Apollo 11’s Moon Landing: ‘One Giant Leap for Mankind’

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), founded in 1958, has been America’s leading government agency for space exploration and scientific and aeronautics research for 57 years. The highlight of NASA’s history occurred on 20 July 1969 when the Apollo 11 space flight successfully landed the first humans on the moon.

photo of astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin on the Moon’s surface, with the lunar module “Eagle” in the background

Photo: astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin on the Moon’s surface, with the lunar module “Eagle” in the background; photo taken by fellow astronaut and moon-walker Neil A. Armstrong. Credit: NASA; Wikimedia Commons.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin thrilled Americans and the world with their two-hour walk on the moon’s surface while astronaut Michael Collins piloted the command module orbiting above the lunar explorers.

photo: portrait of the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. From left to right they are: Commander, Neil A. Armstrong; Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins; and Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.

Photo: portrait of the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. From left to right they are: Commander, Neil A. Armstrong; Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins; and Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. Credit: NASA; Wikimedia Commons.

The Apollo 11 mission left an American flag, a plaque, several scientific instruments, and some abandoned equipment on the moon’s surface, and brought back scientific data and 47.5 pounds of rocks. The successful mission also created a proud legacy for the NASA space agency. However, in today’s difficult economic conditions some people are doubting NASA’s value, feeling the agency is bloated, expensive, and purposeless. The significance of what Apollo 11 accomplished eludes much of the American public today.

front page coverage of Apollo 11's moon landing, Seattle Daily Times newspaper 21 July 1969

Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 21 July 1969, page 1

Many people seem to have lost the sense of wonder, even awe, that gripped America – and the whole world – when Armstrong and Aldrin stepped on the surface of the moon 46 years ago today. For many observers at the time, however, it seemed like the greatest achievement in the history of humankind, a breakthrough proving the limitless capacity of human imagination and ingenuity. That feeling of euphoria and amazement comes across clearly in the following newspaper article.

The Seattle Daily Times’s lead story gave the riveting details of the moon landing:

article about Apollo 11's landing on the moon, Seattle Daily Times newspaper article 21 July 1969

Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, Washington), 21 July 1969, page 1

Man Walks on Moon

U.S. Astronauts Open New Era

By William W. Prochnau, Times Staff Reporter

Houston—There was life on the moon yesterday. Man placed it there and seemed destined now to spread it all through the heavens.

It happened, this first landing of men on the moon, with all the predictability of the computerized clockwork that got them there. Yet it was as unreal as a B-grade science-fiction movie.

An eerie, spidery spaceship swooping down into the desert of the moon…

A shadowy, dangling leg swinging down to settle into the moondust and change man’s fate…

Then two men were there, cavorting, kangaroo-hopping, frolicking in a place called the Sea of Tranquility…

And the President of the United States was telephoning the moon from the White House…

It was all a little too much, even in this era of Buck Rogers-come-true. It was well within reach of man’s technology but a little beyond reach of his comprehension.

“A groovy trip,” said a hippie youth 250,000 miles away in San Francisco.

“That’s one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind,” said Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, as his boot landed on the surface.

Where that giant leap would take us all was anyone’s guess. But it did promise to be a groovy trip. The bonds were cut now. Never again would there be a last frontier.

Armstrong took his fateful step at 7:56 p.m., Seattle time. It came more than three hours ahead of schedule and after a crater-hopping ride down to the Sea of Tranquility in the spaceship Eagle.

He was joined on the surface of the moon 18 minutes later by his fellow astronaut, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin. Armstrong remained on the surface for 2 hours and 13 minutes, Aldrin about 30 minutes less.

“Now, I want to back up and partially close the hatch,” Aldrin said as he stepped out on Eagle’s ladder down to the moon. “Making sure not to lock it on the way out.”

“A good thought,” Armstrong acknowledged from below.

The two astronauts, tight-lipped and laconic during the quarter-million-mile trip across space, were playful now, exhilarated in the strange buoyancy of the moon’s weak gravity.

They were expected to play it cool, take no chances. Instead, as one grounded astronaut said in Houston, they bounced around the moon “like a couple of Texas jackrabbits.”

It all was watched by millions of earthbound television viewers, just one in the string of fantastic events that took place on July 20, 1969. It was, surely, the oddest of all television shows.

There were those men, grotesque and dome-headed in their spacesuits, darting across the face of the moon. They guessed beforehand that they would be able to walk 10 miles an hour. But they were running, cutting like football fullbacks.

But if the astronauts were playful now, they also got almost all of their work done on the moon. They deployed three key scientific experiments that should record moon quakes, precisely measure the distance to the moon and capture solar rays.

They gathered up around 60 pounds of lunar rock—not all they wanted—and stowed it in their spaceship.

It would be months, maybe years, before scientists would know exactly what they discovered in their barren lunar sea. But their major goal was just to get there—and, of course, get back.

Apollo 11’s mother ship, Columbia, with Mike Collins aboard, spent the historic day in orbit, waiting for the return.

Eagle touched down on the moon at 1:17 yesterday afternoon. The decision to make the moon walk ahead of schedule was made after it was determined that the astronauts were well-rested. The earlier plan had called for them to sleep four hours before leaving their craft.

Outside, the astronauts surveyed the bleak, boulder-strewn moonscape and found it more attractive than they expected.

“It has a stark beauty all its own,” Armstrong said. “It’s like much of the high desert of the United States. It’s different but very pretty out here.”

And Aldrin’s first words on the moon were, “Beautiful, beautiful.” Less well-planned than Armstrong’s well-honed statement for the history books.

The surface of the moon, they observed from inside the spaceship, was white to gray, chalky and almost colorless. But outside, they found more—chocolate sands, a purple stone, crystalline rock formations. The surface was firm but covered with dusty sand that gave way to make footprints and smudged their gloves.

The landing pods of Eagle sank into the soil only two or three inches. Their footprints were just one-eighth inch deep.

The astronauts were fascinated by it all. Armstrong had planned his first historic words carefully and meaningfully. But, with hardly a pause, he felt compelled to go on and describe the strange sights.

“The surface is fine and powdery,” he said. “I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch. Maybe an eighth of an inch. But I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles.”

The men were not particularly surprised by anything they found. But the mobility they had in the one-sixth gravity of the moon was more than expected. Both were 165-pounders on earth, 27-pound gazelles now on the moon.

“You do have to be rather careful to keep track of where your center of mass is,” Aldrin said, sprinting in front of the cameras. “Sometimes it takes about two or three paces to make sure you’ve got your feet underneath you. But about two or three or maybe four easy paces can bring you to a nearly smooth stop.”

And often they were in awe of what they were doing, just as most of the distant earth was, too.

Even before he walked on the surface, Aldrin felt the need to send a message back to earth.

“This is the L. M. pilot,” the astronaut said, “I would like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

Men would try to contemplate it all, of course. There were men, brilliant men here, saying Armstrong’s step was the most significant event since life first crawled out of the seas. Others thought it was groovy.

Then there was President Nixon, calling the moon.

“Neil and Buzz,” he said, “I am talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House.”

The two men stood there at attention in the Sea of Tranquility, distorted moon puppets, strangers from the future, flanking the American Flag they had planted, in front of the plaque that said they had “come in peace for all mankind.”

“Because of what you have done,” the President said, “the heavens have become a part of man’s world.”

And where did all this begin? In Galileo’s child-like toyings with the first telescope? In the fantasies of Jules Verne?

