Cowabunga! 8 of the Biggest Bovines to Udderly Amoose You

Have you been as fascinated as the rest of the internet with Knickers, the giant steer in Australia? Then do we have a blog post for you! We’ve gathered photos of some of the biggest bovines we could find in the newspapers from the last 100 years. How do these cows, steers, and bulls measure up to Knickers, who stands nearly 6 feet 4 inches and weighs more than 3,000 pounds? Read on to find out! We won’t “steer” you wrong!

If we start from the shortest of the bunch (which is still amazingly tall), first is Big Jim, who was once owned by Will Rogers. In this photo from 1936, the steer was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 3,100 pounds.

Next is this giant Holstein bull from Kentucky in 1960. The newspaper didn’t report how tall he was, but he weighed in at a whopping 3,126 pounds and was the largest at the Kentucky State Fair!

From 1925, we have a Shorthorn-Hereford from Nebraska. The newspaper was unclear about whether it was a steer or a bull, but either way it stood 5 feet 7 inches high and weighed 3,200 pounds.

From 1930 comes this photo of a cow named Texas Pride. Though nearly 6 feet high at the shoulders, its horns added another foot and a half. The offspring of a Jersey cow and a Brahma bull, Texas Pride weighed in at 1 ton. [Read more about Texas Pride here.]

In 1933, you could’ve earned $500 if you managed to find a cow bigger than Lone Star, from Texas. Another Jersey-Brahma mix, this cow was 6 feet and 1 inch high and weighed 2,800 pounds. The distance from its nose to the tip of its tail was 15 feet! [Read more about Lone Star here.]

Then we have this giant steer from Kentucky, apparently also named Big Jim like the first steer on our list. This Big Jim stood 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 4,026 pounds.

Last up, we have two bovines that tie in height with Knickers. First is this Brahma-Shorthorn steer from 1973 named Satan. Though tying with Knickers in height, this steer outweighed him, weighing in at 2 tons.

The other 6 foot 4 inch bovine we found is Blosom, a cow from Illinois. In 2014, Blosom made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for her height. [Read more about Blosom here.]

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Lady Astor Elected to Parliament – This Week in History

Lady Astor becomes first woman elected to ParliamentLady Astor becomes first woman elected to Parliament Fri, Nov 28, 1919 – 14 · Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, United States of America) ·

On November 28, 1919, American-born Lady Nancy Astor becomes the first woman to sit in the House of Commons. Her well-publicized election and individual approach to politics earned her quite a following. Her supporters saw her through another 26 years in Parliament, until her retirement in 1945.

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Kennedy’s Assassin Killed – This Week in History

On November 24, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy, is fatally shot.

Kennedy's Assassin is Dead - Nov 25, 1963Kennedy’s Assassin is Dead – Nov 25, 1963 Mon, Nov 25, 1963 – Page 1 · Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Delaware, Pennsylvania) ·

The event was witnessed by thousands who tuned in to Oswald’s televised departure from Dallas police headquarters. His killer, Jack Ruby, was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to death. In 1966, the decision was reversed, and Ruby died of lung cancer before he could be retried.

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How to Cook a Turkey

How to Cook A TurkeyHow to Cook A Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

You may have seen a running internet joke this week about asking mom how to cook a turkey in a microwave. But when it comes to cooking, who gives better instruction than children? Check out these third-grader responses to the question, “how do you cook a turkey?” from this 1998 paper.

Raleigh Middleton - How to Cook a TurkeyRaleigh Middleton – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Ke-Ke Jones - How to Cook a TurkeyKe-Ke Jones – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Aleasha Fulgham - How to Cook a TurkeyAleasha Fulgham – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Kevin Warren - How to Cook a TurkeyKevin Warren – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Blair Huffman - How to Cook a TurkeyBlair Huffman – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Brandon James - How to Cook a TurkeyBrandon James – How to Cook a Turkey Wed, Nov 25, 1998 – 10 · The Webster Progress-Times (Eupora, Mississippi, United States of America) ·

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Margaret Brent, First Suffragette?

Margaret Brent demanding voting rights, art by Edwin TunisMargaret Brent demanding voting rights, art by Edwin Tunis Sun, Mar 12, 1950 – 141 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) ·

In a time when women’s voices were primarily filtered through the opinions of their husbands and fathers, wealth (and being single) was one of the few things that could give a woman power. In the 1600s, Margaret Brent’s wealth and property gained her prominence in the Maryland colony. But her intellect and forceful nature made her someone to be reckoned with. You might even say she was one of America’s first suffragettes.

First Suffragette? Margaret BrentFirst Suffragette? Margaret Brent Fri, Sep 19, 1952 – Page 6 · Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, Broome, New York, United States of America) ·

Governor Calvert’s Decision

One of Brent’s good friends was the governor of Maryland, Leonard Calvert. On his death, Calvert made the unexpected decision to name Brent as executrix of his estate. It was a significant choice that speaks highly about her character.

