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Showing newest posts with label looking backward. Show older posts
The holiday season and Google News Archive Search
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:42 AM
Posted by David Smydra, Google News Online Team

Crowded shopping malls, radio stations pumping songs about sleigh bells and chestnuts, inclement weather from coast to coast -- all signs point to one explanation. We're smack in the middle of the holiday season.

Whichever holidays you observe, you might be surprised to learn of another one to add to the roster. Two hundred eighteen years ago today, the founders ratified the Bill of Rights, which the United States officially celebrates every December 15 as U.S. Bill of Rights Day. We have President Franklin D. Roosevelt to thank for officially creating the holiday, which he inaugurated in 1941, on the 150th anniversary of the document's ratification.

I took a spin through Google News Archive Search to learn more. Searching for "Bill of Rights Day 1941," I was able to drill down to autumn of that year, where I hoped to find articles explaining how the holiday took shape. Sure enough, the St. Petersburg Times ran an Associated Press story on November 29, 1941, quoting a proclamation from President Roosevelt. In what appears to be a clear reference to the events of World War II, Roosevelt mentions the "privileges lost in other continents and countries," and how Americans "can now appreciate their meaning to those people who enjoyed them once and now no longer can." And so December 15 would become "a day of mobilization for freedom and for human rights, a day of remembrance of the democratic and peaceful action by which these rights were gained, a day of reassessment of their present meaning and their living worth."

Little more than a week later, of course, arrived "a date which will live in infamy," the attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into the war.

So when Bill of Rights Day arrived eight days later, the holiday had renewed meaning. Once again, in the St. Petersburg Times, you could find a full page featuring another proclamation from Roosevelt, the full Bill of Rights reprinted for readers, and a picture of Roosevelt with New York Mayor Fiorello Henry La Guardia. And the day after the holiday, this write-up summarized various ways that the country marked the occasion, including Chicago school girls reading the Bill of Rights "publicly at State and Madison streets."

It's interesting to see how the meaning and observance of different holidays continue to change, sometimes even just days after they have been created.


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Labels: looking backward
Looking Backward: Nominating a new Justice
Thursday, August 6, 2009 12:15 PM
Posted by Ryan Sands, Google News Online Team

A few minutes ago, the United States Senate voted 68-31 in favor of confirming Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor's confirmation followed three days of debate on the Senate floor, and was preceded by a series of lengthy and widely-reported confirmation hearings in July. A simple search for [Sotomayor] on Google News yields articles from thousands of sources covering this developing story.

Judge Sotomayor will soon become part of an elite group of Americans, as the 111th Justice to serve on the Court. The process by which new Justices are vetted and confirmed for this powerful body has long been a subject of intense media interest. As history was being made this week, I took a look back using News Archive Search's Timeline view for the term [supreme court confirmation]. While browsing the archives, common threads in media coverage of Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings jumped out at me. I've included some articles below from the last 75 years of Supreme Court History.

These materials were made browsable via our News Archive Partner Program. You can easily click the navigation toolbar to zoom in and out on an article, or fit the entire newspaper page in your browsing window.

Click on each image or link to view an article in its original context:


Morning Star - Jul 23, 1993


St. Petersburg Times - Aug 13, 1937


The Deseret News. - Jul 5, 1987


Eugene Register-Guard - Mar 21, 1939
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Labels: looking backward
Extra! Extra! Updates from our growing newspaper archives
Monday, August 3, 2009 2:20 PM
Posted by Ryan Sands, Google News Online Team

Last September on this blog, we announced a new initiative to digitize newspapers and make them accessible and searchable online.

We've recently updated our index, quadrupling the number of articles included in News Archive Search. We now include articles from several new publications, including the Halifax Gazette, Sydney Morning Herald, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Village Voice. Working with our partners, we've also added new international publications such as the Manila Standard, The Nation from Thailand, and many others.

Looking for a place to start exploring this rich historical index? How about the complete June 2, 1753 edition of the Halifax Gazette, one of the oldest newspapers we've digitized to date.