Who could say? But a dream was being fulfilled—and beginning anew—yesterday as the ungainly spaceship Eagle and its two passengers settled down into that lunar sea.

It might well be that the biggest moment in the flight of Apollo 11—and one of the biggest in the history of man—occurred when Armstrong stepped down off that ladder’s final rung.

Man was on the moon, treading on alien soil, one foot in the future.

But in sheer drama no moment was bigger than the instant when the machine of Apollo 11, the spaceship Eagle, set its talons into moonsoil. No one had any serious doubts here that man, the strange and adaptable creature who had devised all these miracles, would have any real trouble walking on the moon. But first he had to get there.

And the trip down, those final few thousand feet, was harrowing indeed. Inside the spaceship alarm lights were flashing their danger signals from overworked computers and Eagle was four miles off course, heading into a boulder-strewn crater.

There was every indication later, in fact, that an unmanned spacecraft might have crashed in the same situation. But it seemed almost fitting that men should take over from their machines on this, of all flights.

So Armstrong, peering down into those threatening lunar boulders just 250 feet below, took control and steered his spaceship beyond to safety.

Armstrong is an inward man, a man who controls himself rigidly and his voice betrayed no emotion as he lowered himself into history.

“…coming down nicely, 200 feet,” the voice crackled across the void.

“…75 feet, everything’s looking good…light’s on…40 feet, kickin’ up some dust…four forward, drifting to the right a little…”

Then: “Contact light?” The voice excited, now, in a jubilant question to Aldrin. “OK, engines stopped?”

These were the first words from the moon, “contact light,” this test pilot’s affirmation that the greatest test of them all had been made and it had worked.

Then the words from Houston: “We copy you down, Eagle.”

“Houston?” came the voice of Armstrong again. “Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility, we copy you on the ground,” Apollo Control said exuberantly. “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue here. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

“Thank you,” replied Armstrong in a voice that meant thanks for the $22 billion, thanks for the computers, thanks for the Von Brauns, the Goddards, the Keplers, the Galileos. He was their beneficiary now, their emissary, in a way; our emissary, too.

This strange young man, Armstrong, the symbol of the beginning of an era that even the most visionary of men can’t comprehend. He wanted to be made of steel now and he kept the steel in his voice. But the machinery that got him there also gave away his secret.

The sensors pasted to his chest, those wiretaps on his heart, beamed back the truth: at touchdown, at contact light, Armstrong’s heart was jumping at a furious 156 beats a minute, more than twice the normal rate.

But could there be any wonder at that?

Moments later, relaxing now, his heart rate down to 90, Armstrong matter-of-factly described the approach.

Eagle came in, he said, over a “football-field-sized crater with a large number of big boulders and rocks for about one or two crater diameters around it and it required us to fly manually over the rock field to find a reasonably good area.”

If that was a rather understated way of saying that Eagle almost bounced in among the boulders, it is Armstrong’s way.

Moments later Collins, the loneliest astronaut, orbiting in Columbia high over his departed buddies, called down to see how things were going.

“Sounds like it looks a lot better than it did yesterday,” Collins said in a reference to their earlier sightings from orbit. “It looked rough as a cob then.”

“Tell you what, Mike, it really was rough over the target area,” Armstrong radioed back. “It was extremely rough, cratered and large numbers of rocks, probably many larger than five or ten feet in size.”

“Land down, land long,” Collins observed, with good pilot’s advice.

“Well, we did,” Armstrong replied.

Down there—or up there—at last, the astronauts were somewhat lost. They had landed on the edge of their long-chosen landing zone, landing down and landing long by about four miles.

“Those guys who said we wouldn’t be able to tell precisely where we are, are the winners today,” Armstrong told Houston. “We were a little worried about program alarms and things like that in the part of the descent where we would be normally picking out our landing spot.”

The astronauts quickly assured Houston that they were having no trouble with the moon’s one-sixth gravity—a fact they would exhibit convincingly to the world a few hours later, with their bounding and cavorting in the Sea of Tranquility.

Then they peered out their spaceship windows at scenes men never had seen before—of a strange pock-marked plain, a chalky lunar landscape, an earth suspended, half-moon half-earth home, in the sky.

“There are no stars,” Armstrong said, “but out my overhead hatch I’m looking at the earth. It’s big and bright and beautiful.”

They were sitting in a “relatively level plain, cratered with fairly large numbers of craters from the 5 to 30-foot variety and some ridges, small, 20, 30 feet high…”

There was a moon hill, perhaps a mile away, halfway to the curving horizon and “some angular blocks out several hundred feet in front of us that are probably two feet in size and have angular edges.”

Aldrin, the bookish astronaut, looked out at the moonscape and saw a “collection (of rocks) of just about every variety of shapes, angularities, granularities, about every variety of rock you could find.”

A quarter-million miles away, the geologists could hardly wait.

Up above it all, in Columbia, Collins was getting a little antsy, too. He was just about the only interested earth man who couldn’t watch it all. And he kept calling down to Houston, imploring them to improve his radio communications so he could “follow the action.”

On each pass over the landing area, he squinted down in a fruitless attempt to catch a sun-reflected glimpse of Eagle.

The President talked to Armstrong and Aldrin, but he forgot about Collins. Not very political, that.

When Houston radioed congratulations down to the men in the Sea of Tranquility, Collins interjected, “and don’t forget the one in the command module.”

“OK,” Armstrong told him, joshingly, “you just keep that orbiting base up there ready for us.”

He would and it was Collins, three hours before the landing, who had started Armstrong and Aldrin on their way.

The two craft were separated in orbit, just behind the corner of the moon and out of radio contact, when Collins pushed a button that gently nudged Eagle away from Columbia.

When the two craft popped around the moon’s corner, Armstrong reported that “the Eagle has wheels.”

It was an orbit later before Eagle was really diving for the moon. A 30-second engine burn, again on the back side of the moon, propelled the landing craft into an orbit that brought it to less than 50,000 feet above the surface.

Once again, the anxious men back on earth didn’t know how it had worked until the two spacecraft rounded the corner.

The command module cruised out first and Collins broke the silence: “Listen, baby, everything’s going just swimmingly. Beautiful.”

“Roger, we’re waiting for Eagle,” Houston replied.

“He’s coming along.”

And then it was all clear for the final move, 12½ minutes of retro-fire from Eagle’s descent engine.

“Eagle, you are go for power descent,” the voice came up from Houston.

And Eagle was go for history.

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Walt Elias Disney’s Fantasy Made Real: Disneyland Opens

Walt Elias Disney had a problem. With the success of his popular cartoons and movies, letters were pouring in from people wanting to visit the movie studio. The problem was – there really wasn’t much to see at the studio. His two daughters Diane and Sharon loved amusement parks, and that gave Walt his brilliant insight: he decided to build a Disney-themed amusement park to delight children and parents alike.

photo of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Photo: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Anaheim, California. Credit: Tuxyso; Wikimedia Commons.

On 17 July1955, with a gala opening broadcast nationwide on the ABC Television Network, Walt’s dream became a reality when more than 20,000 invited guests poured into Disneyland to gawk and gaze in wonder. Sixty years and hundreds of millions of visitors later, they’re still coming to experience America’s most famous amusement park.

Disneyland was extravagant and dazzling, unlike anything that had been created before. It cost $17 million and a frenetic year of construction to build after Walt Disney bought 160 acres of an orange grove in Anaheim, California, and tore down the 11,000 orange trees. The sprawling amusement park featured four main areas: Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland, to represent Walt’s dream of celebrating the past, the future, and the power of the imagination. Disneyland opened with 18 attractions.

