The National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper

The National News was created by editor Carl E. Person after the shutdown of the Strike Bulletin in May 1915. National News began publication only a few months later in October of that year. Person was a famous labor activist who had been put on trial in 1914 for shooting a strike breaker and was later acquitted on the basis of self-defense. Much like Strike Bulletin, the National News was devoted to describing collective labor actions across the United States. However, it also contained excerpts from the some of the latest popular fiction of the day including a novel The Abysmal Brute by Jack London. Person centered the National News in Chicago instead of his earlier location in Clinton, Illinois due to his feelings that Clinton had become a hostile work environment following the end of the Illinois Central Shopmen’s Strike and his near-fatal encounter.  Continue reading “The National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper”

The Illinois Issue and The American Issue: Prohibitionist Newspapers

The Illinois Issue was a weekly newspaper created in January 1906 for an audience of prohibitionist readers. The Illinois Issue was centered in Chicago, IL, and published in Downers Grove, IL. In February 1912, the Illinois Issue ceased production. Starting in July 1913, the Illinois Issue merged with a weekly national publication called the American Issue. Both papers were organized by a political group called the Anti-Saloon League. The American Issue began in 1896. It then ramped up production in 1909 because the town of Westerville, OH, donated a printing plant to the Anti-Saloon League to further the cause of alcohol prohibition.    Continue reading The Illinois Issue and The American Issue: Prohibitionist Newspapers”

Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper

The first newspaper in Illinois, the Illinois Herald, was founded as a weekly publication in 1814 based in Kaskaskia. It soon became the Western Intelligencer and carried the title Intelligencer in one form or another for the rest of its existence. The town of Kaskaskia was the Illinois Territory’s capital until 1818 when it became the state capital after Illinois gained statehood. The Intelligencer was created by abolitionist politicians Daniel Pope Cook and Elijah C. Berry. While they were in charge, the paper shared their anti-slavery politics. The boundary between journalism and politics in the 19th century was porous. Multiple editors and publishers for the Intelligencer held elected offices during the Intelligencer’s time in print. William H. Brown notes in his 1857 biography of Cook, “With the printing of the Laws and Journals of the Territorial Legislatures, and blanks for public offices, at prices which would now astonish a practical printer it is certain that the business was lucrative”. As both the early state’s primary newspaper and the official printer of state documents, the Intelligencer wielded strong political clout.  Continue reading Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper”

The Strike Bulletin: A Chronicle of a Failed Strike

The Strike Bulletin began publication in April 1913. The Strike Bulletin was a weekly paper marketed to labor unionists in the railroad industry. It was published from Clinton, Illinois for the entirety of its run. The Strike Bulletin was the creation of a labor organization called the Illinois Central System Foundation and was edited by Carl E. Person. Person was affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World. The Illinois Central System Foundation organized laborers who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. 

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The Daily Worker

Daily Worker was created for Communist Party USA members in 1921. The paper was originally titled the Worker, centered in Chicago and marketed as a weekly newspaper for the first three years of its existence. It then moved to New York City and carried out a pre-planned expansion into a daily broadsheet with a new name, Daily Worker. Publication under this new title lasted from 1924 to 1958. Daily Worker was primarily focused on issues relating to organized labor.    Continue reading “The Daily Worker

What can a Czech-American newspaper teach us about the American union?

In August 2016 HPNL and Preservation Services received a fourth round of grant funding for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress. The grant supports the funding for the digitization of 100,000 pages of newspapers. For this cycle UIUC focused on immigrant Chicagoland-based newspapers from the late 19th century and early 20th century. As part of this project, I was tasked with producing short essays summarizing the history of two related Czech-American newspapers: Denní hlasatel (Daily Herald) and its weekly counterpart, Týdenní hlasatel (Weekly Herald). The essays were to appear in the Library of Congress powered site, Chronicling America, as well as UIUC’s newspaper portal, the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC).

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Treasuring Tea: the World’s oldest Wonder

January is National Tea Month, but there is a tea for every season. Too hot? Iced tea. Feeling chilly? Warm up with a chai! What comes to mind when you hear the word tea? A warm, calming brew sipped at the end of a long day? A strongly steeped morning pick-me-up? A well-traveled, world-renowned part of your pantry? England? China? India? Nepal?

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‘Tis Time! Sharpen the knives and carve the pumpkins!

Halloween 2016 netted retail industries approximately $8.6 billion (CNN). Millions more may be factored into the season when cafes and grocers market many items labeled as “pumpkin spice.” It’s impossible to mention Halloween without invoking images of costumes, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, pumpkin smashing, witches, black cats, etc. Halloween is such a symbolic and long-standing holiday in American culture that it is worth serious consideration by historians, anthropologists, and students of folk-lore. It is the product of the migration of Western Europeans and a fusion of their traditional practices on this continent. Although it is such a historically rich festival, how is it that one of the longest-standing crafts affiliated with All Hallows Eve is that of pumpkin carving? When all is said and done, it seems a tad silly to carve a scary face into a vegetable. Patterns range from happy to scary, from eccentric to mainstream, the patterns reflecting both the skill and the whims of the carver. Why and how did this tradition of pumpkin carving emerge? That annual pilgrimage to a country-side pumpkin patch in order to select the perfect squash canvas? The answer lies with the development of Halloween as an American holiday.

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Can you can? Tips for vegetable longevity.

As we head toward the end of summer and the hot weather garden crops arrive, roll up your sleeves and get canning! Canning is a process recommended to preserve the longevity of your garden vegetables and fruits, so they may be used during the cold winter months. It also fosters a sense of americana self-sufficiency, and acts as an industrious hobby with an end-product you may eat for months to come.

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Celebrate Freedoms Safely!

May your 4th of July celebrations have been filled with great food, people, and festivities. Independence Day is an annual event that recognizes the landmark act of rebellion which led to the establishment of the United States of America. Festivities usually include parades, fairs, cookouts, and local fireworks displays.

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