The Saratoga County History Center has announce the publication of Off the Northway (Saratoga County History Center, 2022), a compilation of 83 articles written by longtime local journalist Stephen Williams, who retired after a 42-year career at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY. [Read more…] about Off the Northway: A New Book by Journalist Stephen Williams
Correct response: What is Indiana? [Read more…] about Political Anecdotes From Historical Newspapers
Over the past two decades there has been an upsurge of interest in the life and work of Hubert H. Harrison. As a leading socialist and subsequent proponent of what he termed the mass-based “Race First” approach to organizing, Harrison exercised a direct, seminal influence on his contemporaries including A. Philip Randolph, W. A. Domingo, Marcus Garvey, Richard B Moore, Chandler Owen, Arturo Schomburg, Cyril Briggs, Claude McKay, James Weldon Johnson, Hodge Kirnon, J. A. Rogers and William Monroe Trotter.
As W. A. Domingo, childhood friend of Garvey and first editor of the Negro World would later explain, “Garvey like the rest of us followed Hubert Harrison.” [Read more…] about Hubert Harrison: Tribune of the People
“What! another paper in Washington County!” publisher George A. Nash wrote in the first issue of The Commercial Advertiser of Sandy Hill, now Hudson Falls, on November 26th, 1879. [Read more…] about The Little Newspaper That Hoped It Could
The Whitehall correspondent submitted a long-winded, pun intended, weather report for the Dec. 28, 1889 issue of The Granville Sentinel: “The atmosphere was in great commotion here Sunday night – evidently having urgent business elsewhere – and things movable presented a decidedly twisted appearance in town Monday morning.”
A contemporary editor likely would ask the reporter to consult the National Weather Service about the speed of the wind, and would have boiled down the verbiage to something like, “Severe winds in Whitehall uprooted trees and blew off roofs at Whitehall on Sunday. But dramatics frequently trumped details in 19th century newspapers. [Read more…] about Flowery & Imprecise: 19th Century Weather Reports
Trivia clue: Saratoga County Democrats barbecued an 800-pound ox to celebrate his election in 1884.
Correct response: Who is Grover Cleveland? A Glens Falls hotel keeper saved a piece of the rib bone as a souvenir. [Read more…] about Political Anecdotes from Northern New York Historic Newspapers
In the early 1800s it was unusual for Americans to be interested in sporting matters on their own shores. News from Europe was the only sporting news of merit, and publishing an American sporting journal was considered a risky use of capital.
The first attempt along these lines may have been in 1829 Baltimore, where John S. Skinner published a monthly magazine which focused on race horse pedigrees called The American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine. Another early attempt was published in New York by the recognized writer and horseman Cadwallader R. Colden, whose organ was called The New-York Sporting Magazine and Annals of the American and English Turf, first published in 1833.
Among the most notable of the sporting press arrived in 1831, when William T. Porter and James Haw published the first issue of The Spirit of the Times, focusing on horse literature and sporting subjects. They had chosen the name for their broadsheet from a quotation in Shakespeare’s King John, “The spirit of the times shall teach me speed.” [Read more…] about The Spirit of the Times: A 19th Century Chronicle of American Sports
Trivia clue: This federal agency that started as an experiment of the Army Signals Corps and was transferred in 1887 from the War Department to the Department of Agriculture. [Read more…] about Anecdotes from Historic Newspapers
Trivia clue: This New York governor showed up too late to play in a November 12th golf game promoted as a friendly match between “is” and “to be.”
Correct response: Gov. Nathan Miller, the Republican incumbent who just weeks before had lost re-election to Democrat Al Smith, who Miller had un-seated two years earlier. [Read more…] about Lighthearted Political Anecdotes From NNY Newspapers
Visions of chestnuts roasting on an open fire come December could be squelched if Jack Frost nipped at your nose in September.
“We have good promise of a fine crop of chestnuts. Frost holding off is favorable for large nuts with rich meats,” the Fort Ann correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on September 22nd, 1876. [Read more…] about September 1886: When Winter Comes Early