As Walt Disney told the nationwide television audience in his dedication speech on 17 July 1955:

To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

photo from the opening ceremony for Disneyland, Oregonian newspaper article 18 July 1955

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 18 July 1955, page 30

This old Oregon newspaper article describes Disneyland’s grand opening.

Disneyland Opens Gates, Oregonian newspaper article 18 July 1955

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 18 July 1955, page 29

This historical newspaper article reports:

Anaheim, Cal. (AP) – The $17,000,000 Disneyland, a combination world’s fair and Arabian Nights dedicated to the delight of children, opened Sunday.

A year ago these 160 acres contained 11,000 orange trees. Sunday 22,000 invited guests swarmed through the gates and were dazzled by the wonders of yesterday and tomorrow, concocted by the imagination of Walt Disney and his fellow creators.

“It was nip and tuck but we made it,” sighed Disney. Dressed appropriately for the hot weather, he greeted arrivals in light blue slacks, white shirt with red polka dots and Tahitian straw hat.

Rush in Last Minute

Everywhere there were signs of the last minute rush. A painter put final touches on the marquee of the Disneyland opera house. Workers unloaded crates in the turn-of-the-century stores along Main street and a crane hovered over the mad tea party ride.

Among the notables ogling the sights: Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Irene Dunne, Gale Storm, George (Superman) Reeves, Robert Cummings, George Gobel, and, of course, Fess Parker, who played Tennessee’s Davy Crockett in the Disney TV series.

Among the dignitaries on hand for the nationwide telecast of the opening were two governors, Goodwin Knight of California and Frank Clements of Tennessee.

Fittingly enough, the guests were greeted by a floral pattern outlining Mickey Mouse, the star who started Disney’s empire.

The guests walked into a city square of the 1900 era, bounded by an old-time railroad station, city hall and fire station, opera house and other vintage merchant houses.

Boats Carry Visitors

Walking further into the city square, the previewers came to the hub of Disneyland, from which extend its four great realms. In one direction was Adventureland, dominated by a large Tahitian hut containing a dining room. Nearby the guests piled aboard such riverboats as the Amazon Belle, Ganges Gal and Nile Princess for a spine-tingling ride past wild hippos, elephants and crocodiles, all plastic replicas. The ride ended with a dash under a waterfall and emptied the passengers outside native bazaars.

A huge wooden log stockade guards the entrance to Frontierland. Here the onlookers were impressed by Davy Crockett’s museum, an Indian village with real redskins, a Golden Horseshoe frontier saloon and an outdoor New Orleans café. At a dock alongside a realistic river was the 103-foot paddle-wheeler, the Mark Twain.

Tomorrowland offered the aspects of a world’s fair with its cascading fountains and futuristic buildings. The guests saw imaginative exhibits of the world of tomorrow and children drove tiny gasoline-powered autos on a miniature freeway. They were also whisked on a rocket trip to the moon via a realistic movie.

Swans Sail Quietly

But, as Disney himself agrees, the greatest of the realms is Fantasyland. There the Disney creators have lavished their most vivid imaginations. Children passed over the moat, in which swans sailed serenely, and through the towering sleeping beauty’s castle.

Inside the courtyard was a splash of color and more delights than a child can imagine.

A King Arthur’s carousel of 72 leaping horses whirled in the center and all around were rides featuring famed Disney characters. There was a flying circle of Dumbo elephants, Mr. Toad’s motor car ride, Casey Jr.’s ride, etc.

photo of Walt Elias Disney, 1938

Photo: Walt Elias Disney, 1938. Credit: Alan Fisher, New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.
~ Walt Disney

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Anniversary of the Birthday of Ida B. Wells, Civil & Women’s Rights Activist

Today is the 153rd anniversary of the birth of famed African American journalist, speaker, civil rights activist and suffragist Ida Bell Wells.

photo of Ida B. Wells, c. 1893

Photo: Ida B. Wells, c. 1893. Credit: Mary Garrity; Wikimedia Commons.

As a journalist, Wells wrote for the Chicago newspaper the Daily Inter Ocean. She gained fame for her investigative reporting of lynching in the U.S., demonstrating that in many cases African Americans were being lynched as a means of punishing blacks who “didn’t know their place,” rather than as punishment for a specific crime. And, of course, she pointed out that rarely was any evidence used to justify a lynching even when a crime had been committed.

In a harrowing story she wrote in 1893 titled “The Brutal Truth,” Wells chronicled the lynching of African American Sea J. Miller for allegedly murdering two while girls. There wasn’t a shred of evidence linking Miller, who was apprehended in Illinois, of the crime that had been committed in Kentucky – but, as Wells pointed out, the mob in Kentucky of about 300 unruly men had spent the day draining 30 barrels of beer while authorities were looking for a suspect, and the crowd was out for blood.

article about the lynching of Sea J. Miller, Daily Inter Ocean newspaper article 19 July 1893

Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), 19 July 1893, page 1

After describing in horrific detail the brutality of Miller’s lynching – being first hung, then shot repeatedly, mutilated, and his body burnt – Wells concluded her article:

Thus perished another of the many victims of lynch-law, but it is the honest, sober belief of many who witnessed the scene, that an innocent man has been barbarously and shockingly put to death in the glare of the nineteenth century civilization, by those who profess to believe in Christianity, law, and order. These and similar deeds of violence are committed under the protection of the American flag and mostly upon the descendants of the negro race. Had Miller been ever so guilty under the laws, he was entitled to a fair trial. But there is absolutely no proof of his guilt…

How long shall it be said of free America that a man shall not be given time nor opportunity to prove his innocence of crimes charged against him?

Ida Wells originally wrote for the Daily Inter Ocean, and later for the Conservator. Dig in and read her articles in both of these Chicago newspapers in GenealogyBank’s historical archives.

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Our Ancestors’ Age-Old Sayings from 100 Years Ago, Part I

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary presents some of the enlightening and entertaining sayings she found from 100 years ago while browsing through newspapers from the year 1915.

The allure of genealogy makes genealogists curious – or perhaps it is the desire to return to simpler days that keeps us avidly researching our family trees!

Whatever the reason, family historians love to read historical news accounts of the past – and one of the most enjoyable discoveries is reading the old sayings and quotes of our ancestors.

"Laughter is merely a smile set to music."

What were our ancestors reading about and saying 100 years ago? To find out, I explored the year 1915 in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. What I found were hundreds of wonderful old sayings and good time-tested advice in the newspapers read by our ancestors.

Some of these old sayings were offered in jest. Some are inappropriate by today’s standards, but others we truly should revive. The following are all from 1915, a mere 100 years ago!

Good Advice

  • Blessed is he who keeps his troubles to himself. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 10 March 1915, page 6
  • Do not fail to exercise your influence if you would keep it good and strong. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 20 March 1915, page 6
  • Don’t expect two favors in return for one. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 18 March 1915, page 14
  • Don’t force your advice upon people whose friendship you care to retain. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 28 March 1915, page 27
  • Folly, as she flies, should be swatted. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67
  • Hot pokers and heated arguments should be quickly dropped. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • If your friends annoy you, sick ’em on your enemies. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67

Keen Observations

  • A cozy corner is a handy place in which to sweep the dirt. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 18 March 1915, page 10
  • A few short weeks and the house cleaning microbe will get busy again. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • Art is long, but spot cash is what the artist longs for. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • By covering up their tracks some men get credit for walking in the straight and narrow path. –Rockford Republic (Rockford, Illinois), 11 February 1915, page 2
  • By the time the average man reaches the age of fifty he knows a lot of things he would like to get rid of at 99 percent less than cost. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • Concealed knowledge is as useful as buried treasure. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 5 January 1915, page 12
  • For our part, we would rather get up in the world than go down in history. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 10 April 1915, page 8
  • Haste makes some people waste a lot of other people’s time. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 23 March 1915, page 11

"Haste makes some people waste a lot of other people's time."

