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

Just Browsing: Cool Items from the Past

One of the joys of browsing American historical newspapers is discovering the unexpected from around the world. Take this photograph, for example, of a car being dragged across a Siberian river during the Peking-to-Paris race in 1907:

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer; Date: Aug. 18, 1907; Page: 29

Or this photo of European ostrich racing in the 1920s:

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, Date: Sept. 28, 1924; Page 76

And then this picture of the same race in a different newspaper, which notes that these jockeys couldn’t get their birds to go!

Just Browsing: Cool Items from the Past

A Dreadful Anniversary: May 31, 1921 (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Tulsa’s black community was prosperous in the first decades of 20th century. There were restaurants and theaters, and a shopping district offered fine goods. The African American press of Tulsa called Oklahoma “The Promised Land.”

As the Topeka Plaindealer put it on May 28, 1915:

“There are seven good churches, and the schools are among the best in the state. Numerous rent houses are owned by the race, and they are indeed excellent ones. Many brick buildings, and business enterprises are owned by the race. There are about 4,000 colored citizens, and all in all we are pushing ahead.”


A Dreadful Anniversary: May 31, 1921 (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

A Future That Never Arrived

Buried among the verbiage of a lengthy speech by Nikita Khrushchev from 1960 is a Communist Party plan that I’d never heard before – that the Soviet Union would abolish taxes on workers and employees by 1965, and also shorten their workday! It turns out this was a major Soviet domestic policy in 1960, worthy of headlines in the Trenton Evening Times, as can be seen from this page view.

From America's Historical Newspapers

A Future That Never Arrived

Exploring Mexico's Revolutions in American Newspapers

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the initial uprising that would lead to the independence of Mexico from Spain.  2010 is also the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution of 1910, which overthrew President Porfirio Diaz.  Both revolutions lasted around a decade.

From America's Historical Newspapers

The 1810 uprising is traditionally thought to have begun on September 16. This article published on December 20, 1810 in Boston’s Independent Chronicle shows how early news of the uprising was presented in the United States. It’s short and to the point.

On February 23, 1811, Baltimore’s Federal Gazette contained this translation of an article from the November 20, 1810 issue of the Spanish-language Mexico Gazette. The original article is a first-person account by Brigadier Don Felix Calleja of his actions in the field against the insurgents. Everything traveled slowly then, not just news. Publishers had no fear of reprinting materials from wherever they could get them.

Exploring Mexico's Revolutions in American Newspapers

"Tears in England": Will World Cup History Repeat Itself?

From the Springfield Union, July 1, 1950, page 18

England will meet the United States in the first game either team plays in the 2010 World Cup. The tournament begins this Friday, June 11, with the England vs. U.S. game occurring Saturday afternoon in the Eastern Time zone.

The first time the two teams met produced a stunning upset in 1950. The Springfield Union quoted British newspapers as saying that the loss "marks the lowest ever for British sport," and "is the biggest soccer upset of all time." A reporter for the U.K.’s Daily Graphic wrote: "It was pathetic to see the cream of English players beaten by a side (team) most amateur players at home would have beaten..."

A search within 20th-Century American Newspapers on "World Cup" and "soccer" in the year 1950 reveals only 10 articles in the pages of eight major U.S. papers. In contrast, this year ESPN and its family of networks will be broadcasting every game from the tournament. Times, and American interest in the sport, have changed.


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