In 1872, six Boston businessmen got together to start a newspaper, The Boston Globe. The first issue hit the presses on March 4, 1872, and sold for just 4 cents. The paper was published six mornings a week and in 1877, a Sunday edition was added. About a decade later, an afternoon edition called the Boston Evening Globe began and remained in publication until 1979.
The Globe is an award-winning publication that has covered historic events like the Great Boston Fire of 1872. On the morning of November 9, 1872, the Globe released its usual morning edition. Local news included the Harvard Fall Regatta scheduled for that afternoon and the daily report of marriages and deaths. Nobody realized they were on the verge of what would become the largest fire in the city’s history.
About 7:20 p.m. that evening, a fire began in the basement of a warehouse on Summer Street. Before it was contained, it had consumed 65 acres and 776 buildings. Firefighters stopped the flames before they consumed the colonial era Old South Meeting House (the church was also saved from flames in 1810). The Globe did not publish the next day, but on November 11th, the headline read “Devastation!” and detailed the spread of the fire, the businesses and homes destroyed, and injuries and deaths incurred.
In 1901, the Boston Americans baseball team was organized in the newly formed American League. In 1907 they changed their name to the Boston Red Sox and by 1912 Fenway Park opened to house the team. Fenway is the oldest ballpark in the Major League Baseball. The relationship between Boston and sports runs deep and young people celebrated in 1920 when a new law passed allowing them to play recreational sports on Sunday.
Boston’s love of sports extends beyond team sports. The first Boston Marathon was held in 1897 and the Globe reported that the race was a great success and should be “an annual fixture.” It was 117 years later, in 2014, after coverage of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing that the Globe was awarded one of its 26 Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news coverage of the incident.
Boston has a rich immigration history. The city has welcomed immigrants from Ireland, China, Russia, Armenia, and Italy among others. If you had an immigrant ancestor that arrived in Boston, you may be able to find them mentioned in the paper. You can also search for the name of the vessel for reports of births and deaths during voyages.
If you have ancestors from Boston or are interested in historical events from the Boston area, our Globe archives are rich in content and contain nearly 150 years of papers from 1872-2019! Start searching The Boston Globe archives today!