  • Good luck is but another name for common sense. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 25 July 1915, page 67
  • If religions were good for the complexion men would seldom get their share of beauty. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 7 January 1915, page 16
  • If you are looking for trouble, probably you began by finding fault. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 29 May 1915, page 6
  • It’s a poor mirror that will not enable a man to see his best friend. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 3 January 1915, page 28
  • Maybe you also have met men who favor a safe and sane Fourth of July because it promises not to cost them anything. –Bridgeton Evening New (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • Most of us are overloaded with good intentions. –Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida), 4 August 1915, page 6
  • People who are always saying “Listen!” never have anything of importance to say. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6

Genealogical Musings

  • Goodness is only a relative term – and one that is always on the tongue of relatives. –Bridgeton Evening News (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • If you fuss about the weather it may be a sign that you are getting old. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 7 January 1915, page 16
  • Many a man charges his misdeeds up to his ancestors. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 22 April 1915, page 17

Gossiping Hurts

  • Gossip is a deadly gas that is often fatal to friendships. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 12 February 1915, page 2
  • Eliminate politics, religion and the weather and there wouldn’t be much to talk about. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2

Hankering for Happiness

  • Be satisfied with the best you can get. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6
  • Few people are wise enough to know that ignorance is bliss. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 9
  • Bright people look upon the bright side of life. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 27 February 1915, page 8

"Bright people look upon the bright side of life."

  • Happy is the girl who thinks her father is the best man on earth. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4
  • Laughter is merely a smile set to music. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • Many a man is unhappy only because he believes himself so. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4

On Love, Courtship & Marriage

  • A man can get his wife’s attention by talking in his sleep. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 14 October 1915, page 23
  • A woman is seldom as fussy with her children as she is with her husband. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 28 March 1915, page 27
  • A woman’s accounts on how she spent the “house money” are only equaled in inventive genius by a man’s accounts of how he spent his time. –Bridgeton Evening New (Bridgeton, New Jersey), 17 September 1915, page 5
  • Diamonds are trumps in the game of love. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 12
  • A woman may not accept a proposal of marriage, but she always admires the good judgment of the man who made it. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 12 February 1915, page 2

"A woman may not accept a proposal of marriage, but she always admires the good judgment of the man who made it."

  • Falling in love is easy, but falling out again – aye, that’s what hurts. –Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 6 August 1915, page 4
  • It is easier to fall in love or into a river than it is to climb out. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • True domestic happiness is founded on the rock of the cradle. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2
  • True love is always able to dispense with the valuable advice of outsiders. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 27 November 1915, page 6
  • What most married men would rejoice to see is a war tax on old bachelors. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 5 January 1915, page 2

Money Matters

  • A close friend is one who won’t lend you money. –Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota), 5 May 1915, page 3
  • A man would rather have fortune smile on him than give him the laugh. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 2 January 1915, page 6
  • And it’s surprising how many bargains we see in the shop windows when we are broke. –Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 January 1915, page 14
  • Fortune is said to knock at every man’s door, but it’s difficult to make a man believe it. –Cleburne Morning Review (Cleburne, Texas), 21 September 1915, page 4
  • He is a fortunate man who can catch up with his ambitions and his debts. –Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 28 January 1915, page 6
  • It’s a strong friendship that can stand a loan. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 11 March 1915, page 9

Parental Insight

  • A crying shame – the neighbor’s baby. –Miami Herald (Miami, Florida), 6 March 1915, page 10
cartoon about parenting, Times-Picayune newspaper cartoon 18 November 1915

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 18 November 1915, page 16

  • Before asking children questions in public, be sure of their answers. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 15 February 1915, page 4
  • Children need fewer critics and more good models. –Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 9 August 1915, page 4

If you want to search for more of these old sayings spoken by our wise ancestors in historical newspapers, try some of these keywords – and don’t forget to tell us in the comments section about some of the gems you find.

  • Gathered Jests
  • Good Advice
  • Pellets of Thoughts
  • Pointed Paragraphs
  • Tips from Texas
  • Waifs of Wisdom
  • Week’s Wit

Related Sayings Articles:

How to Find the Black Sheep of Your Family in Old Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena writes about one of the more interesting aspects of genealogy: uncovering the stories of your “black sheep” ancestors.

It’s no secret that I love researching black sheep ancestors when tracing my family tree. Why? They leave behind the best paper trails! And if there’s one place to learn more about your black sheep ancestor, it’s in old newspapers – like those in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives. I could literally spend days finding examples of articles memorializing those ancestors who didn’t walk the straight and narrow. To get you started on your own family black sheep research quest, here are a few examples of articles I’ve discovered in the old newspaper archives.

Police Blotters

Police blotter articles are short listings documenting arrests and police activities. They can provide a lot of information, including the name of the party arrested, their crime, the address where the crime occurred, and even the name of the victim – as in these examples from May 1900.

police blotter, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 10 May 1900

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 10 May 1900, page 9

A few days later the same Philadelphia police blotter gives additional information about one criminal, as it reports:

Henry Haig, alias Kendig, who has only been out of jail two weeks, was sent to prison pending trail [sic] on the charge of having stolen bicycles belonging to Thomas Magee, of 2247 Dickinson street, and William H. Urner, of 22 South Nineteenth street.

What a great find for someone unaware that their kin used more than one surname.

police blotter, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 12 May 1900

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 12 May 1900, page 9

From the Jail to the Courthouse

The nice thing about reading your ancestor’s court case in the newspaper is that you can follow it up with the actual official court records. In this list from the Lexington Herald of police court cases, some are violent crimes like murder and assault – but many are less serious, such as drunkenness, loitering, and disorderly conduct. My favorite in this list is the last entry for Mrs. A. B. Lancaster, charged with reckless driving – in 1913!

Twenty-Seven Cases Up in Police Court, Lexington Herald newspaper article 6 July 1913

Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky), 6 July 1913, page 6

Affairs of the Heart

Your black sheep ancestor might not have committed what we would define as a crime today – but they may have acted in a manner that was criminal at the time (and most people would continue to disapprove of). In today’s world we get our fill of the private lives of celebrities, but don’t forget that the unwise choices of normal, everyday people can also be found in the newspaper.

Consider the California case back in 1921 of Wallace Van Winkle Alexander, his wife Mary, and his alleged mistress Edith Prudhomme (sometimes misspelled as Prudhammer). Mrs. Alexander first became suspicious of the relationship between her husband and family friend Mrs. Prudhomme after finding a classified ad about a lost canary. Coupled with her husband’s absence, Mrs. Alexander suspected that her husband was with Mrs. Prudhomme in her apartment. Mary Alexander contacted the police and they raided Mrs. Prudhomme’s apartment, finding Mr. Alexander hiding in a closet wearing pajamas.

article about the Alexander scandal, Evening News newspaper article 18 July 1921

Evening News (San Jose, California), 18 July 1921, page 1

Probably even better than the initial story of catching her husband red-handed is a follow-up news story that shows a photo of Mary Alexander swearing out a complaint against her husband. It just goes to show that you never know what kind of photos you’ll find in the newspaper.

