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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Death of Queen Victoria: January 22, 1901

Death of Queen Victoria: January 22, 1901

On January 22, 1901, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, passed away at the age of 81 at the royal residence on the Isle of Wight, marking the end of her 63-year reign.

Queen Victoria's Diamond JubileeVictoria had celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne and made her Britain’s longest-reigning monarch up to that point. By this time, old age had begun to take its toll, and the queen suffered from failing eyesight and had trouble walking, among other health issues. By Christmastime of 1900, which she spent at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, her health had further declined, and after the New Year she suffered a stroke and was confined to her bed.

Her family was alerted to her poor health, and her children who were able gathered at her bedside—as did her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Victoria passed away at 6:30 p.m. on January 22. She had written her funeral wishes three years earlier, which included being dressed in white and laid in her coffin with various mementos and keepsakes. Per her request, Victoria was given a military funeral and was laid to rest at Frogmore Mausoleum, in Windsor, alongside her husband Albert, who had died in 1861.

People around the world mourned Victoria’s death. Her reign had lasted 63 years, and for many people, she had been queen for their entire lives. The London Times wrote, the day after her death:

To most of us the whole course of our lives as subjects of the Queen has been the proof of the admirable way in which this unique woman—whose small frame was permeated, so to speak, with Royal dignity, whose home life was so simple and pure, and whose intelligence […] was […] formed by work and long experience into a powerful instrument of life—has met the difficulties of the longest and the fullest reign in English history.

The queen’s death was literally the end of an era. Her death marked the end of the Victorian Era, which spanned 1837 to 1901, the years of her reign. Though just 18 years old at the time she became queen, over the course of her life Victoria oversaw Britain’s transition to an industrialized nation, as well as its expansion into the British Empire.

Find more articles about Queen Victoria on Newspapers.com!

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Popular Toys in History

Happy Holidays from Newspapers.com

Slinky ad, 1947When the holidays roll around, many children are busy compiling their lists of which toys they want most. Hatchimals and Fingerlings might be topping the lists of kids in 2017, but what toys were popular in decades past? How much did they cost? We can find out by exploring old newspapers. Here are some ads for the hottest toys of the last century:

Were any of these toys on your childhood Christmas lists? Let us know in the comments! Or find more toy ads by searching Newspapers.com!

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Prohibition Ends: December 5, 1933

Prohibition Ends: December 5, 1933

On December 5, 1933, Prohibition came to an end with the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which had outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol since 1920.

Utah ends prohibition for nationThe passage of the 18th Amendment had been the result of decades of work by religious and progressive groups to permanently eliminate the consumption of alcohol in the United States. Groups such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League believed that getting rid of alcohol would remove many of society’s ills. Brewery-owned saloons, in particular, were seen by temperance and prohibition groups as the root of many evils, and these establishments were targeted by activists such as Carrie Nation, who became famous for smashing up saloons.

Finally, by late 1917, there was enough support in Congress to pass the 18th Amendment, which was ratified by the states in early 1919. Prohibition was set to go into effect in 1920, and in preparation, the National Prohibition Act (more commonly known as the Volstead Act) was passed in late 1919. Under the Volstead Act, it was illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport any beverage with an alcohol content of more than 0.5%. Exceptions were made for medical or religious needs, and it was still legal to drink in your own home and to make wine for personal use.

Though Prohibition did see an overall decline in alcohol consumption in the country, it had many unintended consequences. It was illegal to sell alcohol, but it wasn’t illegal to buy or drink it, which led to the rise of a black market alcohol industry of bootleggers and smugglers. This strengthened organized crime syndicates, who made significant amounts of money off illegal alcohol. Gang violence increased, perhaps most notoriously in Chicago, and criminals such as Al Capone became household names. With so much money to be made from black market alcohol, bribery of Prohibition agents, police, judges, and politicians was rampant.

These and other issues—such as the onset of the Great Depression—as well as the rise of powerful anti-Prohibition groups (such as the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform), finally turned the tide against Prohibition. The 1932 Democratic Party platform was anti-Prohibition, and when Democratic candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidential election, anti-Prohibition forces passed the 21st Amendment in Congress. The amendment, which repealed Prohibition, was quickly ratified by the states, with Utah casting the deciding vote in favor of repeal on December 5, 1933.

Do you have any family stories about Prohibition? Share them with us! Or find more articles and other information about Prohibition by searching Newspapers.com!

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Find: Serial Fiction on Newspapers.com

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

Nearly everyone knows what it’s like to have to wait for the next episode of your favorite TV show to come out. But what if you had to wait for the next chapter of your favorite book? Your ancestors may have had to do just that!

The Hound of the BaskervillesSerial fiction was a bit like today’s TV shows—but instead of a new episode coming out each week, it was a new chapter, or series of chapters, of a story or book, often published in newspapers, magazines, or stand-alone installments. Some of these “serials” came out daily, some weekly, some monthly, some on other schedules, depending on the author and the publisher.

