As one year comes to an end and a new one is about to begin, people everywhere take time to reflect on the events of the past year. Historical newspapers abound with tributes to the year, which include major and minor events around the world, country, and even Small Town, USA. For history buffs and those searching for a glimpse into the lives of ancestors, these publications are a treasure trove of information.
Ready for a bit of nostalgia? Take a look at newspapers of the past and how they recorded a yearly chronology for posterity.
A Year in Review Around the World
Step back in time with The Evening Star and read about the events of 1909. This publication highlighted hot topics of the year like the discovery of the North Pole, pictures and captions of newsworthy topics, and a list of principal events.
The Vernon County Censor’s “The Year Reviewed” published items in a month-by-month style with the dates of important events worldwide. The year 1901 witnessed “the deaths of Queen Victoria and President McKinley,” the deaths of many notables, “disasters, fires, accidents, strikes, etc.”
Another chronology in the Palatine Enterprise listed highlights of 1905. These events gave readers a chance to remember the big news of the time, like Roosevelt’s inauguration on March 4th to news that painted a picture of the ordinary person when the “severest cold wave of winter” struck on February 13th.
A popular format for the year in review is shown in The St. Clair Chronicle with a “Review of Events of 1935.” Each month, a list pointed out highlights like “Beatrice Ennis and Simpson Woody are married” and “Wm. Casey & Co. enlarge their funeral parlor.”
One newspaper published “From the Files of the Commercial Advertiser for the Year 1940.” This impressive list of local news is a goldmine of information for family historians, researchers, and community members of Canton, New York.
Similarly, the Oxford Mirror from December 31, 1936, created a diary-like review of the year. February 6th found twenty-six homes with frozen water pipes in Oxford, and “school was closed because of the cold and a coal shortage.” Another report from June 4th indicated “one hundred and eighty-four votes were cast in the primary, 104 were Republican.”
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