Dear sirs, PittGirl mined the archives.

It may have been there for years, but just today I noticed that Google News search now lets you search news archives dating back TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME!

Well, really the 1860’s, but still awesome! The New York Times articles from the 1860’s to the 1910’s are free.

Some I found:

1. This from The New York Times dated August 14, 1916 regarding a double-header that got called on account of darkness:

I’d have liked to have been there for that.

2. The mail train burst into flames near Wall on April 4, 1861

3. An alleged secessionist is brought before the mayor during the Civil War on August 27, 1861.

I wish reporters still said things like “he was an honest looking man” or “he looked like complete trash” or “I don’t know what she was thinking when she walked out of the house wearing that periwinkle velour track suit!”

4. Back in November of 1919, Pitt was prepping for a Penn State game and two of their players were suspended for not keeping up with their studies. Also:

Hey, was Joe Pa coaching Penn State in 1919?

And a “smoker and jollification” sounds like a rocking good time.

5. I originally checked out this article from February 1914 because it involved snow in Pittsburgh, but it was this little side article about an incident in Times Square that really caught my eye:

First of all, this chick had to be hot as hell for such a kerfuffle to occur over her hat to the point that the Times devoted space to it.

And secondly, write your own “great muff” or “huge muff” joke.

6. Back in 1919 when Henry Clay Frick died, his son wouldn’t let anyone see the body.

7. In 1911, a kid from New York was brought to Pittsburgh to face charges of check forgery. He was despondent so he tried to kill himself.

You’re thinking, “He thought smacking his head on the floor would work?!!?”

Ah, but it would. Because as you can see, back in the 1900’s, a skull fracture was ALWAYS fatal.

“Oh, you broke your head. Bummer. Call your wife and kids and say ‘bye’ mmm’kay?”

8. And finally, just do what I’m doing, print this bad boy from 1912 out and read it on the bus on the way home. Andrew Carnegie was a badass.


  1. NY Luvs Pitts
    November 16, 2007 10:32 am

    This is interesting. I often read Google News and didn’t realize it went back that far.

  2. JCIII
    November 16, 2007 10:48 am

    This latest post just added to your awesomeness!!

  3. Frank
    November 16, 2007 11:27 am

    That’s really cool…now I have yet another thing to do at work instead of working!

    “I’d say, in a given week, I do about 15 minutes of real work.”

  4. Ms. Caroline
    November 16, 2007 11:50 am

    No one mines like you. Do you wear a hard hat with a light on it? Or carry an SCBA with you?

  5. honda driver
    November 16, 2007 12:39 pm

    great. that’s all i need on this cold friday, another distraction of endless searching for pittsburgh trivia into the ny times archives.

  6. historyrepeats
    November 16, 2007 2:14 pm

    PittGirl – you freakin’ rock. You did my history geek soul good today!

  7. yesyeshello
    November 16, 2007 2:35 pm

    i guess yinz never looked at cause, uh, right there in the middle of the heading is the search field with the option to search NYT from 1851. nice blog, though.

  8. Bram Reichbaum
    November 17, 2007 4:48 pm

    That was not just an honest looking man, PittGirl, it was an honest-looking GERMAN. Also, Carnegie sounds like he may have invented the Ronald Regan / Kenneth Lay “Duh, Me No Know Nothing” defense (but had the swagger to pull it off).