Newspapers and History

Troubles in Mexico; troubles in Europe; earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. Countries talking about going to war ... sounds like modern day, but no, I spent yesterday morning reading newspapers from 1915.

I'm currently writing a black box theater play about my area in Western New York, so yesterday morning, I scrolled through papers from the time period that the play is set: Spring, 1915.

Some interesting facts that I learned:
  • The Lusitania had already collected undue attention for flying an American flag in international waters (the ship was British)
  • Teddy Roosevelt was sued in a Syracuse courthouse then had to spend the last week in April and early May there defending himself (only trumped by Lusitania sinking)
  • Photo from the Cordelia Biddle and Angier Duke wedding. I state this only because I like the film the Happiest Millionaire which is based upon their courtship.
  • Women's suffrage meetings held in the area were widely supported by both men and women.
It's always interesting to discover little tidbits from one's own location. Obviously, I look for items that might inspire murder since most of my historical fiction focuses on murder mysteries, but to develop a wider picture of the time period, a quick jaunt through the newspapers is sometimes the perfect means to start a novel.


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