Margaret Brent made ExecutrixMargaret Brent made Executrix Sun, May 17, 1925 – Page 4 · The Star Press (Muncie, Delaware, Indiana, United States of America) ·

Along with the authority to make decisions about Calvert’s lands and debts, Brent also gained power of attorney over the local property of his brother, Lord Baltimore. Yes, that Lord Baltimore. The man who established and managed the Province of Maryland from his home in England.

Brent Demands a Vote

Brent’s position meant that, in theory, she should be given a place in the Maryland General Assembly. She therefore asked for a vote “in the howse for her selfe,” and a “voyce” as the attorney of Lord Baltimore. However, despite the respect they held for Brent, her request was refused. Property or no property, Brent was a woman. The Assembly went on without her, to her great displeasure.

Leaving Maryland

With no power to suggest taxes on the county, she ended up paying a portion of Calvert’s debt by selling some of Lord Baltimore’s property. His negative reaction, and her experience with the Assembly, left her with a sour taste in her mouth. She moved to Virginia, sold off her Maryland properties, and continued to accumulate absurd amounts of land in her new home.

“Had she been born a queen she would have been as…Elizabeth.” Sun, May 17, 1925 – Page 4 · The Star Press (Muncie, Delaware, Indiana, United States of America) ·

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How Did Black Friday Become an American Tradition?

Black Friday shopping is a Thanksgiving tradition for most Americans. In 2017, more than two-thirds of American adults went shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, either in stores or online. But do you know how the tradition of Black Friday began?

Black Friday crowds in Philadelphia in 1968 (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.0.1968)

Black Friday crowds in Philadelphia in 1968 (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.0.1968)

The Early Years

In the decades after President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as an annual holiday in 1863, it developed into the unofficial beginning of the holiday season. Then, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various department stores began sponsoring parades on Thanksgiving, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Known as “Santa parades” because they ended with the arrival of Santa Claus, these parades were used by the department stores to launch their Christmas campaigns and increase excitement for holiday shopping. It eventually became an unwritten rule that retailers wouldn’t begin their holiday sales until after Thanksgiving.

First Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1924 (Daily News, 11.28.1924)

First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1924 (Daily News, 11.28.1924)

Thanksgiving became so intertwined with the holiday shopping season that in 1939, a year when Thanksgiving fell late in the month, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week, lengthening the holiday shopping season but also causing a major public uproar.

  • Go here to learn the full story of what happened when FDR moved Thanksgiving

Black Friday Is Born

Before “Black Friday” came to refer to the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving, it had long been used in other ways—such as to refer to the Panic of 1869 and as a name for Friday the 13th. How it shifted to its current meaning is a bit unclear.

It seems to have begun in the 1950s and ‘60s in Philadelphia, where the police used “Black Friday” to refer to the terrible traffic conditions after Thanksgiving caused by people coming to the city to shop and attend the Army-Navy football game.

  • Go here to see a 1967 Philadelphia newspaper using “Black Friday” to refer to bad traffic

Complicating this explanation, however, is the fact that the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who helped popularize the term remembers first hearing it in Boston. And to make its origins even muddier, the term was also used in Rochester, New York, around the same time as in Philadelphia.

But despite the ambiguity of the term’s origins, one thing is clear: retailers hated the term “Black Friday.” They felt it had negative connotations, and, in Philadelphia at least, retailers tried to promote the term “Big Friday”—but it never took off.

“Black Friday” Spreads

For a while, “Black Friday” remained a regional term. In 1985, the Philadelphia Inquirer even ran a column discussing how “Black Friday” wasn’t used in other parts of the nation. But by the late 1980s, the term began seeing wider acceptance and was in use around the country in the 1990s.

  • Go here to read an excerpt from the 1985 Philadelphia Inquirer Black Friday column

By the time the term became popular, however, the story around its origins had shifted from the negative connotations of heavy traffic to the more positive explanation—pushed by retailers—that it referred to the day businesses turned a profit and went from being “in the red” to “in the black.”

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Last American Death of WWI – This Week in History

100 years ago this week, the Armistice of November 11, 1918, officially ended the conflict of WWI. On that same day, an American soldier named Henry Gunther was killed one minute before the armistice was to take effect. Gunther’s was the last American death of the war.

Henry Gunther killed one minute before 11 o'clock, Nov 11 1918Henry Gunther killed one minute before 11 o’clock, Nov 11 1918 Tue, Feb 11, 1919 – 20 · The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) ·

Henry Gunther Headline, 1919Henry Gunther Headline, 1919 Sun, Mar 16, 1919 – 16 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) ·

Gunther’s was killed when he charged alone into a nest of German machine gunners. The gunners tried to wave him back, knowing peace was so near, but shot him when he came too close with bayonet raised. He died instantly, and his final charge was remembered as a last burst of loyalty. A memorial plaque was unveiled in 2010 at the Gunther family plot where he is buried, commemorating his contributions during the war and the unique circumstance of his death.