Serials found popularity during the Victorian period, though they first appeared long before that. They remained a fairly common feature of certain newspapers and magazines up until radio and then television took over as people’s main sources of entertainment.

Sometimes entire novels would be written as serials (Charles Dickens famously published some of his novels this way), while other novels would be written and published in their entirety first, and then later segmented out in installments. But not all serials were novel-length: many newspaper serials were just a few installments long, more like a short story or novella, though some did run for months.

Stories published as serial fiction were often tales of romance, mystery, or adventure—with sentimental or thrilling storylines that would catch readers’ attention and have them coming back for the next installment. And they might just hook you too! Try reading one for yourself on Newspapers.com. We’ve collected just a few of them below—some you might recognize, but many you won’t! Try one out and let us know what you think!

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).

Or if you’re interested in finding other serial fiction on Newspapers.com, try using search terms such as “chapter 1”, and limit your search to papers from the decades around the turn of the 19th century. Get started searching here!

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King Tut’s Tomb Discovered: November 4, 1922

King Tut's Tomb Discovered: November 4, 1922

On November 4, 1922, the first stair to what would eventually be uncovered as Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in Egypt by the team of British archaeologist Howard Carter. King Tut’s tomb would quickly gain fame for being among the most intact pharaonic tombs, as well as for the curse that some said affected those who were involved in the tomb’s discovery.

New Tomb Found Egypt's GreatestHoward Carter had been excavating in the Valley of the Kings under the patronage of Lord Carnarvon since 1917, but by 1922 he still had not made any finds of major significance. When Lord Carnarvon threatened to withdraw his funding, Carter convinced Carnarvon to bankroll a final excavation season. The request paid off, and on November 4, 1922, Carter’s team discovered the top of a staircase. Further digging revealed a door to what would turn out to be Tutankhamen’s tomb, and Carter sent word to Carnarvon, who joined him in Egypt.

The tomb was officially opened on November 29 (though Carter, Carnarvon, and others had secretly entered before that), and they discovered that though the tomb appeared to have been robbed twice in antiquity, the majority of the treasures and other items remained inside. With such a host of artifacts, work on the tomb was slow and painstaking. It took months after the tomb’s discovery for the burial chamber to be opened, and three years after the discovery for the archaeologists to finally view Tutankhamen’s mummy itself. In total, it would take eight years for all the objects in the tomb to be documented and removed.

As soon as word got out about the discovery in 1922, the world was fascinated with the wonders that were uncovered from the 3,000-year-old tomb. Despite the ancient grave robbing attempts, Tut’s tomb was still among the best-preserved pharaoh’s tombs ever discovered. However, another factor also increased King Tut’s fame: the so-called “curse of the pharaohs.”

Beginning with Lord Carnarvon’s illness and death in April 1923 (due to complications following an infected mosquito bite), rumors of the curse grabbed the public’s attention. From then on, the deaths of any of the people associated with the tomb’s discovery were attributed to a curse that was said to affect anyone who had disturbed Tutankhamen’s rest. In all, dozens of deaths were claimed to be the result of the curse—though Howard Carter himself would live for more than 15 years after the discovery.

Find more articles about King Tut on searching Newspapers.com!

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New Hawaii Papers!

If you have family from Hawaii or are interested in Hawaiian history, come check out the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Honolulu Advertiser, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Although the Honolulu Star-Advertiser only began publishing fairly recently (in 2010), the papers that merged to create it—the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin—have histories that stretch back more than a century!

Sample Honolulu Star-Advertiser front page The Honolulu Advertiser traces its history back to 1856, with the creation of a weekly paper called the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. In 1882, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser also began publishing a daily edition, and the weekly edition was ended a few years later, in 1888. In 1921, the paper was renamed the Honolulu Advertiser, the name it would keep for the next 90 years.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin also has a long history. It began as a single-page, hand-written bulletin posted in a shop window in 1870, and by 1882 it had become a paper known as the Daily Bulletin, which then became the Evening Bulletin in 1895. In 1912, the Evening Bulletin combined with a newspaper called the Hawaiian Star to become the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

In 1962, the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin entered into a joint operating agreement, in which the two papers would maintain separate, competitive newsrooms but share printing, circulation, administration, and advertising expenses. Finally, in 2010, the two papers were merged to create the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In their early years, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin both catered primarily to the white, English-speaking population of Honolulu. But by the mid-20th century, they had begun to make efforts to appeal to more diverse segments of Honolulu’s population as well. If you’re looking for ancestors or other family members in these papers, good places to start include personals columns, society pages, local interest columns, and the like.

And for an interesting piece of history, check out the Star-Bulletin’s report on the bombings at Pearl Harbor, which was the earliest coverage of the event in the world.

Get started searching or browsing the Honolulu Star-Advertiser*, Honolulu Advertiser*, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin* on Newspapers.com! .

*With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can view issues up to 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues between 1923 and 2017

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