In this follow-up article, the journalist seems surprised by Mr. Alexander’s choice in a mistress. He writes:

The heart of Wallace Van Winkle Alexander, wealthy Los Gatos broker, was won not by a blue-eyed baby doll or a dashing young widow, but one who would least be suspected – a family friend of years of standing, a woman 50 years old and ten years the senior of his wife.

(It appears from census records that the age difference between the two women is slightly exaggerated in this account.) While Mrs. Alexander had already sworn a formal complaint on the lovebirds, Mr. Alexander tried to file one on his wife for cruelty. Mrs. Alexander’s brother chalked up the tryst to the greed of both husband and mistress – he is quoted as saying:

She thought he had money and he thought she had it, is the way I sum the matter up…

Broker Vamped by Woman of 50, Says Wife [Mary Alexander], San Francisco Chronicle newspaper article 19 July 1921

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California), 19 July 1921, page 3

A newspaper article that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune reports the flimsiest excuse from an accused husband that was ever uttered:

Alexander explained his presence in Mrs. Prudhammer’s apartment in his pajamas by saying that the hot water at his own apartment was seldom very hot. He said he went to the apartment of Mrs. Prudhammer, an old family friend, and told her that he wanted to use her tub. He had just undressed, he said, when the door bell rang, and he hastily rushed into a closet and donned a pair of pajamas.

The story goes on to say that Mrs. Prudhammer verified Mr. Alexander’s story but added that she protested when he said he wanted to use her tub.

Broker's Wife Sends Police after Hubby, Salt Lake Telegram newspaper article 19 July 1921

Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 19 July 1921, page 1

Don’t Forget Those Images

We’ve talked about the richness of images in the newspaper in previous blog articles. One of my favorite sections of early 20th century newspapers is the photographs page where images are accompanied with a sentence or two about their significance. This feature acted as an image wrap-up of current news stories from around the globe. This 1922 example from Trenton, New Jersey, has several examples of nefarious dealings – including two photos dealing with a husband’s abandonment, and another about a wife’s inclination to steal furs.

Page of Photographs, Trenton Evening Times newspaper article 27 March 1922

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), 27 March 1922, page 8

The Times They Are a-Changing

As time went by, activities that once earned the black sheep label seemed sedate to later generations. Old newspapers allow us to get to know the sensibilities and moirés of an earlier time.

Black sheep ancestors include those who pushed the boundaries of current convention. Consider your 1920s grandmother who dared to bare just a little too much leg and received a monetary fine for doing so.

While the example in the next newspaper article is from Germany, I’m sure evidence of such practices can be found for the United States. These two police officers have the most dreadful task of measuring young women’s skirts and issuing fines for their lack of length. I have to admit that I would absolutely love to find one of my female ancestors in a police record for wearing a short skirt!

Berlin Police and Short Skirts, Cobb County Times newspaper article 16 August 1921

Cobb County Times (Marietta, Georgia), 16 August 1921, page 8

It’s possible that, if your grandmother was wearing her skirts too short when she was young, she was also going to dances, smoking cigarettes, and drinking. The more I read old newspapers the more I realize that teenagers haven’t changed much in 100 years.

Watch Dancers, Not the Dances, Plain Dealer newspaper article 7 October 1921

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 7 October 1921, page 13

GenealogyTip: Black sheep ancestors may have left other records. Follow up what you find in newspaper articles with other documents like court records.

Who’s the Black Sheep in Your Family?

Your ancestor may have been the black sheep of the family for any number of reasons, ranging from committing crimes to engaging in adultery, or perhaps an activity that is commonplace now but considered scandalous back in the day. Embrace your black sheep ancestors and look for their stories in the newspaper – and if you know of any black sheep in your family tree and are willing to share the stories, tell us in the comments section.

Related Articles:

Memorable Aging & Birthday Quotes from Famous People

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary shares some of the interesting and/or funny quotes about birthdays and aging that she found in old newspapers.

While researching birthdays and aging in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I came across some delightful quotes from famous people. Some are modern, some are historical and others are just plain hysterical!

cartoon about birthdays, Omaha World-Herald newspaper cartoon 6 February 1898

Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 6 February 1898, section 3, page 23

Have fun using these quotes in blogs or while making “Happy Birthday” cards. If you have some of your own birthday quotes to share, please post them in the comments section of this blog.

Famous People Birthday & Gift Quotes

  • “I love a card. You know, cards? At birthdays? I collect them.” –Adele
  • “I binge when I’m happy. When everything is going really well, every day is like I’m at a birthday party.” –Kirstie Alley
  • “I like to go to anybody else’s birthday, and if I’m invited I’m a good guest. But I never celebrate my birthdays. I really don’t care.” –Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • “A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday.” –Erma Bombeck
cartoon about birthday gifts, Plain Dealer newspaper cartoon 19 April 1896

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 19 April 1896, page 26

  • “There are 364 days when you might get unbirthday presents…and only one for birthday presents, you know.”–Lewis Carroll (AKA Charlie Lutwidge Dodgson)
  • “I don’t pay attention to the number of birthdays. It’s weird when I say I’m 53. It just is crazy that I’m 53. I think I’m very immature. I feel like a kid. That’s why my back goes out all the time, because I completely forget I can’t do certain things anymore – like doing the plank for 10 minutes.” –Ellen DeGeneres who was born 26 January 1958
  • “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.” –Robert Frost
birthday cartoon, Omaha World-Herald birthday cartoon 20 April 1902

Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 20 April 1902, page 31

  • “In 1993 my birthday present was a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.” –Annette Funicello
  • “There is still no cure for the common birthday.” –John Glenn
  • “All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” –George Harrison
article about birthdays in Hollywood, Evening Star newspaper article 26 August 1934

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 26 August 1934, page 49

  • “Money is appropriate, and one size fits all.” –William Randolph Hearst on suggestions for gifts
  • “The way I see it, you should live every day like it’s your birthday.” –Paris Hilton
  • “You know you’re getting older when the candles cost more than the cake.” –Bob Hope
  • “Your children need your presence more than your presents.” –Jesse Jackson
  • “My biggest hero, Gregory Peck, was my birthday present on April 14, 1973. I just sat and stared at him.” –Loretta Lynn
  • “Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.” –Phylicia Rashad
  • “I’m not going to be caught around here for any fool celebration. To hell with birthdays!” –Norman Rockwell
  • “I wish people would stop talking about my birthday.” –George Bernard Shaw
article about birthdays, Evansville Courier and Press newspaper article 31 July 1938

Evansville Courier and Press (Evansville, Indiana), 31 July 1938, page 18

  • “Love the giver more than the gift.” –Brigham Young
  • “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘see if you can blow this out.’” –Jerry Seinfeld
  • “The last birthday that’s any good is 23.” –Andy Rooney

Famous People Quotes on Aging

  • “It’s sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.” –Brigitte Bardot
  • “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” –John Barrymore
  • “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be!” –Robert Browning
  • “Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.” –Truman Capote
  • “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” –Fred Astaire

quote about aging from Fred Astaire

  • “I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” –Lewis Carroll (AKA Charlie Lutwidge Dodgson) from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” –Maurice Chevalier
  • “We turn not older with years, but newer every day.” –Emily Dickinson
  • “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot
  • “I’ll keep singing ’till I die.” –Bing Crosby
quote about aging from Bing Crosby, Evening Star newspaper article 28 June 1933

