1974, but it actually only lasted 10 months, as legislation was signed adjusting yet again the time period of daylight saving time.

Another bill was signed in 1986 that moved daylight saving time to the period from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday of October. This remained the law for many years until the most recent daylight saving legislation, implemented in 2007, set daylight saving time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

Daylight saving time has remained a contentious issue in the United States ever since it was first implemented during World War I, as people debate its effect on energy, safety, farming, and much more. However, most of the United States now follows daylight saving time, with the exception of Arizona, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories.

Want to learn more about the history of daylight saving time? Start a search on Newpapers.com!

800+ Newspapers Added in 2016!

2016 was a great year for Newspapers.com. We added over 800 new papers to our site, which adds up to an additional 100 million+ pages of new content! Can you believe it? That means Newspapers.com now has upwards of 4,400 papers, with more coming in 2017. Finding your ancestors in the newspaper has never been easier!

With so many titles added to our site in 2016, some of them may have escaped your notice. So here’s a look at four major papers added to Newspapers.com last year:

The Los Angeles Times. Explore 135 years of Southern California history! Established in 1881, the Los Angeles Times has been the leading paper in the City of Angels since the 1940s, winning 42 Pulitzer Prizes to date. Newspapers.com has issues from 1881–2016.

Sample The Los Angeles Times front page

The Philadelphia Inquirer. One of the oldest surviving papers in the United States, the Philadelphia Inquirer gained its reputation during the Civil War, when it became one of the best-regarded papers for accurate war news. One of the nation’s most prominent papers, the Inquirer focused on comprehensive news coverage for much of its history, making it a particularly valuable source for learning about the events and issues prevalent in your ancestors’ day. Newspapers.com has issues from 1860–2016.

Sample The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Arizona Republic. When the paper began publishing in 1890, there were already two papers in Phoenix, but by 1915 the Arizona Republic had become the largest paper in the state. The Republic boasted full coverage of the Associated Press wires, as well as coverage of news from the city of Phoenix and the rest of Arizona. Newspapers.com has issues from 1890–2016.

Sample Arizona Republic front page

The Des Moines Register. A daily morning paper for much of its history, the Des Moines Register grew to become the most influential newspaper in Iowa and an important regional paper. If you have ancestors from Iowa, the Des Moines Register is a great place to look for them, as the paper historically had strong local and statewide coverage and also published numerous photographs of locals. Newspapers.com has issues from 1871–2016.

Sample The Des Moines Register front page

To stay up-to-date with Newspapers.com’s newest additions, check out the New & Updated page.

*With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can see issues of these papers through 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years and additional issues from 1923 onward.

Find: Ads through the Ages

Since about the 1830s, newspapers have relied on advertising to pay for part of their operating costs. This meant that the more ads they ran, the more money they made. As a result, for a long time, newspapers were the main source people used to find out about new products and learn about sales at local business.

Listerine ad, 1957These ads make for interesting reading today, as they give us a glimpse into the products and services our ancestors and more recent family members may have used in years past. And some of those products might be surprisingly familiar, since some things we still use today have been around longer than we may have realized. For example, Coca-Cola has been around since 1886, Cream of Wheat since 1893, Arm & Hammer baking soda since 1867, Jell-o since 1897, Oreos since 1912, Cracker Jack since 1896, and Listerine since 1879.

Take a look at some of these ads from decades past found on Newspapers.com. Your ancestors may have used these ads to buy the same products you enjoy today!

Find many more ads from throughout history on Newspapers.com, either by searching for specific products or browsing through the pages of a particular paper. You might even want to try looking at ads in newspapers from the areas where your ancestors lived to get an even better idea of what types of products they may have used!

U.S. Presidential Inauguration: January 20, 2017

U.S. Presidential Inauguration: January 20, 2017

January 20 is the 2017 U.S. presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. In preparation for the event, brush up on your knowledge about inaugurations for the country’s highest office:

  • FDR's second inauguration, 1937
    In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to be inaugurated on January 20. Previous presidents (including FDR for his first term) had traditionally been inaugurated on March 4, but the 20th Amendment, passed in 1933, stipulated a January 20 inauguration.

  • The Oath of Office is traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, though not required. There is also no requirement that it occur in Washington, D.C., or that the president place his hand on the Bible. The only thing prescribed by the Constitution is that the president take the Oath of Office.

  • Chief Justice John Marshall administered the Oath of Office the most number of times: 9 times to 5 men. Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney administered it to the most presidents: 7 times to 7 men.

  • A total of four March inauguration dates fell on a Sunday (1821, 1849, 1877, 1917); the swearing-in ceremonies in these cases were all postponed until the next day. Three January inauguration dates have fallen on a Sunday: 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), 1985 (Ronald Reagan), and 2013 (Barack Obama); these three presidents were sworn in privately on the 20th and then a public ceremony was held the next day.

