Answers for New Year’s Resolutions Research Challenge

Introduction: In this second of a two-part article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak gives the answers to her article yesterday, in which she challenged her readers to find New Year’s resolutions of yesteryear in old newspapers. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background.

Here are the answers to the historical New Year’s resolutions challenge published yesterday on the GenealogyBank blog.

  • 1854: Which newspaper’s resolution was: “We not only believe that we can make the best paper in New England, but we mean to do it.”

Answer: the Congregationalist

An article about the newspaper the Congregationalist, Christian Watchman newspaper article 12 January 1854
Christian Watchman (Boston, Massachusetts), 12 January 1854, page 2
  • 1868: During the height of the anti-drinking movement, an Eastern Temperance exchange suggested that a supporter should devote as much cause to Temperance as was formerly spent on a specific type of alcohol. Which one was it?

Answer: rum

An article about a temperance resolution, Weekly Rescue newspaper article 5 September 1868
Weekly Rescue (Sacramento, California), 5 September 1868, page 2
  • 1881: A joke published this year suggested that a wife who “never fails to meet you at the door with a kiss” might be doing this for another reason. What was it?

Answer: “She’s just dying to know if you have broken your New Year’s resolution and commenced on lager again.”

An article about a New Year's resolution, Bennington Banner newspaper article 20 January 1881
Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont), 20 January 1881, page 2
  • 1887: Fill in the blank for this resolution by Henry George: “What the working people want is not more work, but more things with __________ __________.”

Answer: less work

An article about a New Year's resolution, Cleveland Leader newspaper article 4 January 1887
Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 4 January 1887, page 4
  • 1895: Journalists often joked about resolutions and what was trendy. One writer suggested that the new woman of that year might resolve to not wear patched __________.

Answer: bloomers

An article about New Year's resolutions, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 30 December 1895
Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 30 December 1895, page 4
  • 1906: The Greensboro Loan and Trust Company officers suggested in an advertisement what they considered to be a sensible resolution for the New Year. It was “Resolve to be better off at the end of next year than you are now.” What was the interest rate they paid on accounts?

Answer: 4%

A loan company ad, Greensboro Record newspaper advertisement 29 December 1906
Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), 29 December 1906, page 8
  • 1909: A well-known actor, William Faversham, wrote that the one resolution for the New Year that all actors should make was to __________ __________.

Answer: stop eating

An article about a resolution for actors, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 26 December 1909
Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 26 December 1909, page 9
  • 1921: An anonymous writer said: “A good resolution is of no use unless it’s backed by a __________ __________.”

Answer: strong resolution.

An article about New Year's resolutions, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 4 January 1921
Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 4 January 1921, page 12
  • 1928: William F. Thompson of the Clement-Walsh Players resolved to not work more than __________ __________ this year.”

Answer: 52 weeks

An article about a New Year's resolution, Omaha World-Herald newspaper article 1 January 1928
Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 1 January 1928, page 6
  • 1930: What was John J. Pershing’s four-word resolution for the New Year? __________ __________ __________ __________.”

Answer: “Mind your own business.”

An article about a New Year's resolution, Omaha World-Herald newspaper article 1 January 1930
Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 1 January 1930, page 18

Did you take the Genealogy Research Challenge: Find These Historical New Year’s Resolutions yesterday? If so, tell us how you did in the comments section below.

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