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Dr. Guion Bluford Becomes 1st African American in Space
 
On 30 August 1983, Dr. Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr., became the first African American in space, as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger. An aerospace engineer, an officer in the U.S. Air Force and a former fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, Bluford ended up flying on four space shuttle flights – perhaps none as important as his historic first one.
 
The nation’s newspapers were quick to note his achievement, as in this example.
 
Here is a transcription of this article:
 
Blacks Are Proud Of Bluford And Hope He’ll Be Example
 
By Elaine S. Povich
United Press International
 
Proud black leaders found inspiration for themselves and their children in today’s flight of the first American black in space, but some were distressed that it took more than 20 years to happen.
 
Guion Bluford, a 40-year-old Air Force pilot with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, became the first U.S. black in space with the liftoff of Challenger. The honor of being the first black in space belongs to a Cuban [Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez] who was sent up a few years ago by the Soviets.
 
The Rev. Joseph Lowery, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said Bluford’s flight would spur interest among blacks in the engineering fields, but not necessarily in the military.
 
“It should encourage young blacks who have scientific interests to pursue them,” he said.
 
Bluford is a Philadelphia native, a Pennsylvania State University graduate, father of two children and a veteran of 144 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He joined NASA in 1978.
 
“It’s very important whenever there’s a breakthrough where blacks are concerned,” said Coretta Scott King, fresh from the 20th anniversary rally for Martin Luther King’s historic march on Washington.
 
But she worried technical knowledge gained in the space program might be used “for more military buildup.”
 
Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young said: “If it helps black youth to study their math, it will be worth it.”
 
Bluford himself is shy about the landmark.
 
“I see it as an historical event in the sense that I’m opening the doors for the other people behind me,” he said in a recent interview. “I recognize the importance of that, but I also recognize I’ll be one of the many others who will be flying in space.”
 
Walter Fauntroy, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, said, “It’s an inspiration to black young people. It is another vista that opens up to them if they apply themselves.”
 
He said the flight of a black American in space is long overdue, but added, “We welcome it.”
 
The Rev. George Clements, a Catholic priest, said since so many black youngsters live in single-parent homes, Bluford’s flight “will have an extremely positive effect” because black “father-figures are extremely important.”
 
But the 51-year-old Clements added, “I think that virtually everything that happens to black people happens late.”

Marietta Journal (Marietta, Georgia), 31 August 1983, page 19
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Genealogy Tips for Baby Research
 
If you think about it, genealogy isn’t about ancestors – it’s about babies, because without progeny or descendants, genealogy simply couldn’t exist. Sometimes you may not find a hoped-for newspaper birth announcement, so I’d like to share some genealogy search tips for better baby research success. Read more: http://bit.ly/2c3q34A
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Dad, Did You Have Another Wife?
 
I found this story in a “Humorous” column from an 1874 newspaper.

Opening their old family Bible, a boy asked: “Father, did you ever have another wife besides mother?”
To which his father replied: “No, my boy. What possessed you to ask such a question?”
His son’s answer: “Because, I saw in the old family Bible that you married Anna Dominie, 1862, and that wasn’t mother, for her name was Lucy Jenkins when she was a girl.”
 
Stamford Advocate (Stamford, Connecticut), 13 March 1874, page 3
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Mr. Doolittle, About to Be Married – Was Buried at Midnight Instead
 
Everything was going so well for T. Doolittle. “He was soon to be married and had only recently purchased a residence preparatory to that event.” His finances were good; he was “the proprietor of a stone saw mill doing a good business.” But he had contracted cholera and on Saturday night – 30 September 1866 – “he died at 10 o’clock p. m., and was buried at midnight.”

Buried at midnight!
Cholera must have been one of the most fearful diseases of its day for the dead to be immediately buried – even in the middle of the night.
 
Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio), 2 October 1866, page 4
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British Burn Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812

Read the story on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2bCnDhn

On 24 August 1814, one of the most humiliating events in American history occurred when British troops occupied Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812. They flew the Union Jack on top of Capitol Hill and burned the public buildings in the young nation’s capital – including the Capitol Building (missing its uncompleted rotunda), President’s House (i.e., White House), and Treasury Building.
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Black Cat Census Spotted on Twitter
 
I recently saw on Twitter this humorous reference to a record from the 1911 census of England and Wales.

A thorough British census taker listed “Bobs,” a one-year-old male black cat who was born in about 1910 “in a stable in Ipswich,” recording that Bobs was self-employed in the “mice hunting” business and noting that he spent his time “at home mostly.”

What stories do the census records tell about your family?
 
Source:@MykoClelland on Twitter
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Deviled Ham but Were Afraid to Ask

Read the story (with recipes) on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2by3ObO

In this article, Gena Philibert-Ortega searches old newspapers to learn more about deviled ham and other deviled foods, including recipes.
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Nevada Archives: 43 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Read the story (with a complete title list) on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2buAoeo

If you are researching your ancestry from Nevada, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online NV newspaper archives: 43 titles to help you search your family history in the “Silver State,” providing coverage from 1864 to Today. There are more than 292,000 articles and records in our online Nevada newspaper archives!
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Use Newspapers to Supplement Genealogical Memories

Read the story on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2c1H9TB

In this article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak uses old newspaper articles to help tell the story of one of her treasured pieces of memorabilia.
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Amelia Earhart: First Woman to Fly Nonstop across U.S.

Read the story on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2bQdKZE
    
In the 1920s and ’30s female pilot Amelia Earhart was an American heroine, with newspapers covering her every move and large, enthusiastic crowds awaiting her at each airport she landed after setting yet another record.
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Utah Archives: 30 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Read the story (and see a complete title list) on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2bPd07U

If you are researching your ancestry from Utah, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online UT newspaper archives: 30 titles to help you search your family history in the “Beehive State,” providing coverage from 1851 to Today. There are more than 2.6 million articles and records in our online Utah newspaper archives!
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Family Reunions: Time to Gather

Read the story on the GenealogyBank blog: http://bit.ly/2bLaE9y

Has it been a while since you got together with all of your brothers and sisters and their families? According to this 1866 newspaper article, the Cleveland family hadn’t gotten together for 31 years – not since “the wedding of the eldest daughter in 1835.”
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GenealogyBank is a genealogy website that is home to the largest online newspaper archive dedicated to family history research in the United States. 

With over one billion genealogy records in our vast online collection, our searchable database provides easy access to information on millions of American families from 1690–today. 

Search over 5,800 newspapers that provide first-hand accounts about your ancestors that simply can't be found at other genealogy websites. Visit GenealogyBank today and discover the story of your family's past like never before.