“Some days I wonder why it took so long for there to be a an online, full image, easily searchable database that covers 270+ African American newspapers, representing more than 150 years of the African American experience. I still hug the computer monitor and say, ‘Thank you, Readex, for taking the lead and providing African American Newspapers, 1827-1998.’ I love this collection! It has revolutionized the way I research entries for the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (NKAA). I thank you, and thousands of NKAA users thank you.”
[This article by Graham Russell Gao Hodges, George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Africana & Latin American Studies, Colgate University first appeared in the February 2011 issue of The Readex Report.]
One hundred years ago this month, Ronald Reagan was born in the Illinois village of Tampico. Other prominent Americans born in 1911 include Lucille Ball, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Bishop, Hank Greenberg, Spike Jones and Tennessee Williams.
What else happened in 1911? Here’s a brief look at six memorable events from a century ago.
In our latest issue, you'll find an overlooked lion of abolitionism; a humorous commentary on a dated matrimonial primer; unsung talents from the golden age of radio; and a fresh conversation with a Beat Generation icon.
An early mention of Valentine’s Day in an American newspaper comes from the Farmers' Register (Lansingburgh, NY). This article, reprinted from an unnamed British paper, notes the increase in Valentine’s Day letters passing through the London post office from 60,000 in 1804 to 80,000 in 1805. Clearly, the practice of sending notes to a lover was growing noticeably.
Connecticut Herald (14 May 1811)
In May 1811, the Connecticut Herald (Hartford, CT) quoted a London paper reporting “the love stricken of both sexes thought fit to send to the respective objects of their passion…” not “less than 300,000 of these inflammatory packets…through the post office, within forty-eight hours.” Jumping ahead to February 1844, the Boston Evening Transcript printed a document from the New York Post Office indicating “that the Postmaster of Great Gotham does not intend to be beaten in his arrangements for distributing the missives suggested by the anniversary of St. Valentine, whatever may have been his ill fortune with the foreign mails.”