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!

Grand Canyon Declared a National Monument

Grand Canyon

On this day in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt makes the Grand Canyon an official national monument—800,000 acres of it, anyway. That sounds like a lot, and it is—it’s about two-thirds of the canyon’s massive size.

Grand Canyon declared a national monument

President Roosevelt was dedicated to environmental conservation, so much so that he was called the Father of Conservation (though he’s not the only one to earn such a title). Protecting the Grand Canyon with his declaration was just one of many steps taken during his presidency to preserve the landscapes and wildlife he’d admired all his life.

On the Grand Canyon becoming a national monument:

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? Got plans to go in the future? It certainly is a sight to see.

Find more on the Grand Canyon and Theodore Roosevelt’s focus on the environment with a search on Newspapers.com.

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!

Traditions of Christmas

Christmas is here! And with it comes a slew of silly and strange traditions that span the globe. Here are just a few found in the pages of Newspapers.com:

1. The Krampus
Krampus

In recent decades the Krampus tradition has become a little controversial, as parents and others fear that perhaps he brings more fear than cheer during the usually happy holiday season.

2. The Tio
Caga tio: the pooping log

3. The Christmas Pickle
Pickle Ornament

This pickle ornament tradition has been referenced before in a past blog post, which includes many more interesting traditions for your perusal.

4. Zwarte Piet
Zwarte Piet (Black Peter)

Black Peter has been accused of having some racist implications, and like the Krampus (with whom he is often conflated) he is a Christmas tradition many would rather do without.

5. Mari Lwyd
Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd 2

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! What kind of fun (or funny) traditions do you have for the holiday season?

Find more articles on Christmas traditions with a search on Newspapers.com.

The Resignation of George Washington

On this day in 1783, with the American Revolutionary War officially at an end, George Washington resigns as commander in chief.

George Washington resigns, 1783

This clipping is the end of his speech, which you can see in full here.

Washington’s resignation put an end to the hopes of many politicians (and citizens) that he would lead the nation as their new king. His retirement from public life was also pretty short-lived; five years later, in 1788, Washington was elected as the first president of the United States.

See more on Washington and the early years of the United States with a search on Newspapers.com.

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!

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!

The Mother of Modern Thanksgiving

Planning to fill up on turkey, mashed potatoes and—of course!—the all-important pumpkin pie tonight? Be sure to save one of your Thanksgiving “thank yous” for Sarah Josepha Hale. Hers isn’t a familiar name, but perhaps it ought to be—it’s because of her that Thanksgiving is now a regularly celebrated holiday, and a scrumptious one to boot.

Thank her for Thanksgiving

Making Thanksgiving a consistently celebrated holiday was just one of her many accomplishments. With her influential standing as editor of the quintessential magazine guide Godey’s Ladies Book, she was able to make a lot of positive change, both in her community and across the nation. And all the while she wrote dozens of books and poems, including the classic, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” 

Sarah Hale

The many accomplishments of Sarah Josepha Hale

Lincoln is often credited (rightly) for issuing the proclamation that officially made Thanksgiving an annual federal holiday, but it was Sarah Hale’s relentless, decades-long campaign full of letters and appeals that pushed the idea from thought into reality.

Cherchez la Femme

Hale also published recipes, spreading the Thanksgiving spirit through one of the most compelling of subjects: food. It is because of her recipes that traditional Thanksgiving dishes like turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin pie are holiday staples today.

Hale's influence

Happy Thanksgiving!

Find more on Sarah Hale and Thanksgiving history with a search on Newspapers.com.

The Ice Aircraft Carrier That Almost Was

Once upon a time, in the midst of World War II, an innovative scientist named Geoffrey Pyke had an idea. It was born out of difficulties arising from what was called the “mid-Atlantic gap,” a wide stretch of ocean traveled by vulnerable UK-bound ships who were too far from the shore for the short range aircraft to protect. They needed an aircraft carrier made from something that was large, could float, and wouldn’t use up the valuable supply of metal.

Something like…ice?

Gigantic Ice Aircraft Carrier

It wasn’t just any ice, however. Pyke found that if you added wood pulp to your ordinary frozen water, it created a stronger, less melty version of the ice we all know and love. It was dubbed pykrete—a clever mix of Pyke’s name and “concrete”—and then this happened:
Ice that didn't melt
And then this happened:
The Habakkuk
Pykrete

But alas, the Habakkuk itself never happened. The idea wasn’t a bad one—it probably would have worked. But in the months it took to build a smaller scale prototype–which held up very well to testing, it should be said—the need for a mid-Atlantic gap ice aircraft melted away and the project was abandoned.

Find more on this intriguing bit of history with a search on Newspapers.com.