4th of July Celebrations 1876-1911

In the early 1900s, the Fourth of July could be a dangerous holiday. The American Medical Association cited 1,531 deaths on this Independence Day holiday between 1903 and 1910 from fireworks and other accidents. More than 5,000 injuries were reported in 1909 alone.

Because social groups and U.S. President Taft pled for a “Sane Fourth,” the holiday became safer. However, the Fourth of July today still sees firework injuries and threatening fires, which keeps police officers and firefighters busy. Read more about about it in 4th of July Celebrations, 1876-1911.

4th of July Celebrations 1876-1911
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/4july.html


Sinking of the Titanic

Today in history — April 15, 1912 — “Iceberg straight ahead!”, exclaimed a sailor on the RMS Titanic, the infamous cruise ship. Regardless of whether the quote from the movie Titanic was actually said, the sailors on the real RMS Titanic did spot an iceberg while sailing on the North Atlantic Ocean at 11:40 p.m.

Ironically, had the ship continued its course and hit the iceberg, the ship would have stayed afloat. However, the sailors instead tried to dodge the iceberg by turning the ship. But because it was sailing too quickly, the ship hit the iceberg, its fatal blow.

The more-than-2,000 passengers felt the “thud,” which made coffee and tea in the dining halls spill on tablecloths, stain women’s dresses, and interrupted conversations. However, the sailors did not alert the passengers. Feeling safe, they continued to enjoy their parties and went to bed after.

However, hours later, the passengers woke up to a sinking ship filling with water. To save themselves, they wore life vests, ran, swam for their lives in freezing seawater, and evacuated into lifeboats while hearing the calm, soothing music of a string quartet.

But the British passenger liner did not have enough lifeboats because planners thought the ship was too strong to sink. And after the ship sank, many of the lifeboats still had room for more passengers, but alas, the ship was not evacuated early enough. Thus, more than 1,300 people died early April 15, 1912. Read more about one of the worst maritime disasters of history in “Sinking of the Titanic”!

“Sinking of the Titanic”
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/titanicsinking.html


Badminton

Badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport; shuttlecocks travel up to 200 miles per hour. Invented by British military officers in India in the mid-1800s, badminton soon spread to the rest of the world.

Though badminton clubs sprouted up in the United States in the late 19th century, the sport never really took off on the competitive level in America, as it was overshadowed by the more popular racket sport, tennis.

Read more about Badminton’s history in “Badminton.”

Badminton
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/badminton.html


Roller Coasters

With breathtaking drops and “spine curling” thrills, early roller coasters delighted daring Americans. As more people experienced the adventure and as the mechanics improved, roller coasters became essential rides, and amusement parks competed to provide the biggest and most intricate rides. Read more about the thrill ride in “Roller Coasters.”

Roller Coasters
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/coasters.html


Newsies: Newsboys and Newsgirls

Newsboy“Extra, extra!!” In the 19th and 20th centuries, newspaper boys and girls (“newsies”) sold newspapers on city streets. Newsies needed to sell all their papers to turn a profit.

In 1899, a jump in newspaper prices prompted New York City newsies to strike against big-name publishers like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Read more about it in “Newsies.”

Newsies
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/newsboys.html


Chronicling America Will Expand to 1690-1963 Newspapers

Chronicling America will expand its date scope from 1836-1922 to 1690-1963, and newspaper pages with these dates will be included.

Chronicling America will not offer Hawaii newspaper pages before 1836 or after 1963 in the near future, but eventually may do so contingent on funding (donations can be made here).

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library offers additional Hawaii newspaper titles online at eVols and ScholarSpace, UH Manoa’s institutional repositories. Hawaii newspaper categories include community/alternative, Filipino-language, Portuguese-language, and English-language (mirroring the Chronicling America collection). Titles include Roach, Ka Leo O Hawaii, and Hawaii Mainichi.

Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain. From 1923 to 1963, materials fell into the public domain if their publishers did not renew their copyrights.

Chronicling America is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, thirty-nine state partners, and one territorial partner.  Over 11 million newspaper pages are freely available to the public.

For more information, read “Expanding Our Current Scope.”

Expanding Our Current Scope
http://www.neh.gov/news/expanding-our-current-scope-ndnp


U.S. President Zachary Taylor Died

This month in history–July 9, 1850–U.S. President Zachary Taylor died of a stomach-related illness. The Southern Press (Washington, DC) described the former major general: “His splendid military achievements won the admiration of his countrymen,– his simplicity of character a large measure of their confidence.”

Read more about the twelfth U.S. President in “Death of President Taylor.”

“Death of President Taylor”
The Southern press, July 10, 1850, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014764/1850-07-10/ed-1/seq-2/