Yellowstone: American Milestone

With geysers, waterfalls, and hot springs “adorned with decorations more beautiful than human art ever conceived,” Yellowstone National Park is known today for its incredible natural wonders. Our first National Park–and the first in the world–was created by an Act of Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Newspapers […]

The Last Leap of Sam Patch

America’s first daredevil, Sam Patch, astounded audiences by leaping from waterfalls at hair-raising heights. For two years he was unstoppable, cheating death jump after jump. “There’s no mistake in Sam Patch,” he boasted, but a mistake during the jump he dubbed his “last” led to his demise. A Rhode Island cotton mill spinner since childhood, […]

Pulp Fiction at the Library

“Murder Straight Ahead,” “Yesterday I Lived!”, “The Lonely Corpse.” With titles like these, who could resist these stories? In an era before television or even paperback books, people found excitement and entertainment in the form of pulp fiction magazines. Read more about the collections in the Newspaper Reading Room!

Remembering Comics Artist Marie Severin

Legendary artist Marie Severin passed away a few weeks ago, and I wanted to take a moment to share some of her works that are available at the Library of Congress and highlight her decades-long career in the comic book industry. Marie began working as a colorist for EC (Entertaining Comics) in the 1950’s and […]

September = Comics

For me, the end of the summer has become a time of year when I get to work extensively with our independent comic materials in the Small Press Expo Collection. Every year since 2011, staff from the Library of Congress have attended the Small Press Expo, a festival dedicated to celebrating all things indie comics, […]

Mary Pickford in the Press

  Canadian-born Gladys Louise Smith was just 5 years old when her father died, plunging her family into poverty. Gladys’ mother, Charlotte, a classic stage mother of the day, pushed her young children– Lottie, Jack, and “Baby Gladys” — into the theatre in hopes of making money.  Gladys soon caught the eye of Broadway impresario, David […]

Harry Houdini Goes to Washington

Never before had a congressional hearing been described as “UPROARIOUS,” until master magician and escape artist Harry Houdini provided expert testimony in which he delivered a lively and compelling case against the supernatural. For years, Houdini had worked tirelessly to debunk spirit mediums who claimed to communicate with the dead. He viewed them as “ghost […]

Getting the Picture

Could a picture be worth more than a thousand words? For anyone trying to find an elusive photograph, illustration, or comic in a historic newspaper – the answer might be yes! Searching for these types of images is dramatically easier thanks to digitization efforts, such as the National Digital Newspaper Program, which makes millions of […]