Paula Byers, who works in our advertising department, stopped me when I was downstairs Tuesday afternoon to show me some old newspapers she had brought in. There were three different editions of the long-defunct Round Lake Graphic — one from 1937, another from 1942 and a third from 1944.The Round Lake papers were cool, and got me thinking about a truly special delivery to the Daily Globe newsroom a few months back.
I had received a phone call from a woman one morning who told me she was getting rid of some things, and asked whether we’d be interested in some old newspapers. Sure, I told her, not knowing exactly what would heading in our direction.Before too long, the woman — unfortunately, I never did get her name — came into the newsroom and presented me with a small box. I thanked her, wondering if there was anything inside that would be worth more than a quick glance.
Boy, was I mistaken. While there were certainly some things in the box few of us had much use for — a July 1965 issue of Midwest Motor Transport News, for example, was one particularly random item — there were numerous gems to be found.
A large manila envelope, overstuffed with Daily Globe newspaper clippings, was labeled “Disasters and Area Storms 1962-2000” and contained dozens of published accounts from that period. Among the papers in the envelope was the full front section from the Feb. 6, 1984 Globe, which carried the headline “Brutal storm kills 9 in region” across the top of the page. And if you think the weather you’re waking up to this morning is miserable, here’s the headline from the Jan. 13, 1975, Globe: “‘Arctic hurricane’ strikes.” The first two paragraphs are sharply written: “An Arctic hurricane. That’s what it was. An Arctic hurricane.And when it was all over, historians still had another blizzard date to enter into the record right alongside 1873, 1888, 1937, 1940 and 1969. Everywhere it was the same story — a tale of rock hard drifts as deep as 15 or 20 feet, marooned travelers, deaths from exposure, heroic rescue efforts, and extensive property damage.”
While what was inside the “disaster” envelope was fun to sort through, the real prize, however, was inside some tinfoil that had been carefully sealed shut with masking tape. On one of these pieces of tape, the following was hand-written: “Chicago-Tribune 1933. Front-pages-dating 1800. Minneapolis-Daily Tribune – May 25, 1867. Old papers-Issued-March 1974.Inside the foil were what I presume to be two copies of a reissued edition of the first-ever Minneapolis Daily Tribune (Vol. 1, No. 1) and a collection that is billed as: “Sixteen Historic Front Pages Are The Tribune’s 1933 Christmas Greeting To Its Readers” Included in those 16 are fronts from the Civil War attack on Fort Sumter, the assassination of President Lincoln (with the headline, “Terrible News”) and the end of World War I (“Full Surrender By Foes” in huge print), among many others.
Come to think it, a collection of Daily Globe front pages wouldn’t be a bad Christmas present to our readers some day. In the meantime, I wish whoever the kind woman was who brought in the old newspapers a very happy holiday.