Dublin Leader and John F Kennedy | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Pages This Week

As we enter the second week of the New Year, we’ve added 50,963 brand new pages to our collection, with updates to such titles as the Dublin Leader and the Nottingham Evening Post. From Berkshire to Bradford, from Devizes to Downham Market, from Galway to Guernsey, we’ve updated twelve of our existing titles from England, Ireland and even the Channel Islands.

Read on to find out which of our wonderful twelve newspapers we have updated this week. Meanwhile, you can also learn more about the reaction in Ireland to the assassination of the first Irish Catholic president of the United States John F. Kennedy, which was published in the pages of the Dublin Leader sixty years ago this January.

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Leading the way on The Archive this week are the new pages that we have added to the Dublin Leader. This publication was founded in 1900 by D.P. Moran, an Irish journalist, activist and cultural-political theorist, who was at the forefront of the Gaelic Catholic Irish nationalism movement. The Dublin Leader was a mouthpiece for Moran’s views, which he expounded in his 1905 work The Philosophy of Irish-Ireland. In this piece, Moran argued that in order to be truly Irish, it was imperative that one used the Irish language, practiced Roman Catholicism, had an anti-materialistic view of life and played only Gaelic games.

His title, the Dublin Leader, was known as ‘A Review of Current Affairs, Politics, Literature, and Industry.’ Initially appearing every week, by the early 1960s the publication had switched to a monthly publication pattern, before ceasing publication in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, we have also added new pages to fellow Irish title the Galway Observer, which was first published in the city of Galway in 1883. Another Nationalist title, by 1891 the newspaper was said to possess ‘a most extensive circulation in Counties Galway, Clare, Mayo, and Roscommon among farmers and commercial men.’ It was also said to be the ‘leading organ’ of Galway itself.

Our largest update of the week is to the Nottingham Evening Post, to which we have added over 8,000 brand new pages. The city of Nottingham’s first ever evening newspaper, it was founded by Lincolnshire-born publisher Thomas Forman in 1878, control of the newspaper remaining with Forman’s family in the following decades. Now in tabloid form, the newspaper has held the title of ‘Campaigning Newspaper of the Year’ and focuses on daily life in Nottingham.

Another significant update this week are the new pages we have added to the Guernsey Evening Press and Star. The year 1917 joins this title from the Channel Islands, which was first published on 31 July 1897 in Saint Peter Port. The newspaper promised to give ‘local affairs minute attention,’ alongside ‘a short crisp summary of the news of other parts of the world.’

A newspaper with a remarkable history, the Guernsey Evening Press was censored during the Nazi occupation of the island of Guernsey in the Second World War. Despite such censorship, the publication survived and purchased rival title, the long-running Guernsey Star, changing its name to the Guernsey Evening Press and Star.

You can find the full list of updated titles at the end of this blog.

‘The Kennedy Legend’ – The Dublin Leader Reacts to the Death of John F. Kennedy

On 22 November 1963 the world was shocked when American President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was from an Irish Catholic family, and in the year that he was killed, in June 1963, he visited Ireland for four days.

In early January 1964, 60 years ago, Irish newspaper the Dublin Leader reflected on the momentous impact of the death of the United States’ first Irish Catholic president in an article entitled ‘The Kennedy Legend.’ The piece, which was printed as the edition’s leading article, began as follows:

In an age of ‘images’ President Kennedy’s was one of the brightest and noblest. Now that he has died in such dramatic and poignant circumstances, his legend seems destined to become a singularly creative part of the human heritage.

True to its founding principles, it was Kennedy’s Roman Catholic faith upon which the Dublin Leader chose to focus:

The first obvious thing to write in this review which has made its general ideology clear over and over again is that a great service has been rendered to religion, to the true religion. The crowds that gathered in religious buildings of the most diverse kind across the world showed that the religious awakening which has been so often spoken of in recent times is a reality…Within the Catholic Church it is doubtful if any man in history has had such a volume of prayer offered for his eternal salvation.

The Dublin Leader piece ended with the following powerful paragraph:

The hope is that all the ideas so forcibly and lucidly expressed by the President have gained a momentum which will not be halted. The hope is that those who did not appreciate the President in life will have second thoughts now that he is dead, that those busy writing books about ‘the man and his myth’ will recognise that a legend, one of the most powerful in modern times, was about to replace the ‘myth.’ Prescience of such things is not given to any of us. But any man could have seen that this was a superbly gifted man doing his best in a difficult job. Did his fellow-countrymen see this?

This article in the Dublin Leader followed one printed in the newspaper’s prior December edition, the Christmas edition, the last of 1963. This article was entitled ‘The Dead President,’ which began by observing how ‘the aura of sacrifice, of martyrdom surrounds the event in Dallas, Texas.’ The piece too, in the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination, highlighted his ties with both Ireland and the Roman Catholic faith:

That the man was of our ancient Faith in this island and of our blood is a true glory, which no cynicism or scepticism can now mar. Rather shall we look to the fruits of his life and of his sacrifice everywhere.

Find out more about the reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Irish history, and much more besides, in the pages of our newspapers today.

Updated Titles

This week we have updated twelve of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

TitleYears Added
Berkshire Chronicle1917
Bradford Daily Telegraph1917
Citizen (Letchworth)1917
Devizes and Wilts Advertiser1917
Downham Market Gazette1917
Dublin Leader1964
Evening Star1917
Galway Observer1964
Guernsey Evening Press and Star1917
Nottingham Evening Post1979
Stalybridge Reporter1917
Wiltshire Telegraph1917

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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