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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Valentine’s Days of the Past

Memorable Moments in Winter Olympics History

How did your grandparents, great grandparents, and even earlier ancestors celebrate Valentine’s Day? Through the eyes of newspaper readers of the past, we can transport ourselves back to earlier decades to see how affection was shown and sentiments exchanged on February 14.

An 1839 column in the New Orleans Daily Picayune quotes Shakespeare on the subject and discusses 15th-century British customs where “the first woman seen by a man, or man seen by a woman, on St. Valentine’s day, is marked as their Valentine for the ensuing year. “It notes another contemporary custom of “young people sending complimentary or satirical letters … accompanied with a carricature engraving” which numbered fifteen thousand posts in New York alone in 1831.

Column about Valentine's Day

Parade magazine, published in the 9 February 1958 edition of the Long Beach, CA, Independent Press Telegram, wondered if “you know all about love” and offered a quiz with a more scientific slant to its readers. Even Dennis the Menace flustered his father that year by questioning the history of a day that tormented him as he received “about sixty million valentines.”

Loveland, Colorado, became “Sweetheart Town,” when the president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce realized the town’s postmaster was remailing valentines in the 1940s as requested by romantics in other parts of the country. He took advantage of the opportunity and notices of “Cupid’s Haven” appeared in newspapers around the nation in 1947, promising remailed valentines complete with the Loveland cancellation stamp.

Valentine’s Day commercialism was as prevalent in decades past as it is today. Publishers ramped up readership with enticing recipes for Valentine desserts in 1953, and promoted unusual floral fashion trends in 1941. Retailers used the sentimental day to increase sales. Ads offered everything from racy, spicy, sparkling cards for soldiers in 1863 wartime America, to televisions and telephones, not to mention dry cleaning services, in more recent publications. Who knew that in 1932 Montana, chiffon stockings could mend a broken heart?

Whether through Valentine’s Day sentiments of the past or via more modern traditions, love, hope, and infatuation monopolize our culture and our newspapers every February 14th.

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Tampa Bay Times

Do you have ancestors or other family from the Tampa Bay area? Or are you interested in Florida history? Come explore the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), as well as the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Times, on Newspapers.com!

The Tampa Bay Times, currently Florida’s largest paper, got its start in 1884 as a small weekly paper called the West Hillsborough Times. During the 1890s, the paper moved to St. Petersburg and the name was changed to the St. Petersburg Times, a title it would retain for more than a century. As the St. Petersburg Times, the paper ran twice weekly beginning in 1907, published six days a week starting in 1912, then became a true daily in the 1920s.

Perhaps the most notable figure in the St. Petersburg Times’ history is Nelson Poynter, who was at various points the Times’ general manager, editor, and majority stockholder. The Times’ flourished under Poynter’s hand, becoming the respected, Pulitzer Prize-winning paper it is today. Upon his death in 1978, Poynter willed most of the paper’s stock to a non-profit journalism school (today’s Poynter Institute), ensuring that the Times’ could remain independent and locally owned.

In 2012, the St. Petersburg Times changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times to more accurately reflect the geographical area it served. Then, in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times bought its long-time rival, the Tampa Tribune, which then ceased publication.

The Tampa Tribune, prior to its demise, had its own long history, dating back to the 1890s. In the 20th century, that history became interwoven with a paper called the Tampa Times (founded in 1893), which the Tribune purchased in 1958 and continued to publish until 1982.

All three papers—the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Tribune, and the Tampa Times—have recorded the happenings of the Tampa Bay area since the 19th century and provide a wealth of information on the history and inhabitants of the area. For instance, if you’re curious about Tampa’s famous Cuban cigar industry, take a look at this page from the 17 December 1922 issue of the Tampa Tribune celebrating the industry’s most productive year up to that date. Or if the region’s inhabitants are what interest you, take a look at these great photos from a 1941 state band competition that were featured in the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times).

Get started searching or browsing the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Tribune, and the Tampa Times on Newspapers.com. With a Basic subscription, you can access issues up to 1922; or with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues from later years.

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How to Use Clippings on Newspapers.com

Tips, Hints and Helps

Clippings are an easy way to keep track of interesting things you find on Newspapers.com, as well as a great way to share what you find with others.

Make a clipping

To clip an article you’ve found, just select the “Clip” button at the top of the viewer, move and resize the clipping box around the article you want to clip, and, if you want, add a title or description for the clipping.

Save things you like

Once you’ve clipped something, it is saved to your clippings list, where you can easily find it again. To access your clippings, just select the “Clippings” link at the top of the page. You can also get to this list by selecting the arrow next to your member name in the upper right of the page and then selecting “My Clippings.”

My Clippings Image

Share interesting stories you find

Clippings are the easiest way to share what you’ve found on Newspapers.com with family and friends. You can easily share clippings by email or on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. Just select the “Share” button! When you share a clipping, your friends can see the image even if they don’t subscribe to Newspapers.com.

Privacy settings

By default, clippings you make are “public” (other people will see what you’ve clipped on the Clippings page, in search, or on your profile). You can make a clipping private by clicking the “settings” icon (Settings Icon) and unchecking the box next to “Public.”

If you click the settings icon at the top of the My Clippings list page, you can change the default setting so that new clippings are not public.

Find more helpful tips at the Newspapers.com Help Center!

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2017 in Review: Over 1,300 Papers Added!

Newspapers.com 2017 Year in Review

Happy 2018! We hope you had a meaningful and productive 2017. We certainly did! Here at Newspapers.com, we are always working hard to add new papers to our offerings, and 2017 was no different. In fact, in 2017, we added 1,376 new titles! With an average of 9,203,918 pages added per month, Newspapers.com added 110,447,021 pages’ worth of new content last year! All these new titles mean that Newpapers.com now offers more than 6,000 newspapers!

The papers we added in 2017 came from 41 different states, plus Washington D.C., the UK, and Canada. For some states, we were able to add a truly impressive number of new titles. These included:

  • Alabama: 265 new titles
  • Arkansas: 151 new titles
  • Kansas: 187 new titles
  • Mississippi: 126 new titles
  • Utah: 91 new titles

But looking at which states had the most new titles added doesn’t give the whole picture. Other states had an enormous number of pages added to their collections. The top include:

  • Florida: 11,579,543 new pages
  • Indiana: 3,830,015 new pages
  • New York: 2,047,831 new pages
  • Pennsylvania: 4,827,196 new pages
  • Utah: 1,174,417 new pages

Now that Newspapers.com has more than 339 million total pages of newspaper content, the odds of finding the ancestor or information you’re looking for are better than ever! So if it’s been a while since you’ve last looked around our site, now is the perfect time to come back and explore again.

We hope you find what—or who—you’re looking for! And here’s to an even better 2018!

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