December 7th, 2007

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Touching a Piece of History

When I was a cub, I don't know what the circumstances were but it could have been school related, my dad shared with me something very cool. He had saved newspapers from historic events. Perhaps I was doing a report on WWII or perhaps I asked him that question a lot of kids asked their fathers, "Daddy, what did you do in the war?" Anyway...He pulls out this box and there was a newspaper with the screaming headline "JAPS DECLARE WAR!" As I dug down deeper into the box there were papers which told of the taking of the Philippines. There were a couple of other papers from the days after Pearl Harbor. Further down there was a later paper of our victory at Guadalcanal. Finally there were papers from 1945 announcing victory.

There were a few other events from which my dad saved papers. One was a horrible accident in Chicago where a street car hit a gasoline truck. The paper showed graphic images of bodies burned to skeletons. There were also a few papers from the JFK assassination.

This inspired me to start a collection of my own. Since I was raised in the era of Irwin Allen disaster movies, I collected disasters. I still have my files somewhere in the closet. For really big events I saved the whole paper. I have papers of the 1st space shuttle launch. I have papers from the space shuttle failures. I have LA Times from the Northridge quake and NY Times from 9/11.

This past Thanksgiving I rummaged through my parents' attic and found the box of my dad's newspapers. They are now safely with me. They are a bit yellow and brittle, but still in good shape. I had wanted to take some pics for today's post, but I ran out of time. Perhaps this weekend I'll get around to it.
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