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 28 June 1933, page 10

  • “All my possessions for one moment of time.” –Queen Elizabeth
  • “The years teach much which the days never knew.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “An old young man will be a young old man.” –Benjamin Franklin (AKA Poor Richard)
  • “At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” –Benjamin Franklin (AKA Poor Richard)
  • “Youth is pert and positive, Age modest and doubting; So ears of corn when young and bright, stand bold upright, But hang their heads when weighty, full and ripe.” –Benjamin Franklin (AKA Poor Richard)
article about Benjamin Franklin, Daily Inter Ocean newspaper article 20 October 1895

Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), 20 October 1895, page 25

  • “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Old age is fifteen years older than I am.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle.” –Bob Hope
  • “Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.” –Victor Hugo
  • “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln
  • “Whatever poet, orator, or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • “The older you get the stronger the wind gets – and it’s always in your face.” –Jack Nicklaus
  • “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” –Satchel Paige
  • “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” –Satchel Paige
  • “It takes a long time to become young.” –Pablo Picasso
  • “I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child, now I have reversed the order and I intend to remain young indefinitely.” –Mary Pickford
  • “Youth is just wasted on young people.” –George Bernard Shaw
  • “To me, fair friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eye’d, Such seems your beauty still.” –William Shakespeare
  • “In childhood be modest, in youth temperate, in manhood just, in old age prudent.” –Socrates
article about Socrates, Camden Mail and General Advertiser newspaper article 21 May 1834

Camden Mail and General Advertiser (Camden, New Jersey), 21 May 1834, page 4

  • “May you live all the days of your life.” –Jonathan Swift
  • “Too bad that youth is wasted on the young.” –Mark Twain.
  • “The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.” –Mark Twain
  • “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” –Mae West
  • “Those whom the gods love grow young.” –Oscar Wilde
  • “My happiest memory of childhood was my first birthday in reform school. This teacher took an interest in me. In fact, he gave me the first birthday presents I ever got: a box of Cracker Jacks and a can of ABC shoe polish.” –Flip Wilson
  • “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” –Oprah Winfrey
  • “From our birthday, until we die, is but the winking of an eye.” –William Butler Yeats

Memorable Songs & Books

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

–Bob Dylan from the song “May You Stay Forever Young”

They say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you

–John Lennon & Paul McCartney from the song “Birthday”

Time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is

–Jerry Ragovoy (AKA Jimmy Norman) from the Rolling Stones’ song “Time Is on My Side”

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

–Dr. Seuss (AKA Theodor Seuss Geisel) from the book “Happy Birthday to You!”

Related Articles:

Ohio Archives: 194 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Originally part of early America’s “Northwest Territory,” Ohio joined the nation as the 17th state on 1 March 1803. Ohio is the country’s 34th largest state, and the 7th most populous. It’s largest city is the capital, Columbus.

photo of an Ohio welcome sign on Highway 52

Photo: Ohio welcome sign on Highway 52. Credit: Andreas Faessler; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Ohio, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online OH newspaper archives: 194 titles to help you search your family history in “The Buckeye State,” providing coverage from 1795 to Today. There are more than 118 million articles and records in our online Ohio archives!

Dig deep into our archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Ohio ancestors in these OH newspapers online. Our Ohio newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Ohio Newspaper Archives (1795 – 1991)

Search Ohio Recent Obituaries (1985 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Ohio

Illustration: state flag of Ohio. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Ohio newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The OH newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

