American Newspaper Archives


Announcing “Undergrads Doing History: Using Digital Primary Sources to Motivate Students” – An Upcoming Webinar by Prof. Carl Robert Keyes

banner top.JPG“How can I better incorporate my own research into the undergraduate courses I teach?”

College and university professors grapple with this question every semester.  In this 45-minute webinar, Prof. Keyes will reveal how he adapted two digital humanities projects—drawn from his own research on advertising in early America—into classroom exercises that challenge students to actively “do” history rather than merely learn about the past.

Register to attend this and learn how to:

• develop alternative assignments that engage student interest yet also enhance skills associated with traditional essays

• improve information literacy by identifying and assessing primary sources and secondary sources

• create research projects based on extensive collections of digital primary sources

• avoid pitfalls when developing digital humanities projects for undergraduate students

The webinar will conclude with an open Q & A session, and all registrants will receive a link to the recorded session.

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Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Announcing “Undergrads Doing History: Using Digital Primary Sources to Motivate Students” – An Upcoming Webinar by Prof. Carl Robert Keyes

“Destined for success”: 1960 Newspaper Reviews of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee (1926-2016)World-famous for her debut novel—and until last year her only novel—Harper Lee took America by storm in 1960 when To Kill a Mockingbird was published.

Unlike now classic works that were published to lackluster reviews, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice in a small Southern town received immediate praise in newspapers across the United States.

The Boston Herald wrote:

This is a book which the reader will thoroughly enjoy, a book overflowing with life, and warm laughter; one that holds understanding in its heart and passes it on to the absorbed reader. 

From the Boston Herald (July 10, 1960)

 

The Dallas Morning News stated: 

“Destined for success”: 1960 Newspaper Reviews of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

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

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

Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Editors Imagine the Twentieth-Century Newspaper

In 1895 editors at thirteen major American newspapers were asked to use their “prophetic powers” to forecast the news publishing world a century hence.

Over the previous decades, many of them had personally witnessed a host of “advancements in the art of newspaper making”: “from the Washington hand press to the perfecting press; from the stage coach to the telegraph; from paper at 10 cents to good paper at 2 cents a pound; from handset to marvelous typesetting machines…”

In this full-page article found in America’s Historical Newspapers, each of those prominent journalists “draw aside the curtain and peer into the future” to imagine the newspaper of 1995.

Here are excerpts from their predictions published nearly 120 years ago.

Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Editors Imagine the Twentieth-Century Newspaper

“America’s Rembrandt”: The Life of Thomas Eakins as Seen in America’s Historical Newspapers

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is recognized as one of the greatest American artists of the 19th century. While receiving little official recognition in his lifetime, he created profound realist works whose influence persists to this day. 

Eakins also played a leading and controversial role in American art education, pioneering the study of the anatomy and the human nude. He was among the first to use photography to study the human figure in motion, and his innovations as director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts made it the leading art school in the United States.

Because he was out of step with the artistic sensibilities of his era, Eakins “sold only about 25 to 30 paintings in his lifetime,” as noted below in a review of a 1986 “American Masters” documentary, published in The Oregonian:

Things got so bad near the end of Eakins’ life that many people, after commissioning him to do portraits, rejected the final results, sometimes refusing to accept the paintings even when Eakins offered them free. Eakins painted what he saw, without cosmetic correction, so some of his subjects turned out to be less handsome or pretty than they had hoped and expected.

“America’s Rembrandt”: The Life of Thomas Eakins as Seen in America’s Historical Newspapers

Eyewitness Accounts of President Kennedy’s Assassination: A Look Back after 50 Years

In Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, one undisputed fact occurred: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and his wife Nellie. Beyond that almost every detail is disputed, and Kennedy’s assassination remains the subject of vigorous debate, with many competing conspiracy theories.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald actually kill the president, even though he denied it before Jack Ruby in turn murdered him? Was Oswald a lone assassin, as the official government-sponsored Warren Commission concluded after a 10-month investigation? Were there three shots or four? Did all the shots come from the Texas Book Depository, or did at least one shot come from a grassy knoll on the north side of Elm Street? If the killing was a conspiracy, who was involved? The questions, and the speculation, are endless, and now at the half century mark it looks like we may never know the whole story.

The Dallas Morning News thoroughly covered the Kennedy assassination. After all, it was a major story happening in their own city, and one of their correspondents was chosen to be one of the four reporters allowed to travel in the presidential motorcade that fateful day. The News printed that reporter’s eyewitness account of the assassination, as well as an eyewitness account from another staff reporter who was standing on the infamous grassy knoll at the time the shots rang out.

Eyewitness Accounts of President Kennedy’s Assassination: A Look Back after 50 Years

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

NPR has reported that Carl Bernstein, the investigative journalist renowned for his work with Bob Woodward in uncovering the Watergate scandal, will be publishing a memoir about his formative years at the Washington Evening Star

“My understanding of journalism, and the world I've covered and written about, and the life I've led, crystallized in those five incomparable years at a uniquely great newspaper,” Bernstein wrote in a recent press release. 

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

A Crazy Verdict (as seen in the Washington Evening Star)

Look for this new Readex advertisement in the fall 2013 issue of Documents to the People, the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

A Crazy Verdict (as seen in the Washington Evening Star)

Happy 80th Anniversary to the Drive-In Theater

The first "drive-in theater" opened on June 6, 1933, just outside of Camden, New Jersey.  The news was covered around the country.

Happy 80th Anniversary to the Drive-In Theater

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