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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Interesting items in the paper

Impromptu entertainment:

A PLEASING SPECTACLE Yesterday noon two dogs began to worry a good sized hog on North Sixth street. The pleasing spectacle was witnessed by a large number of that class of people, of both sexes, who loaf about the streets on Sunday. The fun was unexpectedly stopped, in the course of about two hours, by the death of the hog, and the police failed to provide another. Illinois State Register - July 19, 1869

Moving on. Getting rid of Springfield's pesky birds (and a snipe at people who enact weird bird riddance laws):

MAY KILL SPARROWS - Beginning Yesterday a Bounty Will be Paid for Them
The law which provides a bounty of two cents a head for sparrows went into effect yesterday, and from now until Jan. 1 the small boy and his rifle will be much in evidence. It has been often estimated which does most harm, the sparrow or the boy. There must be some damage done by the little bird, for the all-wise legislator would not agree to pass a law giving two cents for the head of a sparrow if such was not the case. But some people think that with doctor bills paid for the lad who accidentally shoots himself while gunning for the bird, the windows he breaks and the danger other persons are put to, the damage done by the bird is not so great as that done by the boy. [...] Illinois State Register - December 2, 1899

More such news items can be found starting here.

Posted by Marie at May 8, 2008 10:05 PM


It's funny what passed for entertainment back in 1869.

Posted by: Anonymous Communist at May 8, 2008 11:28 PM

Makes me wonder what they'll say about our entertainment 140 years from now.

Posted by: Marie at May 8, 2008 11:35 PM

In 140 years, people will talk about us the way we talk about the Lascaux cave painters. (And we can make sure that happens by blogging about "the primitives of 2008" and setting our publish dates for May 9, 2148. See you in the future!)

I've been trolling old papers as part of research projects recently; episodes like the ones above are my favorite finds. They tell you a lot more about how people lived than memorizing who was president when, which is the kind of history most of us get.

Posted by: Dan at May 9, 2008 10:43 AM

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