October 2013 – Page 2 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Annie Edson Taylor Goes Over Niagara Falls in a Barrel – 24 October 1901

On her 63rd birthday, Annie Edson Taylor climbed into a barrel and went over Niagara Falls. Happily, she survived her incredible journey! The motive that drove Edson Taylor to perform such a terribly dangerous task was her twin desire for financial security and to avoid ending up in the poorhouse. Included below is a contemporary newspaper story that reports on this amazing episode. The Citizen – Saturday 26 October 1901 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000325/19011026/014/0003

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‘Al Jolson dies playing cards’ – San Francisco, 23 October 1950

Al Jolson, “The World’s Greatest Entertainer”, died of a heart attack while playing cards in a hotel in San Francisco on 23 October 1950 – he was 64. Jolson had only recently returned from entertaining troops in Korea, and it was reported that he was exhausted – his last words are reputed to be “Boys, I’m going”. Included below is a contemporary newspaper story that reports on the death of ‘the Jazz Singer’. Derby Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 24 October

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Hold the front page: A brief history of the birth of newspapers in Leicester

Jeremy Clay, who works as Features Editor on The Leicester Mercury, has written a fascinating article about the history of newspapers in Leicester – and has very kindly allowed us to publish his article on the BNA blog. ************************************************************************ The news came late to Leicester. The town’s first paper – The Leicester and Nottingham Journal – was launched in 1753, a year that saw almost seven and a half million copies of newspapers published across England. The four-page Leicester Journal,

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Your BNA Stories – ‘The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton’

‘The British Newspaper Archive is a grand project on a scale the Victorian themselves would applaud’ – Jeremy Clay The BNA as a muse for writing books In addition to using the BNA for ancestral research, there are many researchers who visit The Archive to do other types of historical research. On top of that, there are a fair few folk who are writing books about what they’ve been finding in the BNA. One such person is Jeremy Clay, who

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Florence Nightingale and Her Nurses Depart for the Crimea – 21 October 1854

On 21 October 1854, Florence Nightingale (‘the Lady with the Lamp’) and 38 volunteer nurses sailed from Southampton on their way to Scutari in the Crimea. Here’s a newspaper report published on 27 October 1854 thar reports on the departure of Miss Nightingale’s party. Read some more of our blog posts about the Crimean War. Cork Examiner – Friday 27 October 1854 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000425/18541027/028/0003 Dundee Courier – Saturday 16 May 1953 Image

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Thomas Hughes, Author of “Tom Brown’s School Days” – Born on 20 October 1822

Thomas Hughes, lawyer and author of the classic novel, Tom Brown’s School Days, was born in Uffington on 20 October 1822. To celebrate the day of his birth, here is a terrific newspaper article from 1863, in which Hughes offers his views on the American Civil War and slavery. The Coventry Herald and Observer – Friday 17 April 1863 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000384/18630417/016/0004

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The Death of George Mortimer Pullman – 19 October 1897

George Mortimer Pullman, the ‘Palace Car King’, died in Chicago on 19 October 1897 – he was 66. We’re always interested in stories about people who have things named after them, so here is a contemporary newspaper obituary that celebrates the life and achievements of George Pullman, and also a splendid illustration from 1879 of the palatial interior of a Pullman dining car on the Great Northern Railway. Lincolnshire Echo – Wednesday 20 October 1897 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY

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The Death of Lord Palmerston – 18 October 1865

On 18 October 1865, Lord Palmerston (aka ‘Pam’, ‘The Mongoose’ and ‘Lord Cupid’), Prime Minister of the UK from 1855-1858 and 1859-1865, passed way – he was 80 years old. As you can imagine, The Archive contains 1,000s of stories about Lord Palmerston. But our eye was caught by this quirky story about a visitor to Westminster who was mortified by once having (accidentally) bumped into Palmertson in the Commons Lobby, and nearly knocking the great man to the ground.

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The Death of Chopin – 17 October 1849

A contemporary newspaper report on the last moments of Chopin Frederic Chopin, ‘The Poet of the Piano’, died in Paris on 17 October 1849 – he was 39. Here is a very moving newspaper article from November 1849 that reports on the last moments of Chopin. Glasgow Herald – Monday 19 November 1849 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000060/18491119/035/0004 Evening Telegraph – Monday 01 March 1909 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of

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The Execution of Marie Antoinette – 16 October 1793

Portrait of Marie Antoinette as painted by Madame Vigre Lebrun

‘Pardon me sir, I meant not to do it’ – the last words of Marie Antoinette (after stepping on the foot of the executioner) On 16 October 1793, Marie Antoinette, the widow of Louis XVI, was executed at the guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris – she was 37. The Hampshire Chronicle published the details of the event on 28 October 1793.  

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