7-Up wasn’t the only drink to have gotten the dairy treatment. Fans of Laverne and Shirley may recall Laverne’s taste for Pepsi and Milk. Those who enjoy this mix compare the taste to a “melted” root beer float, so perhaps it’s not so hard to see the appeal.
Fruity milkshakes and creamy sodas may not be so odd, in the end, even if most haven’t had the staying power of the root beer float. But some combinations just seem bizarre. Please share if this recipe for “Beef Fizz” makes a regular appearance in your home.
V-J Day (short for Victory in Japan Day) came at a steep price. The United States counted some 418,500 military and civilian deaths during the war. Worldwide, that number neared 60 million! For just a moment, in August 1945, a war-weary world set aside mourning to celebrate the end of WWII. People poured into the streets and church bells rang out. President Truman declared a two-day holiday, and on August 15th, the United States celebrated V-J Day.
In Tinley Park, Illinois, Mildred Pritza recalled hearing the news, “We cried, we hugged. Bells were ringing. Everyone went outside and everyone was hugging…There was real cohesiveness in the nation with everyone working for a shared goal.” The country was united in spirit and purpose and V-J day was a celebration of shared sacrifice. Pritza, who had never worked before the war, recalled her job building crankshafts for airplanes for $1.09 an hour. With her husband in the Navy and a new baby to care for, she did what was necessary.
In Plainfield, New Jersey, police officer Cornelius Coffey was assigned traffic patrol and said the city had the worst traffic jam he’d ever seen as everyone came out to celebrate. He chose to ignore the 10 p.m. wartime curfew for youngsters that night.
News of the Japanese surrender came at 4:00 p.m. PST in Spokane, Washington. The Spokesman-Review reported that crowds spilled into the streets, and at first there was a stunned silence. “Then automobile horns began to blow. In a few moments, their blasts became a solid wave of sound in downtown streets. Their noise drowned out the shouting and even the noise of the siren atop city hall. A storm of confetti swirled down from windows of high buildings as office workers gave vent to their joy.”
On the island of Oahu, the bells in Kawaiahaʻo church pealed, bringing a flashback memory to many who heard the same bells ring out a warning on December 7, 1941. The roof of the Honolulu Advertiser building was crowded that December morning in 1941, as dazed and stricken citizens watched black smoke rise from the distance. Now 1,347 days later, the same rooftop was filled with people tossing shredded paper to the street below in celebration.
Do you remember V-J Day? Have you heard V-J Day stories shared in your family? To read more about the end of WWII and to see more stories on V-J Day, search Newspapers.com today!
Have you ever searched for an ancestor’s name on Newspapers.com but gotten no matches, even though you just know they must be in there somewhere? Sometimes the problem may be that you’re searching for a name or spelling that’s different from how it appeared in the newspaper—preventing our search from returning the matches you’re looking for.
So we’ve put together some strategies for uncovering name and spelling variations that you can try in your searches!
A Bit of Background
You may know how your ancestor’s name was spelled in legal documents, the census, or letters they sent, but that spelling might not be what was used in the newspaper. Why?
Sometimes it might be a spelling mistake by the journalist or typesetter. (Think how many times your own name has been misspelled by others!) Sometimes the name’s spelling was provided by a family member who didn’t how their relative actually spelled their name. Illiteracy and low-literacy rates used to be higher, so it’s possible your ancestor wasn’t sure of the exact spelling of their name. Other times, the person might have gone by a nickname or “Americanized” name, rather than their birth name.
All these reasons (and more!) mean that it’s worth trying some variations if the “correct” spelling of your ancestor’s name isn’t returning search matches!
We’ll start with some name variations to try searching for:
Nicknames. Did you ancestor have a name that often has a nickname associated with it? Your ancestor Margaret may be in the newspaper as “Maggie.” And don’t forget that some nicknames that are no longer common may have been popular during your ancestor’s lifetime—for example, “Sally” as a nickname for Sarah. And if your ancestor was born outside the United States or came from an ethnic community within the U.S., remember to check for nicknames common to that culture as well, such as “Paco” for Francisco. Did your ancestor have a nickname that was specific to them? Search for that too. “Babe Ruth” shows up in the newspaper by his famous nickname much more than by George Herman Ruth Jr. Consider nicknames related to vocations as well. Your doctor ancestor Henry Taylor could be in the newspaper as “Doc Taylor.”
