August headlines | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Headlines from History: The Month of August

A new month, a new blog post! Today we’re exploring three events that took place in August – one from 150 years ago, one from 125 years ago, and the last from 75 years ago.

Michael Faraday

As we kick off this month’s theme of occupations, we are happy to remember the British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (22 September 1791-25 August 1867) who died 150 years ago this month.

Of all occupations, those relating to the sciences have been some of the most influential and impactful in modern history. Faraday’s work would prove fundamental to the study of electromagnetism and included the discovery of benzene, the invention of an early Bunsen burner, and the discovery of Faraday’s law of induction, which is a basic law of electromagnetism.

On the occasion of Professor Faraday’s death, numerous papers printed lengthy tributes to the scientist and inventor.

Death of Professor Faraday
Death of Professor Faraday | Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser | 28 August 1867

On the centenary of his discovery, now known as Faraday’s law of induction, St. Andrews Citizen printed an article on his life and great achievement in magnetic induction.

Michael Faraday centenary
Michael Faraday Centenary | St. Andrews Citizen | 26 September 1931

Likewise, The Sphere printed an article on the ‘One Hundred Years of Electricity: The Faraday Centenary Year’:

Faraday the father of electricity
The father of electricity | The Sphere | 6 June 1931

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The Borden Murders

This month marks the 125th anniversary of the discovery of the murders of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother, on 4 August 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts.

The crime and subsequent trial of Lizzie Borden captivated not only the headlines across the entire United States but also those of foreign papers. A quick search on The British Newspaper Archive for ‘Lizzie Borden’ reveals as much, with headlines such as ‘Mysterious Murder Case’ and ‘A Lady Charged with Murder’:

Search results for Lizzie Borden
Search results for ‘Lizzie Borden’

Use the filters to the left of the results to narrow your results by date, newspaper title, country, region, county, place, type, and public tags.

Andrew and Abby Borden both suffered gruesome deaths: the instrument of death was a hatchet, with which Andrew was struck some 10 or 11 times and Abby 17 times.

At the time of his death, Andrew Borden’s estate was valued at $300,000 (about $8,000,000 in 2016). As a prominent businessman, his death, and that of his wife, shook up the New England town of Fall River. The case had all the hallmarks of front-page news: family fights, accusations of a gold-digging stepmother, speculations of murder motivated by money, the charge of parricide, and inconsistent testimonies.

From a short account of the murder and investigation printed in the Lisburn Herald, and Antrim and Down Advertiser, the growing intrigue of the case is well encompassed.

Parricide in America
Shocking parricide in America | Lisburn Herald, and Antrim and Down Advertiser | 20 August 1892

Lizzie Borden’s trial took place the following June, and on 20 June 1893, Lizzie was acquitted.

Lizzie Borden acquitted
Lizzie Borden acquitted | Sheffield Daily Telegraph | 23 June 1893

The acquittal of Lizzie hardly put the matter to rest – with no further arrests, her acquittal only fuelled further speculation as to the murders and their motivation. The case of the Bordens and, particularly, Lizzie’s suspected role in it has remained a popular topic of speculation in the criminal history of the United States, even more than one hundred years after the murders.

Borden murder mystery
Enduring mystery of the Borden murders | Morning Post | 22 June 1893

Explore more criminal cases in our newspapers

The Battle of Stalingrad

Seventy-five years ago, on 23 August 1942, the Battle of Stalingrad commenced. It would prove to be a decisive victory for the Soviet Union – and the Allies – against Germany, from which Germany was unable to recover. This Second World War battle would also be considered the bloodiest in the history of warfare.

Battle of Stalingrad in miniature
The Battle of Stalingrad in miniature | Illustrated London News | 28 January 1950

Unsurprisingly for a battle considered the bloodiest in history, the conflict spanned over five months and involved an estimated 2.2 million individuals. Newspapers covered the battle as closely as they could. On 17 September 1942, the battle made the front page of the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Battle of Stalingrad
Battle for Stalingrad goes on with unabated fury | Coventry Evening Telegraph | 17 September 1942

The end of the conflict similarly made front-page news. Appearing in the Western Daily Press on 3 February 1943, the headline triumphantly read ‘Stalingrad Battle Is Over’:

Battle of Stalingrad ends
Stalingrad Battle is over | Western Daily Press | 3 February 1943

Read more on the Battle of Stalingrad


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