America's Historical Newspapers


Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees – From 1936 to Today

On January 6, 2015, the newest inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced. They were three pitchers (the first time three pitchers were elected on one ballot) and a second baseman: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, and Craig Biggio. The three pitchers, Johnson, Smoltz, and Martinez, were on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The last time four players were voted in on the same ballot was in 1955, the year Joe DiMaggio was elected, two years after he was first eligible in 1953.

It is difficult to understand how a player like DiMaggio was not elected to the Hall of Fame until his third year of eligibility!

Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees – From 1936 to Today

Make the Most of Your Readex Collections: Spring 2015 Training Schedule

Readex online training sessions for spring 2015 are organized around major Readex collection families. Register today for one or more of these sessions!

  • America's Historical Imprints [Register]

Collections covered include Afro-Americana Imprints; The American Civil War Collection; American Pamphlets; The American Slavery Collection; Early American Imprints, Series I and II: Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker; Supplements from the Library Company of Philadelphia; and American Broadsides and Ephemera.

  • America's Historical Newspapers and World Newspaper Archive [Register]

Collections covered include Early American Newspapers, American Ethnic Newspapers, Caribbean Newspapers, 20th-Century American Newspapers, American Newspaper Archives and the World Newspaper Archive series.

Make the Most of Your Readex Collections: Spring 2015 Training Schedule

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

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

The First Woman Elected to Congress: Jeannette Rankin’s Historic Victory

On Nov. 7, 1916, the U.S. Congress—and the entire nation—forever changed when Montana’s Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress, winning a seat in the House of Representatives. Women at that time did not have universal suffrage—the 19th Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote, was passed by Congress in 1919 but did not become law until it was ratified on Aug. 26, 1920.
The First Woman Elected to Congress: Jeannette Rankin’s Historic Victory

UFO Fever in America’s Historical Newspapers: The Mysterious Airships of 1896-97

Before Roswell and Area 51, before the Wright Brothers and heavier-than-air flying machines, America’s attention was seized by reports of a “mysterious airship.” For five months beginning in November 1896, newspapers across the country described strange aircraft and lights in the night sky above many Western states.  Although the country was not without its skeptics, and opportunists, by April 1897 much of the Midwest was afflicted with UFO fever.

On November 23, 1896, a story originally reported by the San Francisco Chronicle was picked up by many newspapers across the United States. Under various headlines—such as “All in the Air: A Mysterious Airship Puzzles the People of California” (Minneapolis Journal), “Airship a Fact: A Son of Maine has Mastered the Secret” (Boston Daily Journal), and “An Airship: Residents of Sacramento, Cal., Are Treated to a Rare Sight; Aerial Navigation a Reality” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)—the newspapers all reported the same general story.

About 1 o’clock last Monday morning the inhabitants of Sacramento, who were astir at that hour, claim to have seen an airship passing rapidly over the city. Some merely said they saw a bright light, while others went so far as to say they saw a cigar-shaped flying machine and heard human voices from it. The residents of Oakland also say they saw the same sight a few nights ago. (Duluth News Tribune, November 23, 1896)

UFO Fever in America’s Historical Newspapers: The Mysterious Airships of 1896-97

Testing Convictions: The Power of Readex in the Classroom

Teresa Van Hoy is Associate Professor of History at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Originally from North Carolina, Prof. Van Hoy moved to Texas to research the intersecting histories of Latin America and the United States. Over the past year she has made extensive use of Readex digital collections in her classroom. Recently Van Hoy shared her thoughts on the impact these collections had on her students:

I have discovered an unexpected outcome of access to Readex databases. I knew they boosted the quality of student research and facilitated our teaching of research skills. But something more powerful turned out to be happening. It was a phenomenon more subtle than the pedagogical objectives I had so long been measuring and celebrating.

What was happening? Students' dearest convictions were being tested. Their deepest sense of what the Alamo means or the prestige of the Texas Rangers or the commitment of Texas to slavery or the presumed triumph of the end of Reconstruction or the role of San Antonio in the Mexican Revolution was tested by their swift and independent access to America’s Historical Newspapers.

Testing Convictions: The Power of Readex in the Classroom

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.”



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

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

Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: A stirring look at an iconic abolitionist, the triumphant return of a renowned revolutionary, and a dead poet transmits verses via a mendacious medium.

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia (Washington, D.C.) as told in the Washington Evening Star
By John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia

Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

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