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On this day, 18 May

Today, we’re looking at two events that occurred on 18 May: the Khodynka Tragedy in 1896 and Jacqueline Cochran’s breaking of the sound barrier in 1953. Khodynka Tragedy The first took place in 1896 in the Khodynka Field, Moscow. The field was the site of festivities honouring the recent coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. Thousands gathered to celebrate and to, hopefully, receive rumoured gifts of food and a commemorative cup. With growing and increasingly frenzied crowds, the police force on

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175th anniversary of the Illustrated London News

First edition of the Illustrated London News

Illustrated London News   On 14 May 1842, 175 years ago today, the Illustrated London News, the world’s first illustrated newspaper, debuted.  Founded by Herbert Ingram of Lincolnshire, the paper was a pioneer in pictorial journalism.  The British Newspaper Archive is proud to hold more than 7,000 issues of the Illustrated London News across its 161-year run for you to explore.   Register today and explore the Illustrated London News.   From its inaugural edition, the editors were confident in their

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The Final Frontier

Space Race The Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States experienced a significant ratcheting up at the end of the 1950s with the Sputnik Crisis, which saw the successful launching and orbit of the satellite Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in 1957. This development was a key factor in the creation of NASA the following year by the United States as well as the investment of federal funds into national security and research and development. An

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The month of May throughout the years

As we welcome a new month, we at the Archive take the opportunity to delve into historical events that have occurred in the month of May over the years. Lewis and Clark On 14 May 1804, Lewis and Clark departed St Louis on their expedition west. It was the first American expedition to explore the western half of the United States. The expedition was ordered by President Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase to, in part, map this newly acquired territory.

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Easter traditions around the world

This week for Easter, we took a look through our newspapers to find Easter traditions across the globe.  The papers in the British Newspaper Archive report events from around the world as well as explore international customs and traditions.  We found traditions in Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, France, and England. Easter Customs In 1933, The Sphere did a feature on Easter customs in many lands. In one image, you can see fishermen from Galilee, in present-day northern Israel.  The caption tells us

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April Fool’s Day: The Fake News Addition

April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to delve into a topic that has of late appeared in the headlines: fake news. While its current iteration may seem particularly upsetting, it may be comforting (in a way) to learn that this is not a new phenomenon and it, in fact, plagued late nineteenth century journalism. In the United States, a new brand of ‘journalism’ emerged, coined ‘yellow journalism’—the clickbait of the pre-internet era. Joseph Pulitzer, now known mostly for the

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Mothering Sunday

Whilst Mothering Sunday is now commonly combined and celebrated with the secular holiday of Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland, its origin is religious in nature and separate from that of the American Mother’s Day. Starting in the 1700s, individuals would attend a special service on Laetare Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent) at their mother church (usually the church where an individual was baptised or their local parish church/closest cathedral). This activity was soon coined as going

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St Patrick’s Day through the years

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, we’ve dug into The British Newspaper Archive to find out how the day has been celebrated in different parts of the world over the last century. Interested in finding more examples of St Patrick’s Day celebrations? Register today and explore all of The British Newspaper Archive! Register for free today!  

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The last of the Romanovs

    On 15 March 1917, amid the chaos and fury of the Russian Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor of all Russia, abdicated from the throne and ended 300 years of Romanov rule.  Russians of all classes were on the streets of Petrograd (formerly known as St Petersburg), and Nicholas’ own military had joined the ranks of protestors.  How did this monarch fall and a dynasty end?  On the anniversary of Tsar Nicholas’ abdication, we will take a look through

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Shared passions in Sophie Raworth’s family

Last night, the final episode aired of this series of Who Do You Think You Are? It explored the ancestry of BBC anchor Sophie Raworth, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the discoveries of this series, particularly the passions and professions that have been shared throughout the generations of a family — oftentimes unknowingly! Sophie’s family was no exception to this pattern. Musical Motts An early discovery in last night’s episode was that Sophie has several ancestors who were involved in

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