This post was written by Robin Butterhof, a Digital Conversion Specialist in the Library’s Serial and Government Publications Division.
Dueling newspaper editors! Spring frocks of 1899! Baseball’s Opening Day (in 1921)! Discover them all by following our newly launched Twitter account @ChronAmLOC highlighting news and articles from the Chronicling America online historic newspaper collection.
Images from left to right, top to bottom:
“Events in the Life of the Untutored Farm Boy…,” Nogales International (Nogales, AZ), February 11, 1931.
“The Leaders of Three Nations Posing for History,” Detroit Evening Times (Detroit, MI), December 6, 1943.
“Ida B. Wells,” The Topeka State Journal (Topeka, KS), June 8, 1895.
“War in the Air,” Evening Star (Washington, DC), March 17, 1940.
“Base Hits. Three Baggers and Home Runs,” The Evening Times (Grand Forks, ND), April 14, 1909.
“The American Girl’s Evolution in Beauty,” The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, MO), October 25, 1903.
“Scene at Fort Meyer Field When Wright Broke the Aeroplane Record,” Bisbee Daily Review (Bisbee, AZ), September 12, 1908.
While the Library of Congress has an extraordinary newspaper collection, the vast majority of newspapers published in the United States are housed and preserved at institutions across the country. Nearly forty years ago, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Library of Congress and state cultural heritage institutions came together to locate, preserve, and make available local newspapers as part of the United States Newspaper Program (USNP). Building on the success of the USNP, a new program named the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) began in 2005. For NDNP, state partners receive awards from the NEH to select and digitize newspapers. These digitized newspapers are then made accessible via the Chronicling America website, which is permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.
With the @ChronAmLOC Twitter account, we’ll explore early journalism across the United States by highlighting notable newspapers. Did you know that the editor of the Baton Rouge Gazette was killed in a duel with a Congressional candidate? Or perhaps you’ve wondered how newspapers survived during the Civil War? You can learn more about that via the Chattanooga Daily Rebel, also known as the “Rebel on Wheels,” which it moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Marietta, Georgia and finally to Selma, Alabama to evade the advancing Union Army. Another Tennessee newspaper, Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, was shut down by the Confederacy for two years, but reopened in 1863 with funding from the federal government. Each newspaper in Chronicling America is accompanied by an essay that explains the importance of that particular title to our nation’s history.
We’ll also explore U.S. history as initially viewed by the people that lived it. To do that, we’ll look back at what happened on that day 60, 100 or 200 years ago. For example, did you know that August 2, 1790 was the first Census Day? You can read the debates about the first Census via our historical newspapers.
Join us on Twitter @ChronAmLOC to learn more about the United States and its newspapers, truly the first draft of history!