Harlem Hell Fighters: African-American Troops in World War I

One hundred years ago, on February 17, 1919, the African-American 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the Harlem Hell Fighters, marched up Fifth Avenue into Harlem in a massive victory parade in their honor. “Hell Fighters” was the nickname the German enemy gave the 369th and the name stuck for good reason. They were among the […]

Hello Girls Answer Uncle Sam’s Call

Coined as the Hello Girls as early as the late 19th century, female telephone switchboard operators were widely known as having gentle and polite voices regardless of demanding and impatient callers. During World War I, French-speaking Hello Girls were enlisted to improve wartime communication, transmitting crucial information over a battlefield phone system to troops on […]

The Unsolved Mystery of Aaron Burr’s Daughter

Theodosia Burr Alston, the beloved daughter of disgraced vice president Aaron Burr, left the port of Georgetown, South Carolina on the schooner Patriot in 1812 and was never seen again. Throughout the 19th century, newspapers titillated readers with lurid stories of her alleged fate, including captivity, murder, and deathbed confessions of former pirates. Yet her […]

The League of Nations: Conflicting Opinions in Editorial Cartoons

One hundred years ago, on January 25, 1919, the delegates to the Paris Peace Conference approved a proposal to create the League of Nations. Nearly a year later, on January 16, 1920, the League held its first meeting with its stated principal mission of maintaining world peace. American newspapers presented conflicting views of the League […]

Need a last-minute gift?

Still searching for that last-minute present?  Use Chronicling America for tips/suggestions.  Dolls are so last season.  If you want to win points this year, give a teddy bear instead.   For those with discriminating taste…   Or, how about the gift that keeps on giving? (Be careful what you wish for…)   Treats like chocolates are easy […]

Anatomy of a “Dear Santa” Letter

By the late 19th century, children in the U.S. had begun mailing their Christmas lists in letters to Santa, but the Post Office regarded these letters as undeliverable. Around the same time, newspapers began encouraging children to send their ‘Dear Santa’ letters to them to be published, recognizing the emotional impact the letters would have on their readers.

World War I: A Wartime Clipping Service Update: All 400 Volumes Now Online

The massive collection, World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926, is now fully digitized and freely available on the Library of Congress website. The 79,621 pages are packed with war-related front pages, illustrated feature articles, editorial cartoons, and more. You can search by keywords, browse the content chronologically, and download pages. Coverage begins on June […]