1904 St. Louis Olympics

Army Rangers Take Pointe-du-Hoc on D-Day: June 6, 1944

1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics
In the summer of 1904, St. Louis, Missouri, hosted the Olympics—the third Olympics of the modern era and the first to be held in an American city. The games were held July 1 to November 23, with the main focus on events between August 29 and September 3.

The St. Louis Olympics were held in conjunction with (and took a backseat to) the St. Louis World’s Fair, which occurred simultaneously. This meant that many of the Fair’s sporting events were called “Olympic,” even when they didn’t meet Olympic standards, but it’s estimated that 91 events actually fit the Olympic criteria, with participants from 12 countries.

One of the most memorable sporting events of the St. Louis Olympics was the marathon. Run on August 30, a hot, dusty day, the marathon was full of unusual circumstances. For one, American Fred Lorz, the man who crossed the finish line first, was not actually the winner, as he had hitched a ride through the middle part of the course and then got out to run the last leg as a joke. The actual winner, American Tom Hicks, crossed the finish line practically carried by two support crew, having received small doses of strychnine (commonly used as a rat poison) to stimulate him enough to be able to run the course.

Fred Lorz rides for part of 1904 Olympic marathon

Another notable Olympic contestant was German-American George Eyser, who won three gold medals (and six medals total) in gymnastic events despite having an artificial leg. Also noteworthy was another German-American, Frank Kungler, who medaled in three different sports (tug-of-war, weightlifting, wrestling), making him the only one to do so in the same Olympics.

A controversial aspect of the games—condemned even at the time—was an “anthropological” meet, held in mid-August. Though only associated with the Olympics and not technically part of it, the meet claimed to compare the sports skills and physical prowess of various native peoples (who were part of the World’s Fair) against those of white competitors. The native competitors, including Pygmies, Patagonians, Filipinos, Native American Indian tribes, Japanese Ainus, and others, had the rules explained to them without translators and were not allowed to practice, so they were unable beat the white competitors’ records in the vast majority of events.

1904 Olympic Games Continue to Show American Supremacy
America won the most events by far at the Olympics, as the country provided more than three-fourths of the 630 athletes. America medaled 233 times, while the next highest scoring country, Germany, won only 12 medals.

Has any of your family competed in the Olympics? Tell us about it! Or learn more about the St. Louis Olympics by searching or browsing on Newspapers.com.

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Content Update

Sample St. Louis Post-Dispatch front page
If you have ancestors from Missouri or surrounding areas, come check out the St. Louis Post-Dispatch! Newspapers.com has issues starting from the newspaper’s inception in 1878. Also included under the St. Louis Post-Dispatch title on Newspapers.com are some issues of the paper’s predecessors, the Dispatch and the Evening Post, dating back to 1874. With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can see issues from 1874 through 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access the years previously listed and additional issues from 1923 to April 2016.

The Post-Dispatch began publishing in December 1878. It was created by Joseph Pulitzer out of two preexisting papers: the Dispatch and the Evening Post. When the paper was first published, it was called the Post and Dispatch, but within a few months, the title had been shortened to the Post-Dispatch.

Weatherbird turns 100 (2001)

The paper’s first managing editor was John Cockerill, and he and the paper were both embroiled in scandal when Cockerill shot and killed Alonzo Slayback in the Post-Dispatch office in 1882. Slayback had come to the office to confront Cockerill about an insulting article Cockerill had published about Slayback, and Cockerill shot Slayback in what appeared to be self-defense.

As a major paper in the Midwest, the Post-Dispatch carried international, national, regional, and local news. It started out as a four-page paper but quickly grew in length. One long running feature of the paper is the Weatherbird, a small cartoon included on the front page with the weather report. Introduced in 1901, the Weatherbird still appears on the front page today.

Another long-running feature was an illustrated piece called “Our Own Oddities” (originally called “St. Louis Oddities”), which ran from 1940 to 1990 and included quirky facts and anecdotes. The Post-Dispatch was also known for its political cartoons.

St. Louis Oddities, 1940
By the 1880s, the Post-Dispatch had become St. Louis’s biggest evening newspaper, and the paper covered all of the city’s major moments, including the completion of the Eads Bridge, the streetcar strike of 1900, the 1904 World’s Fair and Summer Olympics, the 1939 smog problem, the topping out of the Gateway Arch, and much more.