Ohio Population Fact

The 500-mile radius surrounding Columbus, OH, houses 50% of the state’s population. GenealogyBank’s archives span Columbus news from the 1800s to today.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Ada Ada Icon 04/28/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Akron Beacon Journal: Blogs 08/15/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Akron Beacon Journal 01/07/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Akron Summit County Beacon 01/03/1877 – 12/25/1889 Newspaper Archives
Amherst Amherst News-Times 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ashtabula Star Beacon 10/30/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Athens Athens Messenger 09/01/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Avon, Avon Park Sun Sentinel 02/05/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bay Village West Shore Sun 04/22/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beachwood Sun Press 04/25/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Beavercreek News-Current 09/14/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellbrook, Sugarcreek Sugarcreek-Bellbrook Times 08/28/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellefontaine Weekly Currents 01/09/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellevue Bellevue Gazette 10/23/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bellville Bellville Star 11/21/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Berea News Sun 09/04/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bexley Bexley News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bluffton Bluffton Icon 10/04/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bluffton Bluffton News 12/30/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune 02/06/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Brunswick Brunswick Sun 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cadiz Cadiz Informant 01/09/1818 – 01/09/1818 Newspaper Archives
Canton Repository 02/23/1878 – 03/08/1953 Newspaper Archives
Canton Canton Repository 03/30/1815 – 12/28/1905 Newspaper Archives
Canton Canton Daily News 04/09/1917 – 04/09/1917 Newspaper Archives
Canton Daily Repository and Republican 06/11/1873 – 06/21/1873 Newspaper Archives
Canton Repository 10/01/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chagrin Falls, Solon Chagrin Solon Sun 11/27/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Chillicothe Fredonian 02/19/1807 – 08/10/1813 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Scioto Gazette 08/02/1801 – 12/26/1839 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Weekly Recorder 07/05/1814 – 12/27/1820 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Supporter 01/05/1809 – 01/20/1818 Newspaper Archives
Chillicothe Ohio Herald 07/27/1805 – 11/15/1806 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Herald 02/13/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Whig 04/13/1809 – 05/02/1810 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Post 07/01/1882 – 12/30/1922 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph 03/06/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Gazette 01/01/1835 – 01/03/1883 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Centinel of the North-Western Territory 05/23/1795 – 03/05/1799 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Liberty Hall 12/23/1805 – 12/30/1814 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Enquirer 01/04/1861 – 09/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Colored Citizen 05/19/1866 – 05/19/1866 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Philanthropist 05/06/1836 – 10/28/1840 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Commercial Tribune 01/01/1869 – 12/31/1890 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Chronicle and Literary Gazette 02/17/1827 – 10/24/1829 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Spirit of the West 07/26/1814 – 04/15/1815 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Volksfreund 02/18/1863 – 12/28/1904 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Advertiser 01/26/1819 – 09/26/1827 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Republikaner 12/01/1858 – 03/23/1861 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette 06/04/1799 – 12/25/1805 Newspaper Archives
Cincinnati Cincinnati Post 04/02/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cincinnati Cincinnati Daily Times 07/01/1871 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Circleville Circleville Herald 07/01/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Plain Dealer 04/07/1845 – 05/31/1991 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland News and Herald 04/02/1887 – 04/18/1905 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Plain Dealer, The: Web Edition Articles 10/15/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Plain Dealer 06/02/1991 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cleveland Cleveland Gazette 08/25/1883 – 05/20/1945 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Cleveland Tri-Weekly Leader 11/19/1863 – 11/19/1863 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Aliened American 04/09/1853 – 04/09/1853 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Cleveland Leader 06/01/1854 – 12/31/1913 Newspaper Archives
Cleveland Sendbote 01/05/1927 – 06/26/1952 Newspaper Archives
Clinton Ohio Register 06/26/1813 – 12/05/1815 Newspaper Archives
Clyde Clyde Enterprise 12/17/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Ohio Statesman 09/05/1837 – 11/02/1852 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Columbus Dispatch 07/16/1985 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Worthington News 09/25/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus German Village Gazette 11/07/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Columbus Standard 07/27/1901 – 07/27/1901 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Ohio State Journal 10/13/1825 – 10/09/1860 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Northwest Columbus News 01/08/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Daily Reporter 01/09/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Other Paper 07/10/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Northland News 09/13/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Olentangy Valley News 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Lantern, The: Ohio State University 08/03/1998 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Times 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Whitehall News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Tri-Village News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Big Walnut News 09/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus ThisWeek Community Newspapers 05/09/2002 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Westland News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Tri-weekly Ohio Statesman 03/19/1845 – 08/09/1847 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Lutherische Kirchenzeitung 01/01/1910 – 01/01/1910 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Ohio Monitor 01/13/1820 – 02/12/1835 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Booster 09/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Daily Ohio Statesman 08/11/1847 – 12/29/1865 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Gahanna News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Columbus Crisis 01/31/1861 – 01/19/1870 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Free American 03/19/1887 – 03/19/1887 Newspaper Archives
Columbus Daily Ohio State Journal 03/13/1839 – 11/22/1876 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Minority Report 01/01/1969 – 12/18/1970 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Ohio Republican 11/01/1813 – 10/02/1816 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Democratic Herald 05/07/1835 – 08/12/1837 Newspaper Archives
Dayton Dayton Daily News 02/01/1990 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Sunbury News 10/19/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Delaware News 09/27/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Delaware Delaware Gazette 10/01/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Dublin Dublin News 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eaton Register Herald 10/17/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Elyria Elyria Republican 02/12/1835 – 12/27/1837 Newspaper Archives
Englewood Englewood Independent 10/23/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairborn Fairborn Daily Herald 08/25/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fairfield Fairfield Echo 12/07/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Findlay Courier 03/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fostoria Review Times 07/14/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Fredericktown Knox County Citizen 12/11/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Galion Galion Inquirer 10/22/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gallipolis Gallipolis Daily Tribune 10/14/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gallipolis, Pomeroy Sunday Times Sentinel 04/23/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Gates Mills Sun Messenger 09/14/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Georgetown News Democrat 11/21/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Green Suburbanite 11/02/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Greenville Daily Advocate 07/06/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Grove City Grove City News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hamilton JournalNews 10/05/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hilliard Hilliard Northwest News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hillsboro Times-Gazette 11/01/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Huber Heights Huber Heights Courier 08/27/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ironton Ironton Tribune 10/02/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Jackson Jackson County Times-Journal 07/01/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lakewood Sun Post-Herald 10/28/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lancaster Independent Press 09/12/1812 – 09/12/1812 Newspaper Archives
Lancaster Political Observatory, and Fairfield Register 09/08/1810 – 09/15/1810 Newspaper Archives
Lebanon Western Star 02/13/1807 – 07/11/1820 Newspaper Archives
Lebanon Western Star 01/04/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lima Lima News 08/01/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
Logan Logan Daily News 08/05/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
London Madison Press 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marblehead Peninsula News 10/25/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Marietta Western Spectator 10/30/1810 – 01/25/1812 Newspaper Archives
Marietta American Friend 04/24/1813 – 06/19/1818 Newspaper Archives
Marietta Ohio Gazette and Virginia Herald 04/24/1806 – 12/09/1811 Newspaper Archives
Mason Pulse-Journal 01/05/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Massillon Independent 08/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
McArthur Vinton County Courier 07/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mechanicsburg Telegram 02/24/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Medina Medina Sun 05/17/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Middletown Middletown Journal 08/06/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Minster Community Post 09/04/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mt. Gilead Morrow County Sentinel 10/24/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Albany New Albany News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Lexington Perry County Tribune 07/30/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Philadelphia Times Reporter 07/17/2001 – Current Recent Obituaries
New Richmond Philanthropist 01/01/1836 – 02/26/1836 Newspaper Archives
North Baltimore North Baltimore News 08/25/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Norwalk Norwalk Reflector 05/31/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oberlin Oberlin News-Tribune 11/01/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Oxford Oxford Press 11/18/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Painesville Painesville Telegraph 09/25/1822 – 12/31/1845 Newspaper Archives
Parma Parma Sun Post 02/17/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pickerington Pickerington Times-Sun 09/18/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Piqua Piqua Daily Call 08/07/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Plain City Plain City Advocate 10/20/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pomeroy Daily Sentinel 10/17/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth Community Common 12/20/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Portsmouth Portsmouth Daily Times 10/11/2005 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ravenna Portage County Democrat 04/05/1854 – 03/28/1855 Newspaper Archives
Reynoldsburg Reynoldsburg News 09/19/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ripley Ripley Bee 11/22/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sandusky Daily Commercial Register 04/24/1848 – 04/24/1867 Newspaper Archives
Sandusky Sandusky Register 12/04/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Sidney Sidney Daily News 09/13/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Springfield Springfield News-Sun 10/03/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
St. Clairsville Ohio Federalist and Belmont Repository 08/15/1816 – 12/11/1817 Newspaper Archives
St. Clairsville Impartial Expositor 03/25/1809 – 03/25/1809 Newspaper Archives
St. Marys Evening Leader 04/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Steubenville Jefferson Democrat and Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Advocate 05/25/1831 – 02/06/1833 Newspaper Archives
Steubenville Steubenville Herald 11/05/1812 – 06/23/1827 Newspaper Archives
Strongsville Sun Star Courier 10/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Swanton Swanton Enterprise 04/14/2014 – Current Recent Obituaries
Tipp City Weekly Record Herald 11/22/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Toledo Blade 09/24/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Toledo Toledo Express 03/31/1932 – 03/31/1932 Newspaper Archives
Troy Troy Daily News 09/14/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Upper Arlington Upper Arlington News 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Urbana Spirit of Liberty 04/04/1816 – 04/04/1816 Newspaper Archives
Urbana Urbana Daily Citizen 11/18/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Vandalia Vandalia Drummer News 08/30/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wapakoneta Wapakoneta Daily News 03/10/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Trump of Fame 11/05/1812 – 08/07/1861 Newspaper Archives
Washington Court House Record-Herald 11/01/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Waverly Pike County News Watchman 07/02/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wellington Wellington Enterprise 11/05/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
West Union People’s Defender 11/12/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westerville Westerville News & Public Opinion 09/17/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Williamsburg Western American 07/29/1814 – 09/07/1816 Newspaper Archives
Wilmington Wilmington News Journal 07/26/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wooster Wooster Republican 06/16/1853 – 12/26/1872 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Greene County Torch-Light 07/01/1841 – 12/26/1850 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Greene County Journal 10/02/1863 – 02/05/1864 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Ohio Standard and Observer 01/27/1900 – 01/27/1900 Newspaper Archives
Xenia Daily Gazette 08/10/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Youngstown Daily Legal News 06/24/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

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Genealogy Surprise: My Ancestor’s Journal of War Stories!

I didn’t expect to find this.
My family is obscure – generally unknown to history. Sure, their obituaries and marriages made the paper – and when something unusual happened to them, that made the newspaper too.

But – this was quite a find.

article about Jacob Robinson's Mexican-American War journal, Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics newspaper article 30 October 1847

Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 30 October 1847, page 2

It turns out that my cousin Jacob Sawyer Robinson (1814-1886), who was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, had enlisted in Col. Alexander Doniphan’s Missouri Regiment during the Mexican-American War – AND he kept a journal.

I didn’t know he was a soldier in the Mexican-American War.
His journal made its way to the editor of the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics and the editor announced that he would be serializing the journal in his newspaper.

