Tag Archives: Virginia Digital Newspaper Project

- Titanic: 100 Years Later


Richmond Times-Dispatch, 16 April 1912, page one (above the fold), Chronicling America.

Are you ready for a sneak preview of Titanic !

No, not the 3-D version of the 1997 mega-hit movie, Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, but the viewing of a stunning array of newspaper images taken from Chronicling America, a featured online resource of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a cooperative initiative to digitize historical newspapers from around the United States.  No special effects are needed to be drawn in and riveted by the press coverage of one of the greatest peacetime maritime disasters.

15 April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  The mighty White Star Liner on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and within a few hours sunk to the bottom of the cold North Atlantic Ocean, killing over 1,800 men, women, children, and crew members.

Stories of bravery, sacrifice, cowardice, and tragic negligence fill column after column of papers beginning with the late editions of 15 April 1912 and for many days following.  Early dispatches were filled with conflicting information, rumor, and wild conjecture, but over time the sad facts revealed the tragic scope of the disaster.

The pages you see here will be added to the Virginia Newspaper Project’s long-standing web exhibit, Titanic:  100 Years Later, a web exhibit, believe it or not, that predates the release of … read more »

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- Murder at the Second Market

View of Western State Hospital, Staunton, undated.
Editors Note: This post is a modified version of an article that originally appeared in the former “Virginiana” section of Virginia Memory.

The following story was gleaned from a case book found in the Western State Hospital collection (Accession 41404). Included in this volume are approximately twenty pages of physician’s entries, as well as a copy of the commitment order, a letter to the court, and several Richmond Dispatch newspaper articles relating to Mrs. Anne E. Kirby. Some of the dates and information are conflicting, but I have done my best to present the story as accurately as possible, well aware of the sometimes questionable nature of 19th century journalism and the possibility of human error within the case book entries.

NOVEMBER 21, 1865…

A shot rings out in the middle of a bustling crowd at Richmond’s Second Market. A fish and oyster vendor staggers through Pink Alley, bleeding from the neck, only to die minutes later in the back of a wagon. Several stunned witnesses pounce on the shooter. Holding the gun is the victim’s young wife, Anne, the mother of his three children. What might have driven her to commit such a bold act in a busy public place? Was the murder in retaliation for her husband’s infidelity or was it merely the work of a mad woman? Depending upon what … read more »