Bruce Coggeshall


About Author: 

Bruce has been at NewsBank since 1992. Today, he supervises a team researching topics in U.S. history to prepare entries for the Timeline Edition of America’s Historical Newspapers. His team also selects articles and writes lesson plans for NewsBank’s Special Reports and Hot Topics.

Posts by this Author

“There’s something about them you’ll like”: The Continuing Adventures of Herbert Tareyton

In the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising campaign for Tareyton Cigarettes upset grammarians, teachers and others. “Us Tareyton Smokers Would Rather Fight Than Switch,” the ad copy proclaimed. The accompanying pictures showed smokers with a black eye.

From The Oregonian (Nov. 17, 1963)

In the late 70s, when Tareyton introduced a light cigarette brand, the copy became “Us Tareyton Smokers Would Rather Light Than Fight.” The black eyes were replaced with a white patch in the same shape.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Dec. 27, 1979)

This was a long way from how the cigarette was marketed in the early part of the 20th century, as seen in this example from the 1918 Seattle Times. To begin with, Tareyton had a first name—Herbert! And the tag line was “There’s something about them you’ll like.” There was a centered portrait, presumably of Herbert himself. He wears a top hat and suit, has a monocle in his right eye, carries a walking stick and, of course, smokes a cigarette. He’s an urbane gentleman out for the evening. “Twenty for a Quarter” completed the copy. Smoke Herbert Tareytons, the ad seems to say, and you too can be a gentleman.

“There’s something about them you’ll like”: The Continuing Adventures of Herbert Tareyton

What Not to Wear?: “China’s General Chiang Issues Ten Style Commandments for Women”

Chiang Kai-shek. Source: National Archive Press. via Wikimedia CommonsIn the mid-1930s, when he presented these fashion rules, Chiang Kai-shek was political leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party, head of the country's army, and nominally China’s leader. China, however, was divided into competing factions: besides Chiang's forces, the Communists controlled the province of Jiangxi, and the Japanese were encroaching into the northeast region. At the end of 1934, when the article below was published in the Seattle Times, Chiang's armies were making their fifth attempt to encircle the Communists in Jiangxi, a successful effort that led to the famous Long March. The Long March, the Communist armies' meandering retreat under pressure to Shaanxi, lead to Mao Zedong becoming political leader of the Communists, with Zhou Enlai’s support, and Zhu De becoming military leader. They would remain in these roles for the rest of the Chinese Civil War.

Seattle Times, Dec. 9, 1934
In December 1934, Chiang had a busy life. He probably shouldn't have tried to prescribe a wardrobe makeover for his country’s women. As the article puts it:

What Not to Wear?: “China’s General Chiang Issues Ten Style Commandments for Women”

The Death of Winston Churchill: As Seen in One American Newspaper Archive

Click to open in PDFJanuary 24, 2015, was the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. The soldier, politician and writer lived a long and notable life, which was extensively covered in American newspapers.

From his 1899 prison escape during the Boer War, he was in the public eye, serving in parliament from 1900 on and in government almost continuously from 1908 to 1929. He took a brief time away from government during World War I, when, following the battle of Gallipoli—which he championed, but which was a failure—he resigned as first Lord of Admiralty to serve on the front lines.

From 1929 through the 1930s, he was an early and implacable foe of Hitler and the Nazis. He decried the Munich Agreement. He argued for the rearming of Britain. He re-entered government in 1939 and became Prime Minister in 1940. He made mistakes in and out of office. He returned Britain to the gold standard as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He supported the King in the Abdication Crisis. He was against freedom for India. There was no other politician in Britain who could have rallied the people and worked with Roosevelt and, later, Stalin to win World War II.

Churchill's death was front page news across the United States. Pictured above is the front page of The Sunday Oregonian, published on January 24, 1965. It has a blaring headline, a giant photo of him, and a news article about his death. There are also directions to find other articles about him deeper in the paper, including the following page of photographs of him at various ages.

The Death of Winston Churchill: As Seen in One American Newspaper Archive

Context Adds Complexity: Before and After the Attack on Pearl Harbor, as Seen in Major American Newspapers in the Pacific Northwest

Chinese Americans were given certificates to show that they weren’t of Japanese origin. (Click to open article in PDF.)Reliving a moment in history through the pages of America’s Historical Newspapers takes the event out of its place on the timeline of history and reinserts it into the messy context of its era. The details of the event aren’t altered, but what surrounds it makes you think, “Oh wow, that was going on at the same time.” Or, “Man, I didn’t know he was involved in this.” Or, “I never knew that happened.”

Sometimes even events that everybody knows about are seen in new ways. The response to the attack on Pearl Harbor is a case in point. One of the odd things is that Pearl Harbor seems to exist almost outside of the wartime context, even though Japan was at war in China. The bombs falling on Hawaii and the sinking of our ships dominate our memory of it, even though it had a greater role in Japan’s war strategy which sometimes seems forgotten.

In the pages of U.S. newspapers, life was going on as usual in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1940s. Sure, there was fighting in Europe and China, but that was there. Front pages had articles about the battles in Europe and the Pacific, but they weren’t solely devoted to it.

Context Adds Complexity: Before and After the Attack on Pearl Harbor, as Seen in Major American Newspapers in the Pacific Northwest

The Utterly Sad Anniversary of the “War to End All Wars”: A Look Back Through America's Historical Newspapers

August 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of what we now call World War I. The wars in Europe since 1815 had been brief affairs. The expectation was that this would also be brief. The Colorado Gazette of August 23, 1914, called it “the Biggest Family Row of History.”