Middle names. Did your ancestor go by their middle name? This was (and still is) a common practice if there was a parent, grandparent, or other family member with the same given name. And don’t forget that if they did use their middle name, they may be using a nickname for that middle name on top of that. Mary Avaline Conner, for example, is found in the newspapers as “Avie Conner”—a nickname for her middle name!
English versions of names from other languages. Some people with names that weren’t common in mainstream American culture went by an anglicized version of their name. If your ancestor’s name was Giuseppe, try searching in the newspaper for “Joseph” or “Joe.” Similarly, it may also be worth a shot to search for direct translations of a non-English name. Your ancestor’s surname may have been Schmidt in Germany but been translated as the English equivalent “Smith” when they came to the U.S.
“Americanized” versions of diverse naming structures. If your ancestor came from a country, territory, or ethnic community that uses a different naming structure, this might affect what name appeared in a newspaper. For example, Maria Lopez de Vega may appear in an American newspaper as “Maria Lopez” or “Maria Vega.”
Other times, you may have the right name for your ancestor, it’s just not spelled in the newspaper the way you think. Here are some examples of spelling variations to consider.
Common alternative spellings. Names can be spelled in a variety of different ways, so be sure to check for common alternative spellings. Check for your ancestor Katherine under “Catherine,” “Kathryn,” or any of the other spellings.
Common misspellings. Your ancestor’s name, especially if it’s unusual, may have simply been misspelled in the newspaper. While it’s impossible to guess all the ways it might have been misspelled, there are some common spelling mistakes you can look for. Check for double letters added or deleted, substitution of vowels (or consonants) that sound similar, silent letters left out, etc. Try saying the name out loud and searching all possible phonetic spellings for the way it sounds—keeping in mind that the way your family pronounces the name now might not be how your ancestor (or the journalist!) pronounced it.
Mistakes when spelling verbally. Even if your ancestor verbally spelled out their name for the newspaper, some letters sound similar when said aloud: B and P sound similar enough that your ancestor spelling out “P-O-U-N-D” might have been misheard as saying “B-O-U-N-D.”
Dropped prefixes. Name prefixes like “O,” “Mc,” “Mac,” and a host of others may have been dropped, either intentionally by your ancestor or unintentionally by the person writing the article. If your ancestor’s surname was O’Reilly, try searching just for “Reilly” (and vice versa—if their surname was Reilly, check for “O’Reilly” as well).
Transliteration from a non-English alphabet. If your ancestor’s name was transliterated from a non-English alphabet such as Cyrillic, Arabic, or Chinese, there will be a vast number of possibilities for the way it was spelled in English—both by your ancestor and by a journalist or editor who may not have had a familiarity with the language. Some alphabets have standardized guidelines for transliteration into the English alphabet, but it’s worth trying out as many phonetic spellings for the name as you can think of.
Abbreviations & initials. Newspapers sometimes shortened names to save space. Try searching “Wm” for William, “Chas” for Charles, and so on. You should also try searching for them by their initials: search “J.D. Smith” for John Doe Smith, for example.
Typos & Other Errors
Sometimes, you can’t find the name due to typos or OCR error. Here are a couple to consider in your searches. (Note: OCR is the technology Newspapers.com uses to “read” a newspaper page to identify matches.)
Typesetting and typing mistakes. Try a search that takes into account possible typesetting errors, like transposing the first letters of a name. Search for an ancestor with the surname Wright under “Rwright,” for instance. Similarly, if your ancestor came from a time of typewriters or even computers, try searching for their name with common typos, like mistyping an adjacent letter on a keyboard (e.g., “Fryer” for someone whose name is Dryer).
