Ratification of the Constitution

On this day in 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to vote “yea” on the debate of ratifying the U.S. Constitution, officially making it law.

Constitution Ratified 21st June

More states would follow suit later, but only nine of the thirteen existing states had to accept for the Constitution to become valid.

Fun fact: While the United States is a fairly young country compared to others worldwide, it has the oldest written constitution still in use today.

Find more about this defining moment in history with a search on Newspapers.com. 

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Today in 1967, the Beatles release their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, generally considered the first “concept album.” The album marked a shift in the group’s career as they moved from being crowd-pleasing stage performers to more studio-focused artists.Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The album got a pretty decent reception, receiving mostly positive reviews to match its commercial success. It topped the US Billboard 200 charts for 15 weeks after release.

Sgt. Pepper review

Same Reverence as Beethoven and Brahms

Find more on this event with a search on Newspapers.com, or browse or search for whatever strikes your fancy.

Dracula Released

On this day in 1897, Bram Stoker’s sensational novel Dracula is released upon the London public.

Excerpt from

…and it was pretty well received! By most, anyway. Though some reviewers found the novel not to their taste, many remarked on Dracula‘s ability to capture your attention from beginning to end.

Exciting story from beginning to finish

Early Review of Dracula

Dracula

Dracula has since become one of the quintessential classical Gothic novels and has inspired countless other stories in the years since its release.

Have you read Bram Stoker’s Dracula? What’s your favorite vampire story?

Find more like this on Newspapers.com with a search, or try your luck with browsing.

 

New and Updated Papers on Newspapers.com

Come explore *four new and updated papers on Newspapers.com: the Chicago Tribune, the Fort Lauderdale News, South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the Morning Call!

Sample Chicago Tribune front page
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune was founded in 1847. By the Civil War, the Tribune had adopted an anti-slavery stance and was influential in the election of President Abraham Lincoln. In 1974, the Tribune made history when it became the first newspaper to publish overnight the transcripts President Nixon had released of his infamous White House tapes. Today, the Tribune has one of the largest circulations in the country and remains an important paper in the Great Lakes region. Newspapers.com has issues from 1849 to 2016.

Sample Fort Lauderdale News front pageFort Lauderdale News and South Florida Sun Sentinel
The Fort Lauderdale News and South Florida Sun Sentinel are two related papers from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Fort Lauderdale News traces its roots back to a paper founded in 1911, while the Sun Sentinel began publishing in 1960. In 1963, both papers were bought by the same company, with the News as its evening paper and the Sun Sentinel as its morning paper. The News stopped publication in 1992, while the Sun Sentinel is still published today. The Sun Sentinel serves Broward and Palm Beach counties and has one of the largest circulations in South Florida. It is recognized for its investigative reporting and editorial sports coverage, among other things. Newspapers.com has issues of the Fort Lauderdale News from 1925 to 1991, and issues of the South Florida Sun Sentinel from 1981 to 2017.

Sample The Morning Call front pageThe Morning Call
The Morning Call, based in Allentown, is Pennsylvania’s third-largest newspaper. It serves nine counties in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey and is the leading paper in Lehigh Valley. The paper was founded in 1883 under the name the Critic but was renamed the Morning Call in 1895 as part of a contest in which the schoolboy or girl who could guess the paper’s new name would get five dollars in gold. The Morning Call was run primarily by the Miller family for most of its history, up until the 1980s. It is today known for its watchdog journalism. Newspapers.com has issues from 1895 to 2017.

Explore these and other papers on Newspapers.com!

*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.

Mothers of History

There can be no argument that mothers across the world play an incomparable role in raising, teaching, helping and loving their children and the children around them. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three mothers whose contributions to their families and to history were truly remarkable.

Candy Lightner

Founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
Candy Lightner, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers)

As the article above (from The Town Talk, 1985) says, Lightner’s teenage daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 1980. The organization has only grown since then and continues the fight to end drunk and drugged driving and offer support to those affected by these avoidable tragedies.