The editor told his readers:

Although his horse-back sketches may not be so well connected as a journalist under different circumstances might prepare, yet they will be found interesting.

This is terrific. What a valuable family history find.
My cousin had joined the military and kept a journal!

The newspaper started the serialization on New Year’s Day 1848. According to the editor, Jacob Robinson “was probably the only New-England man in that expedition.”

From the Wikipedia article on Alexander William Doniphan:

In 1846, at the beginning of the Mexican–American War, [Col. Alexander] Doniphan was commissioned a Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Missouri Mounted Volunteers, and served in several campaigns, including General Stephen W. Kearny’s capture of Santa Fe and an invasion of northern Mexico (present day northern New Mexico).

photo of Colonel Alexander William Doniphan

Photo: Colonel Alexander William Doniphan, between 1844 and 1860. Credit: Mathew Brady; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Northern New Mexico – Santa Fe – hey, I lived in that area for several years. Now I really want to read his journal entries.

article about Jacob Robinson's Mexican-American War journal, Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics newspaper article 1 January 1848

Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 1 January 1848, page 2

The published excerpts from Robinson’s journal start with his entry on 22 June 1846. When his unit got word that they would be leaving for Santa Fe, they reacted with “a joyous shout [that] rings in [his] memory yet.”

Amazing. I don’t know if anyone in my family still has a copy of Robinson’s journal. Until I found these newspaper articles, I did not even know he had kept a journal of his war experiences. Thanks to the old newspapers preserved in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, now we have it – we have his story as he wrote it down in his personal journal.

Genealogy Tip: Keep digging – the old newspapers published more than obituaries and wedding announcements. They just might have published your ancestor’s journal from the Mexican-American War!

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How to Find Old Family Photos & More in Newspapers

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena shares some of her favorite old photos that she’s found in historical newspapers.

There’s no doubt I love to read and research old newspapers. The diverse news stories you can find are always amazing. But newspapers also provide a visual feast of images. Let’s face it, images tell a story much more powerfully than words alone. Images provide us with additional information as we research our ancestor, their place, and time.

Often when we research an ancestor we are focused on finding information about that single person and perhaps their family. In some cases you might find your ancestor’s photo in the newspaper – but what other types of photographs are available? Here are some of my favorite examples of old photos I found while browsing in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

Old Family Reunion Photos

Newspapers are a great resource for finding family stories. Newspaper articles provide information about a person’s life from cradle to grave – and all the activities in between. One way they report on family stories is through articles about family reunions – and these articles can have photos that are very helpful to family historians.

Family reunion photos may be of everyone at the gathering or just a few members, such as this reunion photo of two of the older members in attendance at the Chenault-Chennault clan’s 1952 reunion that drew over 255 relatives from seven states to Dallas, Texas. One of the issues discussed at the reunion? Whether their surname should be spelled Chenault or Chennault.

photo from the Chenault family reunion, Dallas Morning News newspaper article 1 September 1952

Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas), 1 September 1952, section III, page 1

It’s great to have this old family photo and the accompanying information about those relatives pictured. Mrs. Blanche Chenault Junkin was a retired teacher and stated she had “won three college degrees after she was sixty years old.”

Sometimes a “family reunion” isn’t a large gathering of descendants, but instead a celebration of a singular family event – such as this photo taken on the occasion of Mrs. Nancy J. Atkinson’s 91st birthday in 1922, when her eight children came to pay her a visit and help celebrate.

photo of the Atkinson family reunion, Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper article 10 September 1922

Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado), 10 September 1922, page 20

Multi-Generation Family Photos

How many generations of your family could you have pose for a family photo? Unfortunately, in my current family we max out at three – but for other families, four to six generations can be found in one photograph. Newspapers are a great place to find these types of multi-generation family photos.

This five-generation family photo is of Mrs. Eliza Heminger, her son George Heminger, Mrs. Lillian Hall, Mrs. Ethel Campany and Ethel’s baby daughter Leafy.

photo of the Smith family reunion, Grand Rapids Press newspaper article 12 January 1907

Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, Michigan), 12 January 1907, page 11

Multi-generation family photos are just one of the general interest-type stories and images that one can find in old newspapers.

Natural Disaster Photos

Telling your ancestor’s story is more than just finding vital statistics about him or her. Filling in the details about their life is equally important – as well as finding out what was going on in the times they lived in – and for those stories, you need newspaper articles of the day. You can find all types of photos from historical events in the newspaper – and often if the event was big enough, those photos were not limited to just the hometown newspapers.

For example, photographs of this 1915 Italian earthquake were published in a Northern California newspaper. Most likely this was the 13 January 1915 Avezzano earthquake that killed 30,000 people. Photos of the devastation, printed weeks and months after the event, were the only way that distant family, friends, and concerned parties could size up the destruction.

photo of an earthquake in Italy, San Jose Mercury News newspaper article 6 February 1915

San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, California), 6 February 1915, page 1

California is no stranger to earthquakes. One of the most famous is the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which not only caused destruction from the shaking but the subsequent fires. Three days after the earthquake of 1906 struck, 500 city blocks—over 25,000 buildings—had been smashed or burned; the earthquake and fire combined to destroy over 80 percent of the city. So many old news articles and images can be found for this earthquake that it’s quite easy to put together information about how a family was affected during and after the disaster.

photo of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Register Star newspaper article 18 April 2005

Register Star (Rockford, Illinois), 18 April 2005, page 3

Genealogy Tip: As you put together a timeline of your ancestor’s life, make sure to note any events, including disasters, which may have impacted them. Once you have identified dates for those events, search the newspaper for accompanying photos and stories.

School Group Photos

One thing I love about newspapers is the ability to find all family members, not just adults. Children, teens, and young adults are well represented in the newspaper, especially when it comes to school activities. Numerous school group photos can be found in newspapers. While we may think of class photos, graduation announcements, or sports highlights, other types of school happenings are also well documented in old newspapers, like this 1939 photo from Brownsville, Texas, of the new student leaders at the high school and junior college.

photo of school class presidents, Heraldo de Brownsville newspaper article 6 October 1939

Heraldo de Brownsville (Brownsville, Texas), 6 October 1939, page 3

Unlike the photo above that includes everyone’s name, this next photo has only one student name: Miss Borghild Asleson. However, this old school photo provides some important social history regarding attending college during the Great Depression. This class photo of students at Park Region Lutheran College in Minnesota shows them paying their tuition with wheat grown on their family farm. You can imagine how important that payment option was to families during those hard economic times.

photo of student paying tuition with grain at Park Region Lutheran College, National Labor Tribune newspaper article 24 September 1931

National Labor Tribune (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), 24 September 1931, page 8

The examples of historical photos shown in this blog article are just the tip of the iceberg. Newspaper photos provide an important element in telling your family story, whether you are searching for the people photographed, an event, or a place. Old newspapers can help you tell that story with this rich resource.

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Find the True Life Stories of Our Revolutionary War Ancestors

GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives have not only the stories of our Revolutionary War ancestors – but daily news reports of the war itself.

newspaper articles about the American Revolutionary War from GenealogyBank's archives

With newspapers in GenealogyBank’s collection spanning the entire 1700s, you can find thousands of exclusive historical news articles about Revolutionary War battles, politics and day to day life as it was reported in the newspapers of the time. Track your ancestor as he went from battle to battle…and then through the years after the war.

Where else can you find these stories of the American Revolutionary period – recorded as our ancestors lived them?

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