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Now that warm weather is finally returning in the Northern hemisphere, we can spring into spring.  Here on the Digital Newspaper Team, we’ve been dusting off papers for upload.  Thanks to partners like University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwestern University, the Old Jail Art Center, and newspaper publishers themselves, new titles you’ll see preserved and freely available in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program include The Greensheet, The Albany News, The Hallettsville RebelThe Megaphoneearly Czech newspaper, Obzor, and The San Antonio Register.  

As we spring forward, we on the Newspaper Team especially enjoy the flowers, butterflies, bunny rabbits, and puns, and newspapers serve as windows to the season for us (since our offices don’t have windows).  We share pictures from collections like the beautiful full-color PDFs from the Canadian Record and witticisms about cleaning your spring–or at least your well if you have no spring–as recommended in the San Marcos Free Press.  Such hand-drawn artwork as that which appears in The Meridian Tribune, depicting springtime and life in the 1930s, gives us a window in time.  

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Yesterday, a person stopped by my office to ask if there are copies of the NT Daily at the Willis Library because she had a homework assignment to study information in newspapers.  She got very excited when I showed her the North Texas Daily/Campus Chat Newspaper Collection, which is freely available on The Portal to Texas History.  As with all newspapers on the Portal, the NT Daily/Campus Chat issues are fully text-searchable, with highlighting of search terms, and can be zoomed in for closer reading, which you can see in action on this December, 7, 1966, issue of The Campus Chat, which discusses the mascot name selection process for Scrappy. 

UNT’s student newspaper was first published on November 1, 1916, under the title The Campus Chat. The first editor-in-chief was Mary Watlington, and Ira S. Bradshaw was the assistant editor-in-chief. The paper was published once per month during semesters. By the late 1940s, the paper was distributed on a semi-weekly basis, on Wednesdays and Fridays. In 1970, the newspaper’s name was changed to The North Texas Daily, which is now printed four days a week in the Fall and Spring while classes are in session, and once a week during the Summer.

The NT Daily has had a long history of winning awards, starting in 1937-38, when The Campus Chat entered a competition sponsored by the Associated Collegiate Press. In that year the paper received the second highest honor rating, First Class. In April of 1940, The Campus Chat was awarded its first All-American rating by the National Scholastic Press Association. The editor of the Chat at that time was Ray Edwards. By the time of the name change to The North Texas Daily, the paper had won 53 All-American ratings and five Pacemaker awards from the Associated Collegiate Press.

All issues of the NT Daily and Campus Chat are freely available for anyone–historians, genealogists, students, or anyone who loves reading newspapers!

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Newspapers provide windows into daily life throughout history.  Digital newspapers allow us to easily track how people celebrated the end of the year, across many years and many miles.

The Denison Press article, “Winter Solstice Period of Many Ancient Rituals,” explains, “The Winter Solstice, when the sun swings toward the earth once more, has been celebrated as a festival of some sort by the various peoples of the earth since, and even prior to, the recording of history.”  In Texas, these rituals range from stately and glamorous to community-building to just plain peculiar.

  • Early Texans celebrated Christmas while living in a warmer climate during the winter months. The November 24, 1838, issue of the Telegraph and Texas Register reveals that Velasco celebrated with daytime horse races that concluded with evening masked balls over a series of five days.
  • Soldiers stationed at Fort Hood mulled over their New Year’s resolutions in the December 21, 1973, issue of the Fort Hood Sentinel.  Quitting smoking seemed to be the most frequent resolution for folks that year.
  • Two decades later, from Houston, the Rice Thresher advertises the “Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa celebration for the Second Annual Holiday Festival,” which would be “celebrated with buffet dinner and dessert, along with photos with Santa.”
  • Children from the town of Canadian, in the Texas Panhandle, eagerly write to Santa with their wishes, one of whom  hopes for “a palm pilot and real beagle puppies” in the December 23, 2004 Canadian Reporter
  • And the University of North Texas’ Holidaily 2007 poses the timeless question: Who would win in a battle of the Santas? Santa Claus or Santa Anna?  (You’ll have to read the comic to find out!)

However you celebrate the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, the Digital Newspaper Team wishes you joy!

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“The Oldest and Best Read County Seat Weekly in the Panhandle,” the Claude News, is now accessible on The Portal to Texas History.  Through the hard work of the Richard S. and Leah Morris Memorial Library, and through the generous support of the Tocker Foundation, newspapers from Armstrong County’s seat, Claude, are available from across six decades.  Originally named Armstrong City, Claude was founded in 1887 by the Ft. Worth and Denver City Railway, and it was very shortly thereafter renamed for Claude Ayers, the engineer who brought the first train through the town.  With ties to Charles Goodnight and to Hollywood, Claude, Texas, has a big past for such an unassuming community!  Three films, The Sundowners, Hud, and Sunshine Christmas were filmed in Claude.  The Claude News was the weekly newspaper produced when the Claude Argus and the Goodnight News merged at the turn of the 20th-century. 

 

Thanks to The Handbook of Texas for its rich biography of Claude! 

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As you plan shopping lists for Thanksgiving, an easy place to find old recipes that will make your Thanksgiving meal new is the Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

Pickled eggs are an easy Thanksgiving table appetizer, can be transported to a friend’s house, and are safe to leave out on the table for hours.  This Telegraph and Texas Register recipe dates from November 9, 1842–before Thanksgiving was an official holiday in America!  This recipe was intended to accompany meats stored through the winter as a nourishing yet tasty side dish, in an era before refrigeration existed to keep food from spoiling over long periods of time. 

The Schulenburg Sticker bring us “The Kitchen Cabinet” column, from November 18, 1921.  This recipe column suggests that “a few pieces of nicely smoked trout added to a potato salad give a flavor that is especially appetizing.”  These recipes take advantage of common foods that would have been in a 1921 Texas kitchen in the late autumn.  “Usually two or three vegetables with the meat course is considered enough.”  Ranging from suggestions on cooking sweet potatoes attractively, to fruit- and coffee-flavored desserts, to recipes for different varieties of squash that were readily available in the Texas Hill Country during the 1920s, any of Nellie Maxwell’s recipes would add a unique experience to a large family Thanksgiving.

“Meet the Bean Family,” from the November 25, 1943, issue of The Tulia Herald, states, “[Dried beans] are food pinch hitters for meat, fish, eggs, and cheese when supplies of these No. 1 protein foods are short.”  Written during a time of war rationing, this bean recipe list illustrates an era and a region when resources were limited and when sensible planning of meals was a necessity.  These recipes could add a unique twist to any 2013 Thanksgiving feast.