  • The shortest and longest inaugural addresses were given by George Washington and William Henry Harrison, respectively. Washington’s second inaugural address was only 135 words long. William Henry Harrison’s inaugural address was 8,445 words long.

  • Due to a major snow storm, John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural parade was only possible because of a major mobilization of snow plows and other equipment.

  • Multiple inaugural balls are held throughout Washington, D.C. The new president and first lady make appearances at all official parties.

  • Barack Obama took the Oath of Office four times: twice each time he was elected. He took it twice in 2009 because there was some concern it wasn’t properly administered at the formal swearing-in, so he took it again the next day. He took it twice in 2013 because January 20 fell on a Sunday, so there was a small swearing-in ceremony on the 20th and then the public ceremony on the 21st.

  • 2017 will be the nation’s 58th formal presidential inauguration ceremony.

Learn more about presidential inaugurations throughout U.S. history by searching Newspapers.com!

Letters to Santa

Happy Holidays from Newspapers.com

Letters to Santa first began regularly appearing in newspapers around the 1880s. Every December since then, newspapers across the nation have published children’s requests for the gifts they want most.

Below are a few letters to Santa from 1916—one hundred Christmases ago. Although the items requested of Santa have changed somewhat since then (not too many kids request fruit and nuts these days), the belief that St. Nick can bring worthy petitioners anything their hearts desire, big or small, remains the same.

“Dear Santa Claus: My little friend Jeff is writing to you and I will write too. I want a cow but be sure she ain’t got no ticks on her because I can’t keep her. Also some fruit and lots and lots of nuts.” –M.C. Goowin

“Dear Santa Claus. Please bring me a Maltese kitten. I would rather have that than anything.” –Helen Slavens

“Hon. Mr. Santa Claus: As Christmas is again coming with all its glory and my heart being wild with anticipation of great pleasure, I earnestly ask you to bring me a pistol such as cowboys handle, plenty of firecrackers, roman candles, and a cracker jack bicycle, as I have lost all childhood foolishness for toys. Goodbye old friend. I wish you a merry and happy Christmas.” –Charles Scott Greaves

“Dear Santa: I want you to come Christmas. We haven’t any mother and you know what we need most. Maybe Santa will send our mamma to us Christmas. If he would, we would be tickled to death to see her. Now don’t forget to come see my papa for he wants to see you.” –Elmer Fryman

“My dear Santa Claus, I wasn’t going to ask you for a doll this year but Charles killed my favorite child the other day—just threw her down and broke her head all to pieces. I cried about it till mother said ask you for another one. I want a big one, Santa Claus, and pretty too. Then I want a stove that I can sure enough cook on and a set of doll furniture for my dining room and a tea set. This is all for my dolls. I want a tricycle and a rocking chair for myself, and a fur set and some gloves and a rain coat. And I want some fruit and nuts and a few little firecrackers that shoot easy.” –Elizabeth Heitman

On Newspapers.com, you can read countless letters to Santa from across the decades. You might even find one from a relative! Get started reading more letters to Santa!

Philadelphia Daily News

Content Update

Sample Philadelphia Daily News front page

If you or your family lived in Philadelphia, take a walk down memory lane by searching or browsing the Philadelphia Daily News.

The Philadelphia Daily News was founded in 1925 with the money of William Scott Vare, a candidate in the 1926 U.S. Senate race. When it became evident that none of the existing Philadelphia papers would endorse him, Vare started his own.

From its beginning, the Daily News was an urban-focused, picture-based paper, covering hot news items like celebrities, crime, politics, and sports. Although known for its passionate, gritty reporting and its memorable, sometimes controversial front pages, the tabloid-sized Daily News also boasts three Pulitzer Prizes (1985, 1992, and 2010), among other awards.

In 1957, the Daily News was bought by the publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the two remained sister papers for years, despite several changes in ownership, until, within the last decade, the Daily News became an edition of the Inquirer. In 2011, the Daily News introduced a Sunday issue.

1964 Philadelphia race riot
Explore the last 50 years of Philadelphia history in the Daily News, from the big headlines (like the 1964 race riot, 1980 slaying of mob boss Angelo Bruno, and 2015 visit to the city by Pope Francis) to the smaller news items (like when two babysitters led three kids to safety during a 1970 fire, or when someone was reported to be hanging out of a 25th-floor window in 1965).

And since the Daily News includes plenty of photos, you never know who you might find a photo of, whether it’s the five children of the Crooch family in 1965, three generations of women who volunteered at a local hospital in 1970, or your own family members.

With a Publisher Extra subscription you can access Newspapers.com’s collection of the Daily News, which currently includes issues from 1960 to 2016. Get started searching or browsing the Philadelphia Daily News here.