Letters with similar shapes. Depending on the typeface used in the newspaper and the quality of the page image, OCR might misread letters in a name. Take this into consideration and try searching for a name using letters that have a similar shape: a lowercase “y” for a “g,” for example. Keep in mind that this might extend to multi-letter combinations as well. Your ancestor’s name may have been “C-a-r-r-i-e,” but the OCR might mistake this as “C-a-m-e.”
Here are two final tips to help you in your search:
Make a list of every variation of the name and spelling that you (and your family and friends) can think of. Check off each name as you complete the search.
Good luck on your search! Remember that “correct” spelling doesn’t count when it comes to searching for names in newspapers. It doesn’t matter so much how you think your ancestor’s name was spelled, or even really how they spelled it. What matters most is how the newspaper spelled it. Don’t automatically discount a newspaper mention of a person that seems likely to be your ancestor just because the newspaper spelled the name differently than you’re expecting!
Get started searching for your ancestors on Newspapers.com. And if you have any more tips, share them in the comments!
Summer vacation plans have changed for many this year. If you’re headed out on a road trip, consider stopping by one of the hundreds of ghost towns across America. Deserted, rickety homes, and public buildings pique our curiosity and leave us wondering what life was like before they were abandoned. Fortunately, historic newspapers help reveal those secrets. We’ve scoured our archives to learn about a few ghost towns, but if your travel plans don’t include one of these, just bring along your device and access Newspapers.com to learn about others!
Grafton, Utah: The first settlers arrived in Grafton in 1859, sent by Brigham Young, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to cultivate the Southern Utah territory. The town was built along the Virgin River where residents grew cotton and other crops. Grafton was prone to flash floods and irrigation challenges.
Cahawba, Alabama: Cahawba was an antebellum river town and the capital of Alabama from 1819-1826. When the capital was relocated to Tuscaloosa in 1826, scores of residents left town. A new railroad line brought people back to Cahawba in 1859, but during the Civil War, the Confederate government dismantled the railroad and used the rails to expand an area of track elsewhere. They also turned a cotton warehouse into a Union prison called Castle Morgan.
Rhyolite, Nevada: In 1904, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, a couple of prospectors discovered a hillside covered with greenish rock with chunks of yellow. The rocks resembled the back of a bullfrog, but the metal was in fact gold! The ensuing gold rush brought thousands to the area known as the Bullfrog Mining District and the town of Rhyolite sprung to life overnight. In its heyday, the town had saloons, an ice-cream parlor, hospitals, an opera house, swimming pools, banks, hotels, and schools.
Kennicott, Alaska: In the summer of 1900, prospectors were exploring an area near the Kennicott Glacier when they discovered copper in an outcropping of rock. They staked a claim and opened the Kennecott mine (a worker misspelled the glacier’s name) Between 1911-1935 miners pulled nearly 600,000 tons of copper and 9 million ounces of silver from the mountain. A company-owned town with bright red buildings perched above the rubble field arose.
David MacPherson, a 22-year-old student, arrived at Disneyland about midnight on July 17, 1955. The amusement park was holding a public grand opening the next morning and MacPherson wanted to be the first in line. He waited alone in the dark through the night, determined to be the first person to buy a ticket and enter the park. By dawn, the line had grown to 6,000 people, but MacPherson maintained his spot at the front. On the morning of July 18, 1955, Walt Disney arrived to greet guests at his new amusement park. He picked two children from the back of the line and allowed them to enter the park for free. Macpherson’s long night paid off, and he purchased the first ticket to enter Disneyland. After years of planning and preparation, Disneyland opened for the first time 65 years ago this month.
MacPherson’s night at the ticket booth, however, came with a big reward. He was given a lifetime pass to Disneyland. Each January he receives an annual pass for four which covers admissions, free parking, and rides.
Our archives are expanding again! We’ve added new newspapers from Miami, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina, bringing wonderful new content from the Southern United States.
