America's Historical Newspapers


We Come from a Land Down Under: Australia’s Thrilling Victory in the 1983 America’s Cup

Our guest blogger is Louise Paolacci, Director, Bezi Publishing Services Pty Ltd, Australia

This September marks the 30th anniversary of Australia’s momentous victory in the America’s Cup yacht race. Australia II was the first foreign challenger to win the coveted trophy, breaking 132 years of U.S. domination.

The rivalry between the New York Yacht Club’s Liberty and the Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II was the subject of feverish media attention throughout the summer of 1983, as captured in Readex’s 20th-Century American Newspapers.

From the outset, Australia II was viewed as one of the favorites among the foreign challengers to win the race.

We Come from a Land Down Under: Australia’s Thrilling Victory in the 1983 America’s Cup

“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:

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

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)

Researching the March on Washington using African American newspapers and periodicals

This month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington during which Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Calling for an end to racism, the speech was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. With reference to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, King recounted the travails of African Americans over the previous 100 years as they struggled against bigotry and segregation. In it King also provided a vision of a future free of intolerance where people would be judged not by the “color of their skin,” but by the “content of their character.”

 

Researching the March on Washington using African American newspapers and periodicals

“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

This 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.
“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

Now Available on Video: “Ethnic Studies in the Digital Age”

At the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Readex vice president Remmel Nunn shared his expertise on “Ethnic Studies in the Digital Age.” Drawing from the Archive of Americana and other resources, he presented multiple examples of how recently digitized materials have opened new doors for researchers. Remmel demonstrated how specific newspaper articles have provided fresh insight into such topics as the Emancipation Proclamation, the “Prayer of Twenty Millions,” and Lincoln’s colonization plans for African Americans. He also illustrated how new perspectives on the Civil War have arisen through the digitization of newspapers like The Black Warrior, a paper published by Black soldiers in the Union Army. 

Remmel also discussed the creation of new bibliographies, collection development challenges, oral history trends, and more. I hope you’ll appreciate the slides shown, which include compelling examples of the kind of historical images that are emerging as essential primary sources.

Now Available on Video: “Ethnic Studies in the Digital Age”

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

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

Ascents 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. 

From The Leader of Allahabad, India, on 15 January 1921:

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

Celebrating Victory: The End of World War II as Seen in America's Historical Newspapers

On May 8, 1945, the United States and Europe celebrated VE day, or Victory in Europe day. The war in Europe had lasted for six years, claiming the lives of over sixty million people. After Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, during the Battle of Berlin, the surrender of Germany was authorized by his successor, Karl Dönitz. On May 7,1945, Dönitz and the German High Command declared Germany’s unconditional surrender. News that the Europe war had ended was published that same day in many American newspapers, although the official announcement was made on May 8, when the surrender document was ratified.

Church bells rang and the streets resounded with singing and cheering. People flooded to places like Trafalgar Square in London and Times Square in New York City to celebrate, as reported in these papers on May 7:

Celebrating Victory: The End of World War II as Seen in America's Historical Newspapers

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