Abigail Adams

 First Lady

Abigail Adams is recognized as an extraordinary woman whose strong intellect, attention to politics, and fierce support for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery made her a true trailblazer. Public sentiment at the time shows similar respect for her hard work in every area of life…
Notable Mother Abigail Adams….and whose opinion can be trusted more than that of her own son?
Tribute to Abigail Adams

Irena Sendler

Mother of the Children of the Holocaust

A fearless woman who was as much a mother to the children around her as she was to her own, Irena Sendler risked her life to save thousands of others.
Irena Sendler

As an employee of the Social Welfare Department in Warsaw, Sendler had permission to enter the Ghetto to conduct inspections. Instead, she used her time there to smuggle out young Jewish children and babies in whatever ways she could, with the help of a small network of volunteers. Around 400 of these children were aided by Sendler directly, a risk for which she eventually paid when she was arrested, beaten, and sentenced to death in 1943.

Brave beyond measure

A friend bribed the guards to let Sendler go and she was freed…after which she jumped right back into helping those who couldn’t help themselves.

Of course there are countless more amazing mothers who could not all be mentioned here. Why not try a search today on Newspapers.com for other famous mothers or a relative? Or feel free to browse the papers—who knows what sort of interesting things you might stumble upon?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tip: Using Newspapers to Learn about Your Ancestor’s Life in the Poorhouse

Do you have ancestors who lived in a poorhouse? If so, newspapers are one of the resources you can use to discover what life may have been like for those family members.

Article about why many poorhouses are closing, 1938Alternatively called poor farms, county farms, or almshouses (depending on the region of the United States), poorhouses were typically run by counties (or sometimes towns) as a way to take care of people who were poor, old, disabled, or homeless and who had nowhere else to go. In Great Britain, such institutions were more often called workhouses. In the United States, poorhouses began to disappear after the Social Security Act was introduced in 1935, and they had almost totally disappeared by the 1950s.

It can be difficult to find records from poorhouses, so newspapers can be quite valuable in your research. Although individual “inmates” (as they were often called) of poorhouses are rarely mentioned by name in newspapers, you can typically discover quite a bit about the poorhouse they lived in from newspaper articles and piece together a picture of what your ancestor’s life in that poorhouse may have been like. (If you’re not sure if you have any ancestors who lived in a poorhouse, try reading this helpful article by Ancestry for guidance.)

If you know the name of the poorhouse where your ancestor resided, simply search Newspapers.com for the institution’s name to bring up search results. If you are unsure what the name of the poorhouse was in a certain area, use Newspapers.com to search the newspapers in the town or county (or even state) where the poorhouse was located using search terms like “poorhouse,” “county farm,” “poor farm,” or “almshouse.” You can then narrow the results by date range (such as your ancestor’s birth and death dates) if you desire.

If a broader look at poorhouses in America interests you, the St. Louis Star and Times published a series of articles on poorhouses in Missouri in 1922 and 1923 as part of a public awareness campaign to improve conditions in those institutions. Many of these articles paint a vivid picture of what some poorhouses were like at the time and can be quite eye-opening!

Get started learning more about poorhouses by searching on Newspapers.com!

Sold for $3

Ah, to live in the 19th century when people wore hats and pocket watches, automobile technology was on the horizon, and a husband could sell his wife and child to another man for dollars. Sold For Three Dollars

You’ll have to click through to the full article for the whole story. But the gist of it is that Mr. Rosengrant was annoyed by a remark made by his wife after a streak of bad luck with his business ventures, so he decided to shuffle her off to someone else and make some money in the process. Below is a copy of the contract made with his cousin, Raymond Parmer.

Contract

July 5 1900 Raymond Parmer Bought Gorge Rosengrant woman of him for 300 dolers and the little girl throw in and he agread to not Bother me nor me to Bother him X Gorge Rosengrant

Efforts at matrimony disastrous

Raise your hand if you’re not surprised.

Find more strange and interesting articles like these in the pages of Newspapers.com with a search or using the browse feature. And big thanks to Ann Sinton on Facebook for bringing our attention to this incredible article.

The Monster in Loch Ness

On this day in 1933, a monstrous modern legend was born in the waters of Loch Ness. The first claims of a sighting mentioned a large reptilian creature rolling around in the lake, a description that carried on through dozens of subsequent reports. The claims were met with pretty heavy skepticism, which continues today. But then again, so does the legend.

Sightings

The Monster of Loch Ness

The monster captured the attention of locals and tourists alike, drawing those who just wanted a glimpse as well as those with bigger aspirations.

How to Capture the Loch Ness Monster

Today, the Loch Ness monster has taken ranks with other mythical marvels and continues to be a source of curiosity, real or not.

Loch Ness Monster

Find more on the Loch Ness monster with a search on Newspapers.com, or browse the papers here.