Final American Casualty of WWIFinal American Casualty of WWI Sat, Apr 1, 2017 – A3 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America) ·

Find more about the armistice, Henry Gunther, and the thousands of other deaths that occurred on the day the armistice was signed with a search on

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Mrs. Shaw and the Fatal Cooking Mistake

A woman named Mrs. Shaw made the news in the Lancaster Gazette, 1830, when she accidentally poisoned everyone at her dinner party, including herself.

Mrs. Shaw's fatal cooking mistakeMrs. Shaw’s fatal cooking mistake Sat, Sep 4, 1830 – 3 · The Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Lancashire, England) ·

Best not to mix that arsenic and bold taste.

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Canadian Collection of Newspapers!

This month we’re excited to announce that our Canadian newspaper archives are expanding! We’ve added several papers from publisher Postmedia Network and will be adding more pages and titles through 2019!  We have papers from Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find.


Parliament Burns – February 1916
The Ottawa Citizen

The Montréal Gazette: Founded in 1778, the Montréal Gazette is one of the oldest newspapers in North America. Though originally published in French, the Gazette has been English-only since 1822. Montréal is Canada’s second largest city and established itself early on as an important center for the fur trade. Our earliest issues date back to 1857 when the Gazette published this ad for fur coats made from beaver, doeskin or Siberian fur. This story printed in 1858 teaches readers how to care for and clean their furs. In the late 1800s, expansion on the St. Lawrence River canal system began. The river provided a water shipping corridor and the Grand Trunk Railway provided a land connection, enabling Montréal to undergo rapid growth industrialization. The Gazette recorded births, marriages, and deaths of many of Montréal’s citizens. It also reported on a tragic fire in 1927 at the Laurier Palace Theatre that killed 78 children who had gathered to watch a silent film.

The Calgary Herald: With issues dating back to 1888, we have papers chronicling life in Calgary for the past 130 years! The Herald was initially published in a tent at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers in 1883. Early on, Fort Calgary was established as an outpost for the Mounted Police. As homestead land became available, the population grew along with Calgary’s mining and ranching industries. The world-famous Calgary Stampede started in 1912 and celebrates that ranching heritage. In 1914, the discovery of oil at the Dingman well created a frenzy that died down as the First World War began.

Edmonton Journal: In 1903, around the time Edmonton got its first railway, three newsmen printed the first edition of the Edmonton Journal in the back of a fruit store. The population was just 4,000 back them, and the Journal has chronicled the growth for the past 115 years! In 1947, the Imperial Oil Company struck a rich deposit of “black gold.” The oil discovery sent the population of the city booming and cemented Alberta’s reputation as a province rich in oil and gas.

The Ottawa Citizen:  Royal Engineers set up a campsite in present day Ottawa during construction of the Rideau Canal (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In 1845, the Citizen published its first edition and 12 years later Ottawa was named Canada’s capital by Queen Victoria. Our archives begin in 1898 and cover notable events like the great Ottawa-Hull fire that destroyed a large tract of Ottawa and most of Hull in 1900. The “Social and Personal” column is a great place to search for historic news of your Ottawa ancestors!

Our Canadian newspaper archives are a great way to research your Canadian ancestors or Canadian history. Check back often as we’re updating this collection regularly. Get started searching our Canadian archives today!

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapses – This Week in History

On November 7, 1940, just four months after its completion, the world’s third-longest suspension bridge snaps in a 42 mph wind and collapses into the waters below. This was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a slender, 2-lane creation whose tendency to visibly sway and wobble earned it the name “Galloping Gertie.”

World's Third Largest Suspension Bridge CollapsesWorld’s Third Largest Suspension Bridge Collapses Fri, Nov 8, 1940 – Page 1 · Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Blair, Pennsylvania, United States of America) ·

A single car was on the bridge at the time of the incident, occupied by a newspaper copy editor named Leonard Coatsworth and his cocker spaniel. When the bridge began to violently tip one way and then the other, he abandoned the car—and, after a quick, failed coercion effort, the dog—and crawled his way across the bridge to shore before the bridge snapped. (You can read a full account of his experience in his own words here.)

The dog, still inside the car when it slid off the broken bridge, was the single casualty of the disaster.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse, 1940Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse, 1940 Thu, Nov 28, 1940 – 3 · The Springville Herald (Springville, Utah, United States of America) ·

Though a firm consensus hasn’t been reached as to the exact reasons for the collapse, the Tacoma Bridge incident led to better aerodynamics in bridge design and, eventually, the implementation of mandatory wind-tunnel testing. In 1950, a new and improved Tacoma Narrows Bridge (nicknamed “Sturdy Gertie”) was constructed with wider lanes and better resistance to wind.

Old Tacoma Bridge vs New Tacoma BridgeOld Tacoma Bridge vs New Tacoma Bridge Sun, Nov 12, 1950 – Page 46 · Daily Press (Newport News, Newport News, Virginia, United States of America) ·

Read more about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse with a search on

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