News Archive Search is an ongoing effort, and we're continuing to work with publishers to add new materials. You can explore this historical treasure trove by searching on News Archive Search or by using the timeline feature after searching on Google News.
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Labels: announcements, looking backward
Looking Backward: Happy anniversary, Walkman!
Thursday, July 2, 2009 9:57 AM
Posted by Ryan Sands, Google News Online Team

Thirty years ago this week, Sony introduced the first Walkman to consumers in Japan. Released on July 1, 1979, the model TPS-L2 was the first in a long history of portable stereo devices. The shape, size, and data format of portable music players continues to evolve, but for many people my age the Sony Walkman was their first music device.

As a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, my Sony Walkman cassette player was my most prized possession, and an important part of my identity. My first tapes were Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream and MC Hammer's Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. While my little iPod shuffle can easily hold dozens of cassettes' worth of songs, it's hard to imagine developing the same degree of affection that I held for my first Walkman.

On this 30th anniversary of it's release, I took a look back using News archive search's Timeline view for the term [walkman], focusing on articles from the United States in the 1980s. These materials were made browsable via our News Archive Partner Program. You can easily click the navigation toolbar to zoom in and out on an article, or fit the entire newspaper page in your browsing window.



Click on each image or link to view an article in its original context:


The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jun 24, 1983


The Spokesman-Review - Aug 15, 1982


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul 16, 1982


The Age - Dec 3, 1981


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 1, 2004

For folks looking for more information from the early days of the Walkman, I found some the following magazine articles in Google Books, including a review in the September 1981 issue of Popular Science and this ad in the February 1984 issue.
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Labels: looking backward
Looking Backward: A historical perspective on influenza
Monday, May 4, 2009 12:37 PM
Posted by Ryan Sands, Google News Online Team

In the past few weeks, media outlets have exploded with stories about the growing number of cases of influenza A(H1N1). Also known as Swine Flu, the illness is being watched closely by governments and people around the world. Looking back through the archives of Google News, parallels to the current media climate jump out immediately from previous worldwide influenza outbreaks, in 1957 and again in 1968.

But the worst all influenza outbreak on record was the infamous global pandemic of 1918, which raged until 1920 and ended up claiming millions of lives around the world. I decided to take a long view on the cycle of illness and media coverage, using News archive search's Timeline view for the term influenza to focus in on articles from the United States in 1918. These materials were made browsable via our News Archive Partner Program.

Click on each image or link to view an article in its original context:


From the November 28, 1918 edition of The Deseret News


From the September 14, 1918 edition of The St. Petersburg Times


From the March 23, 1920 edition of The Deseret News


From the February 21, 1920 edition of The Toronto World
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Labels: looking backward
Looking back in time for context
Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:00 PM
Posted by Jack Hebert, Software Engineer

News coverage usually focuses on the most recent events, and when we first launched quotes, we did the same. However, past events frequently provide context that helps us better understand the present. With this in mind, we recently extended our quotes coverage back to 2003. Hopefully this new data (our quotes index grew 15x in size!) will help shed light on what people have thought and said over time, and how their views have changed.

As always, to find a person's quotes you can search for their name on Google News, and if we have any quotes from that person, they'll appear in a onebox at the top of the page. Click on the 'more by' link and from there you can simply browse through all our quotes from that person, or filter them to a specific year using the links on the left. Try comparing Alan Greenspan's quotes on the economy from 2004 to those from 2008:


People running for office are some of the most prolific speakers, especially on economic matters. In Quotes makes it easy to compare what McCain and Obama have said about the economy (or, try comparing Palin and Biden.)

Of course, quotes are not restricted to politics--there are also many from sports figures. See what Michael Phelps said about the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games, or what Roger Federer has been saying about Wimbledon.
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Labels: looking backward
Bringing history online, one newspaper at a time
Monday, September 8, 2008 9:42 AM
Posted by Punit Soni, Product Manager

Today, we announced that we're launching an effort to give Internet users everywhere more tools to discover, explore, and celebrate much more of our journalistic heritage by digitizing archival newspapers and making them available online in partnership with newspaper publishers across the world. Head on over to the Official Google Blog to read more about this new initiative.
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Labels: announcements, looking backward
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