The Miami Herald: In 1891, a woman named Julia Tuttle left Cleveland after the death of her husband. She purchased 640 acres in what is present-day downtown Miami and persuaded a railroad magnate to extend the rail lines south to Miami. Miami was incorporated in 1896, with a population of just over 300, and The Miami Herald began publication in 1910. Initially published six times a week, it became a daily in 1913. Our digital archives date back to 1911 and chronicle the growth of southern Florida.
In 1959 Fidel Castro rose to power and hundreds of thousands of Cubans emigrated to Miami. The Spanish-speaking population burgeoned and in 1975, the Herald created a Spanish insert called El Miami Herald. It featured Spanish translations of the stories in the Herald. Pleased with the success, the paper decided to launch a separate Spanish newspaper and in 1987, El Nuevo Herald began publication.
Since the founding of America, millions of people hoping for a brighter future left their home countries and immigrated to the United States. The number of immigrants increased dramatically after the Civil War with nearly 12 million arriving between 1870-1900. More than 70% of all immigrants entered through New York City. Castle Garden opened in 1855 as the primary immigration processing center and operated as such until Ellis Island’s opening in 1892 (though from 1890-1892, the center was moved to the U.S. Barge Office). We’ve scoured our newspaper archives to find the stories behind some of those immigrants’ arrivals.
Reunion with Loved Ones: In 1890, a woman from Russia arrived at Castle Garden to reunite with her sweetheart who arrived two years earlier and sent money for her passage. The journey took more than a month and her funds ran out. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, she finally made her way to Minnesota. Read her story here. In another instance, a Prussian man prepared for the arrival of his wife and five children in 1897. He rented a home in Maryland and purchased some furniture, but sadly suffered a fatal fall just hours after they reunited. This final clipping tells the story of Michael O’Brien, an Irish immigrant, who left his family to seek his fortune in America. He sent letters and money until one day when communication suddenly ceased. His worried wife and four children sailed for America, arriving at Castle Garden in 1878. The determined woman searched for O’Brien, only to learn that he had remarried and had another child. He undoubtedly had some explaining to do.
Do you have ancestors that arrived at Castle Garden? Use historic newspapers to learn about their experiences. Search Newspapers.com today!
A summer night spent at the
drive-in brings nostalgic feelings for millions of Americans who grew up
listening to the tinny sound coming from the speaker hooked to the car window
at their local drive-in theater. On June 6, 1933, the world’s
first drive-in theater opened in Camden,
New Jersey. This revolutionary
concept transformed automobiles into “private theatre boxes” allowing
guests to “smoke, chat, or even partake of refreshments.”
Pleased with the results, Hollingshead sought financial backing from his cousin and opened the first drive-in theater. Patrons paid $1 per car or 25 cents per person. Speakers were mounted atop the 60-foot screen but didn’t provide very good sound. It would take years to improve the sound problem at the drive-in. Hollingsworth’s theater design included concentric, curved rows titled at a five-degree angle to ensure that everyone had a good view of the screen.
Today, there are somewhere around
330 drive-in theaters remaining in the U.S. During recent months, some of those
theaters have experienced an
unexpected revival, offering families an evening out during social distancing.
Do you remember attending the drive-in when you were young? To learn more about
the history of drive-in theaters, search Newspapers.com
If you have ancestors from Texas or an interest in the Old
West, we are pleased to announce that we’ve once again partnered with
McClatchy, the second-largest local news company in the U.S., to add the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram to our archives. Included in this collection are
other historic Fort Worth papers including the Fort
Worth Record-Telegram 1912-1931; the Fort
Worth Record and Register 1897-1912; and the Daily
Fort Worth Standard 1876-1877. The
Fort Worth Star-Telegram was founded in 1909 when the Fort Worth Star
merged with the Fort Worth Telegram. This archive has chronicled the
growth of Fort Worth for nearly 150 years!
At a time when the American frontier expanded westward, settlers
moved into the Fort Worth area in the 1840s. They met with local Native
American chiefs and established
a treaty where Native Americans would remain west of a line drawn through
present-day Fort Worth. The line would mark, “Where
the West Begins” – Fort Worth’s famous slogan that is still found on the
masthead of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.