If you have St. Louis area ancestors, you might find them in lists of births, marriage licenses, divorces, deaths, or burial permits or in columns about social activities, travel notes, gossip, club activities, and news from nearby towns—just to name a few. You might even find interesting anecdotes about your relatives, such as this short piece from 1944 entitled, “3 Hams Put in Wrong Auto; Owner Wants Them Back.”

Get started searching or browsing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.

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Dr. Barry

It’s no secret that back in the day, career-oriented women had a rough time. Many tried, despite cultural expectations, and were discouraged by family, friends, and men in their fields from continuing. Some managed to stick to it through the opposition and make an impact as a 19th century woman. And some found it necessary to give up the whole “woman” thing altogether, like Dr. James Barry.

Dr. James Barry posed as a man

Dr. Barry was born Margaret Ann Bulkley, but chose to live as a man in order to be accepted as a student and become a surgeon. The secret of Barry’s identity was only revealed after his death.

Woman Who Lived As An Army Doctor

Though Barry was apparently a pretty rough character who often got into conflicts (some of which led to duels), he was also known to be an excellent surgeon with good bedside manner. His insistence on better conditions and diets for all patients, including the poor, was also a large aspect of his character.

Find more articles about Dr. Barry and other similar figures in history using Newspapers.com‘s search page.

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President Hayes Wins Controversial Election:
March 5, 1877

President Hayes Wins Controversial Election: March 5, 1877

Conflicting reports about who will win the election
On March 5, 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes had his public swearing-in ceremony to become the 19th president of the United States, following one of the closest and most contested elections in American history.

A former lawyer and Union Civil War general, Hayes had served in Congress and won three terms as governor of Ohio. With a reputation for honesty and reform, Hayes was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate in 1876 and ran against Democratic New York governor Samuel J. Tilden.

In the presidential election that year, Tilden won the popular vote by more than 200,000, and it initially appeared that he would win the electoral vote as well. However, in three Southern states—South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana—that hadn’t yet submitted their results, Hayes’ supporters convinced the states’ Republican-controlled election boards to review the votes. This, combined with a controversy regarding one of Oregon’s electors, left 20 electoral votes up for grabs. If Hayes could win all 20 votes, he would win the election; Tilden only needed to win 1.

Tilden needs one more electoral vote to win

Upon review, the election boards in the three Southern states invalidated thousands of votes from districts where fraud and intimidation of black voters had been rampant, shifting the electoral votes in favor of Hayes. But when the Electoral College cast their votes in December, both Republican and Democrat electors for the three Southern states and Oregon claimed to be legitimate and submitted conflicting tallies.

To resolve which electoral votes were legitimate, Congress created a 15-member commission evenly split between Republican and Democrat Congressmen and Supreme Court justices, with one independent justice meant to provide the deciding vote. However, the independent justice resigned his place on the commission after winning a Senate seat, and a Republican justice was chosen to take his place.

Hayes wins the 1876 election

The commission met in February 1877 and ended up giving all 20 electoral votes to Hayes, which was enough for him to beat Tilden by one vote. The Democrats, however, decided to filibuster the confirmation of the votes. Finally, following alleged secret informal meetings in late February between influential Republicans and Democrats (later known as the Compromise of 1877), the Democrats conceded in return for various promises, including the withdrawal of federal troops from Southern states (signaling the end of the Reconstruction Era).

Hayes was officially named the winner on March 2. Inaugurations were typically held on March 4, but since it fell on a Sunday, Hayes was sworn-in during a private ceremony on the 3rd and then again in a public ceremony on the 5th. Although he was considered personally honest, Hayes’ single-term presidency was tainted by his controversial election.

Not surprisingly, the 1876 election was big news at the time. Find thousands of articles about it on Newspapers.com.

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Holidays in the Comics

Happy Holidays from Newspapers.com

Did you have a favorite comic strip when you were growing up? Search for it on Newspapers.com! You can find comics from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries on our site. The papers on Newspapers.com have years’ and even decades’ worth of comic strips like Blondie, Marmaduke, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Peanuts, Garfield, and many, many more. Whether it’s a long running comic strip or one that only lasted a little while, you’re likely to find it on Newspapers.com.