Click to open in PDF

The war would last four years and mark the end of what some historians call the long 19th century, which they date from the French Revolution to 1914. It was the beginning of the end of several European societies; the empires of Russia, Austro-Hungary and Germany did not survive the conflict. Eastern Europe was completely reshaped politically by the war and the peace that followed it. Great Britain struggled with its economic consequences. The European conflicts of the 1930s and World War II are direct results of it, too. America’s Historical Newspapers can help students and scholars explore and understand this conflagration in new ways.

The crisis that started it actually began six weeks earlier, when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by Serbian nationalists. Other European royalty and government officials had been assassinated in the three decades previous to this killing, but they did not set off a general European war. This killing of the archduke, and the death of his wife in the same attack, would.

The Charlotte Observer on June 29, 1914, headlined the story this way – “Heir to Throne Killed in Street – Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Wife Victims of Assassin – Were Shot by Youth – Two Attempts Were Made on Life of Royal Couple, the First with a Bomb.”

The Utterly Sad Anniversary of the “War to End All Wars”: A Look Back Through America's Historical Newspapers

The Chairman Goes for a Swim

It was worldwide news when Chairman Mao Tse-tung, “the great leader of the Chinese people,” went for a swim in the Yangtze River on July 16, 1966. According to Peking NCNA International Service in English on July 25, 1966, as captured by the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service for dissemination to American leaders, he “was relaxed and easy… braving winds and waves. He stayed in the water a full 65 minutes, covering a total distance of almost 15 kilometers.” (That’s slightly over nine miles, for those less familiar with the metric system.)

In June of 1956 Chairman Mao had come to Wuhan and swum across the river three times. He “later wrote the poem full of brilliancy and boldness: ‘Swimming—To the Melody Shui Tiao Ke Tou.’ In his latest swim, too, as he put it in this poem, ‘I care not that the wind blows and the waves beat; it is better than idly strolling in a courtyard.’”

From the Readex digital edition of Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports. Click to open full article in PDF.The report continued,

The Chairman Goes for a Swim

“On the Advantage and Amusement derived from the reading of News-Papers” (1783)

From 230 years ago, as reprinted in the New-York Gazetteer or Northern Intelligencer on the first of September 1783:

"The four Winds (the Initials of which make the Word News) are not so capricious or so liable to change, as our public Intelligencers; we have on Monday Morning, a Whisper---on Tuesday, a Rumour---on Wednesday, a Conjecture---on Thursday, a Probable---on Friday, a Positive---and on Saturday, a Premature. And thus are our Hopes and Expectations, for five Days regularly, and almost mechanically increased, till the sixth compliments us with a total Disappointment.

“On the Advantage and Amusement derived from the reading of News-Papers” (1783)

“A Heart of Oak and Nerves of Steel”: A Look Back at Golf’s Greatest Upset and the Local Hero of the 1913 U.S. Open

Francis Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. OpenThis year's U.S. Open marked the 100th anniversary of one of golf’s most memorable moments: the incredible performance of a 20-year-old amateur in the same event in 1913. Francis Ouimet’s win—the most unexpected victory in golf and perhaps all sports—can be relived in the pages of America’s Historical Newspapers.

Ouimet, a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, had grown up in poor economic circumstances and in 1913 was working at a neighborhood sports store. As the reigning Amateur Champion of Massachusetts, Ouimet was qualified to compete in the 1913 Open. Yet no one expected him to do well; the two best players in the world—British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray—were competing. Vardon had won five British Opens and the 1900 U.S. Open. In the spring of 1913, he and Ray were barnstorming the United States, playing exhibition matches. Many expected their tour to conclude with one of them winning the U.S. championship. 

“A Heart of Oak and Nerves of Steel”: A Look Back at Golf’s Greatest Upset and the Local Hero of the 1913 U.S. Open

Ascending the World’s Tallest Mountain: The View from America’s Historical Newspapers and the World Newspaper Archive

Mount EverestAscents of Everest are now so numerous they often don’t make the news anymore, unless there is a devastating loss of life, a brawl among Sherpas and climbers or a race between octogenarians to become the mountain’s oldest successful climber. Yet from early attempts in the 1920s until the triumphant expedition in 1953, attempts at Everest were widely covered. The exotic nature of the quest meant that newspapers could combine graphics and photography in the layout of their pages, as will be seen in the articles below. 

Everest was named after a former British colonial official, though the mountain had local names, including the Tibetan Chomolunga. Since both Nepal and Tibet had closed their borders to foreigners, the British didn’t know the native names. They did know it was the tallest mountain in the Himalayas, from surveying it from afar, and the tallest in the world. They also knew that only a highly organized team could conquer it. In fact, before the first attempt in the 1920s, there was actually an expedition to survey the area and plan a later attempt at the summit. 

These first two excerpts come from the World Newspaper Archive: South Asian Newspapers; the rest are from America’s Historical Newspapers. 

Ascending the World’s Tallest Mountain: The View from America’s Historical Newspapers and the World Newspaper Archive

Forty Sports Champions of 1913: A Photo Montage from the Harrisburg Patriot

This newspaper page from a century ago features a complex layout of amateur and professional sports heroes, established and up-and-coming, two- and four-legged. Found among the 40 photographs are baseball legends Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and Christie Mathewson as well as young golfer Francis Ouimet, the surprise winner of the 1913 U.S. Open. Women pictured include tennis players Marie Wagner and Mary Browne, golfer Gladys Ravenscroft, and Mrs. W.H. Dewar, U.S. National Fencing Champion, Women’s Foil. Other sports represented are boxing, billiards, harness racing, polo, long-distance running, and many more.

 Harrisburg Patriot, 30 December 1913

For more information about the Harrisburg Patriot and other American Newspaper Archives, please contact readexmarketing[at]readex[dot]com.

Forty Sports Champions of 1913: A Photo Montage from the Harrisburg Patriot

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