These are actual front-page headlines from the New York Times on Monday, January 1, 1900:

  • SNEAK THIEVES GET $3,200. (In Chicago, no less.)
  • BRITON TO BECOME AMERICAN. (Vice Consul at Kansas City to Be Naturalized There.)
  • ERRORS IN THE HEMP FIGURES. (Someone must have been smoking it.)
  • YOUNG WOMEN’S POLICE HERO. (They arrived in Brooklyn to visit a friend but had forgotten the address. A policeman gallantly made a bunch of calls and found it out for them.)
  • FROZEN TO DEATH IN GEORGIA. “Stillman, GA — A young man, who gave his name as Will Morgan and his home as Warren County, was found frozen to death in a house used as a justice court room near here last night.” (It’s surprising, under the circumstances, he was up to giving his name and hometown.)
  • DIED IN WISHING A HAPPY NEW YEAR: (Complete text: “Fishkill Plains — Mrs. David Todd of Poughkeepsie came here to-day to spend New Year’s with her daughter, Mrs. George W. Place. On entering her daughter’s house Mrs. Todd wished its inmates a Happy New Year and then fell dead upon the floor. She was the victim of heart disease.”)
  • KENTUCKY MAYOR FROZEN UP. “Was Helping Fight a Fire, Was Rescued With Axes.” (So cold, a hose burst and covered him in ice; five men chopped him out.)
  • FOUND DEAD IN SLEEPING CAR. (A Nova Scotia steamship executive died in his sleep on the train home from New York — four paragraphs on the front page of the New York Times.)
  • QUITS THE CHICAGO ORCHESTRA. (The business manager of five years’ service quit for health reasons. Her polite letter of resignation was reprinted in full.)

It seems to me in reading these headlines that the world has become a harder, more complicated — if also even a more exciting and wonderful — place. And that it may be getting warmer.



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