Here are a few holiday comics to get you started:

Dick Tracy, 1983:

Holiday comics: Dick Tracy, 1983

Wee Pals, 1975:

Hanukkah comics: Wee Pals, 1975

Calvin and Hobbes, 1992:

Christmas comics: Calvin and Hobbes, 1992

Peanuts, 1980:

Christmas comics: Peanuts, 1980

Nancy, 1957:

Winter comics, 1957

Priscilla’s Pop, 1947:

Christmas comics, Priscilla's Pop, 1947

What’s your favorite comic strip? Tell us about it! Or get started searching for comics you enjoy on Newspapers.com.

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Find: Memorable College Football Moments

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

For a lot of people, fall means college football, and if you’re a fan, you can find plenty of articles about your favorite team throughout the years on Newspapers.com. You can also read all about college football’s standout moments in history. For instance, are you familiar with these memorable games from college football’s early years?

And, of course, football games mean food. So here are a few tailgate recipes found on Newspapers.com to get you started this season:

Do you have a favorite college football game from the past? Let us know what articles you find about it on Newspapers.com in the comments section! Find more football stories and tailgate recipes by searching on Newspapers.com.

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Amelia Earhart Disappears: July 2, 1937

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

On July 2, 1937, famous aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared along with her navigator while attempting an around-the-world flight at the equator. At the time of her disappearance, the 39-year-old Earhart was the most famous female pilot of her day.

Earhart had first learned to fly in 1921, at the age of 23. Although she had a passion for flying, it was largely a hobby until 1928, when she gained fame as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean while a passenger aboard the plane Friendship. After this, flying became Earhart’s career, promoted by her publicist and later husband G.P. Putnam.

In 1932, Earhart again shot to fame when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic—this time as pilot rather than passenger. In the following years, she also became the first woman to fly coast to coast nonstop (1932), the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California (1935), and the first person to solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City (1935).

In June 1937, Earhart began her biggest record-breaking attempt yet: to fly around the world at the equator. Flying west to east, Earhart made it about three-quarters of the way along her planned route of approximately 30,000 miles and landed at Lae, New Guinea. For the next and most dangerous leg, she would have to fly to the middle of the Pacific and land on tiny Howland Island, aided by her navigator, Fred Noonan.

Amelia Earhart mystery continues
Once Earhart and Noonan left Lae, there were problems communicating with them by radio. As Earhart neared where she thought Howland Island should be, she reported her plane’s fuel was running low and that she couldn’t find the island. The last she was heard from in the air was on July 2, more than 20 hours after takeoff. She and Noonan never arrived at Howland Island, and the massive search effort was finally called off after more than two weeks of searching.

The mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan remains unsolved today, though there are a multitude of theories about their fate. Perhaps the most common theory is that they ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. Also popular is the idea that, low on fuel, they landed on a small island in the Pacific and lived there for a time as castaways.

Interested in learning more about Amelia Earhart’s life and final flight? Start a search on Newspapers.com to find thousands of matches.

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President Cleveland Marries in the White House: June 2, 1886

Bonnie and Clyde Killed: May 23, 1934

On June 2, 1886, President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a small ceremony at the White House, making him the only president to marry in the executive mansion.

Cleveland, who was 27 years Frances’ senior, had been friends with her father prior to her father’s death and had helped young Frances and her mother after the death. Cleveland’s feelings for Frances (whom he called “Frank“) deepened as she matured, and after she had graduated college and he was in the White House, he proposed marriage. The engagement was kept secret, and Frances and her mother left on an extended trip to Europe not long after she became engaged.

Frances returned to the United States shortly before the wedding. The guest list was kept small—only around 30 people or so. The ceremony took place at 7 p.m. in the White House’s Blue Room, which had been filled with flowers. The bride wore an ivory satin dress with a 15-foot train, and the wedding march was played by the US Marine Band. After the ceremony, the Clevelands mingled with their guests before hosting a small wedding dinner. The couple then honeymooned in Deer Park, Maryland; however, word got out and the press surrounded them there—which aggravated President Cleveland, who was no friend of the press.

