10 Stories: Cat Tales! Chronicling America

In celebration of the release of the 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, our free, online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers, the reference librarians in our Serials & Government Publications Division have selected some interesting subjects and articles. We’ll be sharing them in a series of Throwback Thursday #TBT blog posts during the next few weeks.

Today we not only celebrate our 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, but we honor the patron saint of the Internet, the humble feline. You think people are obsessed with cat videos today? Here are 10 high-profile newspaper stories concerning the not-so-common house cat.

Illustration of two cats from Washington Evening Star, 9/5/1907

From “In Praise of Cats,” illustration by Elizabeth F. Bonsall, Washington Evening Star, Sept. 15, 1907.

Science Explains Why the Cat Comes Back
Though not exactly like a homing pigeon, you may – or may not – rely on your cat to return, said the Washington Times on Oct. 1, 1922.

Cat Saves Lives of Nine Sailors
A hero cat leads the way to safety when a boat founders out of Firth of Fourth, Scotland, as reported the Klamath Falls (Ore.) Evening Herald of April 2, 1920.

Shall We Kill Every Cat in U.S.?
Horrors! But two sides got equal time in the Bisbee (Ariz.) Daily Review of Nov. 27, 1921.

Your Cat Will Come Back in Furs
An unpleasant speculation upon the fate of cats made homeless in the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, from the San Francisco Call of July 22, 1906.

Cat Succeeds Monkey in New York Society
A much finer fate awaited the urban felines highlighted in the Odgen City (Utah) Standard of Sept. 18, 1915. But the poor monkey!

Pets of British Sailors on the H.M.S. Lenox
Here the cat and the monkey lived together in harmony. “During the recent naval fight the cat stayed on deck, but the monkey hid in a fish kettle,” said the Washington Evening Star on Dec. 10, 1914.

Ed Is a Highbrow Tabby
Here at the Library we appreciate Ed, who enjoyed a good read, according to the Free Trader Journal and Ottawa (Ill.) Fair Dealer on June 16, 1922.

Pacific Cat Exhibition Brings Out Handsome Felines
The cartoonists got into the act with this comedic review in the San Francisco Call of August 31, 1900.

Cat Traces Ancestry to Middle Ages
An entry from the classic Chicago Day Book, July 4, 1912.

In Praise of Cats
Now we’re talking. Glowing prose from Agnes Repplier, sumptuous illustrations by Elizabeth F. Bonsall, in the Washington Evening Star of Sept. 15, 1907.

Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint effort between the two agencies and partners in 40 states and territories. Start exploring the first draft of history today at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov and help us celebrate on Twitter and Facebook by sharing your findings and using the hashtags #ChronAm #10Million.

And the Word Was Made Beautiful

Pope Francis has moved among us, here in Washington, D.C., for a time—and one lasting result of his visit can be viewed, starting Saturday, at the Library of Congress: a breathtakingly beautiful Apostles Edition of The Saint John’s Bible, the first Bible entirely hand-made and illuminated in more than 500 years. The rare Bible was […]

Page from the Past: A Sailor’s Map Journal

(The following story, written by Center for the Book intern Maria Comé, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the LCM, which you can read in it’s entirety here.) Sept. 2, 1945, marked the end of World War II, following the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seventy years later, researchers can access the […]

Their Own Words, in Their Own Voices

To read a poem is a quiet joy. To read some authors’ prose is as wonderful as reading a poem. It’s just the poet, or the writer, and you. Right there, in black and white. What could be better? How about hearing it “in color” as a poet or author reads to you from his […]

Pinterest This: For Hire

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, monthly job gains averaged 235,000 over the last three months. Many of these jobs and industries didn’t even exist 10, 20, even 30 years ago – coder, software engineer, social media strategist, Zumba instructor, to name a few. But, just as new jobs are created, others become completely […]

History You Could Really Sink Your Teeth Into

E.L. Doctorow, a giant of American letters who uplifted the genre of the historical novel, died yesterday at the age of 84. The author of “Ragtime,” “World’s Fair,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The March,” “Welcome to Hard Times” and “Andrew’s Brain,” among many other works of fiction, will be much missed. Doctorow was the recipient of the […]

Inquiring Minds: An Interview With Author James McGrath Morris

James McGrath Morris is an author, columnist and radio show host. He writes primarily biographies and works of narrative nonfiction. He discusses his newest book, “Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press,” tomorrow, July 21, at the Library. Read more about it here. Tell us about your new book “Eye […]

Look What I Discovered: Life as a Mary Wolfskill Trust Fund Intern

Today’s post has been written by Logan Tapscott, one of 36 college students participating in the Library of Congress 2015 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program. Tapscott is completing a modified dual degree through the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education: a master of arts degree in public history from Shippensburg University and a masters in […]