American newspapers captured the mood of early January 1917.

American newspapers captured the mood of early January 1917.

I have a candle going and am sitting here with my New Years Day coffee.

It was such a help when the Brooklyn Public Library digitized and published the first half of the BDE morgue’s run about 10-12 years ago. When they completed the second half of that project a few years later, things because even better. I always knew that the Eagle was Brooklyn’s paper of record from 1841-1955, but I don’t think I truly realized how authoritative the periodical was until earlier this past year when I began co-teaching my course and using it so heavily in the classroom. New York with its dozen or so dailies was always a newspaper town–the newspaper town–until the papers began consolidating in the 1950s. By the 80s and 90s only three were left. I suppose I always thought of the Eagle as separate from New York’s newspaper culture because Brooklyn until fairly recently was markedly distinct from Manhattan. The answer is probably not that difficult to earn, I don’t even know if they sold the Eagle in Manhattan.

In its 3 January 1917 edition the Eagle published a series of cartoons that other papers had printed in the days around the turn of the year. The one above in particular caught my attention. It may seem that 2016 with its crazy election season and so many other things was the worst of times, but for perspective  remember that a century earlier was the year of Verdun and Somme. When the new year came in 1917 there was still no end in sight for what this cartoon pointedly calls the European War. The Americans did not enter the conflict until April.

Happy New Year. Enjoy your day.

(image/Brooklyn Daily Eagle)