Front page dedicated to coverage of the Cleveland wedding
The newspapers—and the rest of the American public—became totally enamored of the new Mrs. Cleveland, who was young (21, compared to Cleveland’s 49), beautiful, well-educated, and charming. Her celebrity made her a common topic in newspapers, and her image was used (without her permission) on multitudes of products and advertisements. She set styles for women and had a multitude of babies named after her. Per her husband’s expectations, Frances kept out of politics and instead focused on issues such as women’s education and the kindergarten movement.

Frances and Cleveland were happily married for 22 years, until his death in 1908, and had five children together. Their second daughter, Esther, was the first baby born in the White House to a president, while their eldest child, Ruth, purportedly inspired the name of the Baby Ruth candy bar. Frances remarried in 1913 to a university professor and passed away in 1947.

Interested in learning more about President Cleveland’s marriage or about Frances Folsom Cleveland? Start a search on Newspapers.com!

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Kansas Papers

Content Update

The Evening Kansan
Got ancestors from Kansas? You’re in luck. Newspapers.com has recently added more Kansas papers to its collection. So if you haven’t browsed the Kansas collection recently, you might be surprised to find that it currently has more than 190 papers from almost 90 Kansas cities for a total of 4.3 million pages. One paper even stretches back as far as 1840—20 years before Kansas was even a state!

If you’re interested in how historically significant periods affected your Kansas ancestors, there are currently 16 Kansas papers from its pre-state years, 15 papers from the era of Bleeding Kansas, 11 papers from the Civil War, 62 papers from the Indian War years, 121 papers from the Old West era, 73 papers from World War I, and 11 papers from the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.

Recently added or updated Kansas papers include (but certainly are not limited to):

If you want to see more Kansas newspapers, you can access a full list of which Kansas papers are available on Newspapers.com from the Papers page. Or if you prefer to see them listed by city, use the Browse.

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Bonnie and Clyde Killed: May 23, 1934

Bonnie and Clyde Killed: May 23, 1934

Posse that killed Bonnie and Clyde

Posse that killed Bonnie and Clyde

On May 23, 1934, the legendary criminals Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed by police while driving a stolen car in Louisiana.

Both Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker grew up in the slums of Dallas, Texas, but while Clyde ended up on the wrong side of the law by his teen years, Bonnie seemed to stay out of trouble. The two met in 1930, when Clyde was 20 and Bonnie 19; Bonnie was already married but was separated from her husband. Clyde was sent to prison for robbery not long after their meeting, but the two reunited when he was released in 1932. Clyde initially appeared to try to straighten out his life but soon returned to small-time robberies, this time involving Bonnie in some of his criminal activities.

Bonnie and Clyde, along with various accomplices, began a crime spree that would last two years. They mostly robbed gas stations, restaurants, and stores, sometimes hitting small banks as well, and in 1934 they engineered a prison break. Whenever the police caught up with them, Clyde and his accomplices rarely hesitated to shoot, allegedly killing 9 officers of the law—and 13 people total—while they were on the run.

Clyde with gun. Photo of Bonnie at right.
Bonnie was often portrayed in newspapers as a “cigar-smoking gun moll,” after police raided a hideout and found photographs of her with a gun in her hand and a cigar in her mouth. (Bonnie vehemently denied she ever smoked cigars, only cigarettes, and there is little evidence that she ever murdered anyone.)

Their crime spree finally ended in May 1934 when Frank Hamer, a Texas Ranger, and his posse tracked down Clyde and Bonnie in Louisiana. The group set up an ambush, hiding along the side of a road. When they saw Bonnie and Clyde’s car, the posse let loose with a hail of more than 100 bullets, killing both of the car’s occupants.

Clyde’s and Bonnie’s gunshot-riddled bodies were taken back to Texas, and thousands of people came to see their corpses. In accordance with Bonnie’s mother’s wishes, the two were given separate funerals and Bonnie was buried apart from Clyde in a different cemetery. At the time of their deaths, Clyde was just 25 and Bonnie 23.

Want to learn more about Bonnie and Clyde? Newspapers.com has thousands of articles about them. Get started searching for them here.

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