March 2013 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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April Fools’ Day – Origins, History and Some Examples

If you’ve ever been asked to nip down the shop and get some pigeon’s milk and hen’s teeth; or if a colleague at work has requested a bubble for the spirit level and also asked if you can go for a long stand and fetch some elbow grease; then chances are you’ll know all about running a fool’s errand. So to mark April Fools’ Day, we thought we’d post some stories from the Archive about the history and origins of

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The Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race – the 1912 Race, When Both Boats Sank…

The Boat Race takes place in London today and, once again, Oxford University and Cambridge University have both battled their way through the qualifying rounds to make it to the cup final. But, well, unless you’re a keen follower of it, it’s really the quirky stories about the race that capture the interest of the mildly interested fan (a ‘mildly interested fan’ being defined as: well, I’ve seen both versions of ‘Ben Hur’ a few times, so I know a wee bit about

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Historical Newspaper Reports on the Origins, History and Traditions of Easter Sunday

To celebrate Easter Sunday, here is a gallery of newspaper stories that report on the origins, history and culture of this special day. We especially liked reading about the origins and history of Easter Eggs, and how Easter Sunday is celebrated in France, Germany and by the White House in Washington DC. Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Saturday 29 March 1902 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000276/19020329/003/0002 Evening Telegraph – Thursday 16 April 1908 Image © D.C.Thomson

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William Randolph Hearst and Yellow Journalism – Blog #10 by Edmund King

Blog 10 William Randolph Hearst In four previous visits to the USA, we had never travelled down the coast of southern California, south of San Francisco. We were determined to remedy the matter on this trip. So, we hired the car and set off from San Francisco accompanied by February winter sunlight with cold mornings and chilly, watery sunsets. We stopped overnight at Monterey, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, finally ending at Venice Beach, before motoring inland to Desert Hot Springs. 

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The History, Culture and Traditions of Good Friday

To celebrate Good Friday, or God’s Friday, here are three newspaper stories – and an advert – that report on the history, culture and traditions of the day…remember to get those seed potatoes planted today! Exeter and Plymouth Gazette – Friday 19 April 1895 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000510/18950419/039/0010 Tamworth Herald – Saturday 24 March 1934 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000484/19340324/123/0008 Edinburgh Evening News – Friday

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The Premiere of ‘King Kong’ in London and the UK – Easter 1933

‘The Eighth Wonder of the World!’ and ‘Paradise Lost’ During the Easter period in 1933, ‘King King’ received its premiere in London, before being released to the other cinemas outside London. Judging by the reviews, it received a ‘wow!’ reaction from the audiences in the UK. It’s also interesting to note the reaction to the way the film was marketed. We can well imagine that the massive film poster of ‘Kong’ that adorned cinemas would have looked very dramatic in

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A Guide to Etiquette on the Omnibus – Published in 1891

Oi! No spitting, no smoking, no swearing, no sitting next to sensitive souls on the last bus home and embarrassing them with coarse, stentorian conversation and awkward, impertinent questions – oh, these famous ‘strong advice’ signs on buses are sweet music to our ears. We’re BIG fans of etiquette at the BNA. Indeed, we’ve posted several stories about etiquette on the blog over the past few months – just enter ‘etiquette’ into the search engine for the blog to find these articles. So

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Gloria Swanson – Born in Chicago on 27 March 1899

“I am big! It’s the pictures that got small!” Gloria Swanson, one of the screen goddesses of the silent film era, was born in Chicago on 27 March 1899. To celebrate the day of her birth, here are three newspaper reports from the Archive which offer a fascinating insight (especially the report that mentions her annual earnings) into her life and career as an actress. Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 10 September 1929 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of

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The Death of David Lloyd George – 26 March 1945

The Liberal MP, statesman and prime minster of the UK from 1916 to 1922, David Lloyd George, died in Llanystumdwy (Caernarfonshire) on 26 March 1945, aged 82. Lloyd George was the last Liberal prime minster of the UK, and is perhaps most famous for leading the wartime coalition government from 1916 onwards and representing UK interests work at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. However, his work as Chancellor of the Exchequer in helping the sick and infirm through legislation

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The Wartime Radio Broadcasts Made in Berlin by P.G. Wodehouse

Newspaper reports on the radio broadcasts made by P.G. Wodehouse during World War Two Poor P.G. Wodehouse – he really was an innocent abroad (in time and place, one feels) during World War Two. We watched BBC4’s excellent drama – ‘Wodehouse In Exile’ – last night, which was a dramatisation about the internment of P.G. Wodehouse and the writer’s controversial radio broadcasts during the Second World War. We were very moved by the drama and the shabby treatment of the

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