In 1849, construction began on a fort, one in a line of
military outposts meant to establish control over North Texas and protect
settlers from Native American attacks. The fort was named after Maj.
Gen. Williams Jenkins Worth and soon a small community of civilians sprang
up in the area.
In 1982, in a time before readers consumed information
online, the Star-Telegram pioneered another way to deliver news when
they began StarText. StarText
was a subscription
service that delivered the latest news, stock
quotes, and classified ads 24 hours a day via home computer and modem.
Would you “garden for victory?” During World War II, Americans were encouraged to grow vegetable gardens to help with the home-front war effort. These “Victory Gardens” flourished around the country during the war years, providing an estimated 40 percent of the fresh vegetables Americans ate.
Curious about these gardens? We looked through WWII-era
papers on Newspapers.com to learn more
about wartime Victory Gardens in the United States!
America’s World War II Victory Gardens were actually a
revival of a World War I gardening
effort supported by the U.S. government. Starting in 1917, the government had
successfully encouraged Americans to grow vegetables at home to free up food
for soldiers and allies overseas. When the war ended, however, many people no
longer saw a reason to maintain their gardens.
But when war broke out again in Europe in 1939, some Americans began to predict there would again be a need for more vegetable gardens, even though the United States hadn’t officially entered the war yet. Interest in wartime gardens began to grow, despite some opposing arguments that they were unnecessary and potentially harmful to farmers’ livelihoods.
Revival of Victory
Then, with the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and
the beginning of food rationing shortly afterward, war gardens began taking off
in the United States. 1942 saw a sharp increase in the number of newspaper
articles about growing wartime gardens—usually called Victory Gardens but also
sometimes referred to as “war gardens” or “gardens for defense.”
Many of the newspaper gardening articles from the spring of
1942 focused on the need for efficiency.
Numerous articles emphasized that Americans should avoid repeating the “mistakes” of World War
I, when people were so enthusiastic about war gardens that they tore up lawns
and parks to put in vegetable gardens without considering factors like soil quality.
Some articles even discouraged
inexperienced gardeners from planting Victory Gardens altogether to avoid
inefficiency and waste.
But as World War II lengthened, even amateur gardeners were
encouraged to grow Victory Gardens, and 1943 and 1944 saw home vegetable
gardens reach their peak popularity.
During this time, Victory Gardens were often portrayed as a patriotic duty. Americans were told that
growing a vegetable garden would help free up food for soldiers, and that
eating local produce would reduce the strain on America’s transportation
network. In many cases, Victory Gardens served as morale boosters as well, helping home
gardeners feel they were contributing to the war effort.
Newspapers published a huge amount of gardening content
during these years—from how-to guides,
to garden diagrams, to planting schedules. Newspapers also
published helpful columns about how to can
and preserve Victory Garden produce, and
the Boston Globe even offered to test people’s garden soil for free.
Inevitably, wartime gardening made its way into newspaper ads as well—with
Victory Garden imagery and slogans being used to sell products from seeds to beer.
Of course, not everyone had room to grow a backyard garden. City dwellers grew gardens where they could, from window boxes to rooftops. Other Victory Gardens were grown at schools and workplaces, or in community plots established both in and outside of cities. Some newspapers even pitched in to try to help people find places to plant gardens by publishing surveys to identify unused plots.
Victory Gardens’ Decline
1945 was the beginning of the end for Victory Gardens. With the
war winding down, fewer people saw a need for home gardens, even though the
government was still encouraging people
to plant them. And once the war ended, Americans planted even fewer Victory Gardens in 1946 and 1947.
But wartime gardens had produced very real results. In 1942
there had been an estimated 16 million Victory Gardens in the United States; by
1944, this number had grown to 20 million. And these home gardens had produced
a huge amount of food each year—roughly 8
million tons, or more than 40 percent
of fresh fruits and vegetables eaten by Americans.