Today – March 12 – is the anniversary of Adolph Ochs’ birth in 1858.
Adolph Ochs (1858-1935). Painting by Philip de László (1869-1937)
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
Before becoming the renowned publisher of the New York Times, Ochs’ newspapering journey began right here in Tennessee. I came across this (recently acquired) portrait of Mr Ochs on a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in DC last year. I was thrilled that they chose to mention his start as a newsboy in Knoxville. Here is the portrait’s caption:
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
The story goes that, later, when Ochs worked as a printer’s devil for the Knoxville Chronicle, he gained invaluable printing experience by putting in extra hours after his shift ended at 11:30pm. It was not just his enthusiasm for the job that kept the young Ochs from leaving, but a morbid fear of passing the graveyard of the First Presbyterian Church at midnight.* The extra work paid off and, at the age of just 19, Ochs purchased a majority share of the Chattanooga Times, and in 1896, purchased the New York Times.
Note about the portrait: a portrait–by the same artist–of “Effie” Ochs, Adolph’s wife, was also acquired by the NPG and hangs on the wall alongside Mr Ochs. See it on the NPG website here.
* Faber, D. (1996). Printer’s devil to publisher : Adolph S. Ochs of the New York Times. Hensonville, N.Y. : Black Dome.
“Fresh from Oscar fever & “12 Years a Slave” winning Best Film 2014, Pruedence Doherty (our Special Collections Librarian) dug into our digitized content and found accounts of Solomon Northup kidnapping, subsequent rescue, and persecutions of his kidnappers. Read more about it!”
Vermont Watchman and State Journal. February 10, 1853.
Further references to Solomon Northup’s narrative can be found by using Chronicling America’s Advanced Search option. However, note that his last name is spelled both as Northup and Northrop.
Thanks to Erenst, Prudence, and all at VDNP for sharing this.
The Library of Congress announced an update to the Chronicling America upload process this week. In the past, after data had been checked and accepted by the NDNP staff, it was held until periodic updates were made to the site. Now, data will be ingested as soon as it has been accepted, making the turnaround time from digitization to upload a lot quicker.
You can see, in real time, which batches are currently being uploaded: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/events/ Tennessee batches start with “batch_tu_”. batch_tu_dottie and batch_tu_frank were uploaded earlier this week (batch_tu_ernie must still be in the queue). Titles in these batches include the Camden Chronicle, Columbia Herald, Pulaski Citizen, Bolivar Bulletin, Memphis Appeal, Winchester Home Journal, and the Nashville Globe.
I found a fascinating little publication in UT’s Special Collections a few weeks ago. I was doing some research for the next phase of TNDP (NEH grant application pending), when I came across this 1903 booklet, The Journal and Tribune’s Book of Cartoons. The Knoxville-based cartoonist was Ernest E. Burtt. A quick search online led me to a website rich in information about cartoons and cartoonists: the International Team of Comic Historians, aka ITCH. The website contained a page scanned from the May 1913 issue of Cartoons Magazine (see below), featuring many cartoonists, and amongst them – Ernest E. Burtt. The page gives a short bio and even a photo of the artist. The piece also solved the mystery of who the little creature was that kept popping up in the Journal and Tribune‘s editorial cartoons – Rad the dog!
Cartoons Magazine. May 1913. Source: ITCH website, http://superitch.com/
From the publication, the [Knoxville] Journal and Tribune Cartoons, 1903. Source: University of Tennessee Special Collections, Hodges Library
Doing some research in Special Collections here in UT’s Hodges Library yesterday and came across this little gem – an assignment book from the Knoxville Journal & Tribune, 1911. The book gives a day-by-day snapshot of the year’s stories and the reporters assigned to them.
Below is a copy of two pages from exactly 102 years ago this week. The handwriting is a little hard to read but once deciphered, reveals tidbits of local goings-on. (Handwriting hint: the writer places a dash above an ‘n’ and a dash below a ‘u’.)
Each page in the assignment book was divided into “Stories to be in today” and “Look up today.” On October 5, 1911, the editor was expecting a review of Oscar Straus’ 1908 opera “The Chocolate Soldier” which was playing at Staub’s Opera House. Reporter Anderson was given the bulk of stories to look up that day including Ft. Sanders Ladies Aid Society, St John’s orphanage board, and a day nursery meeting.
Unsurprisingly, one of the assignments for Friday is “Football Saturday.” Friday also saw a visit from Congressman Oscar Underwood (House Majority Leader), with the note, “Get interview.”
Ahead of the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library alerted patrons that Library websites, except the legislative information sites THOMAS.gov and beta.congress.gov, would be inaccessible in the event of a shutdown.
The Library has restored access to all sites in addition to our legislative information sites. Other legislative branch agencies, and many executive branch agencies with information functions similar to the Library, are granting public access as well.