Friday, January 27, 2023 -
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From the archives…July 21, 1939

Did you know that a large chunk of the IJN’s back issues are now available, free of charge, online?

Over the past five years, the IJN has worked with local and national partners to digitize our nearly 109-year-old history. This is a massive undertaking, as it requires digitizing every single page of past IJN issues, microfilm image one at a time. Following that, each page is reviewed to ensure the digitization process was done correctly. After that, individual words are recorded from each page, so that users can easily search back issues using terms.

The back issues are available at two different locations: The Library of Congress (1915-1925) and Colorado Historic Newspaper Collections (1924-1969). We are grateful to History Colorado and Rose Community Foundation for making this project a reality!

It can be difficult to fathom the breadth of information available on these archives (family, social, political events are all there!), so we’re launching a “From the Archives” feature, where every week we search the archive for a similar date but totally different year. Read along or be inspired to do your own searches!

This week, we randomly picked 86 years, which took us to July 21, 1939. The front page story was about the MS St. Louis, the ship with German-Jewish refugees that was refused harbor in Cuba, the US and elsewhere in North America. A tragic tale that has come to symbolize the US’ inaction in the face of the impending genocide of European Jewry, the St. Louis is actually featured in the pages of this week’s IJN, in conjunction with Ken Burns’ upcoming PBS series, “The US and the Holocaust (page 14 of the print edition).

Newspapers record current events, and tragically the 1939 article cannot foresee that the success of the American Joint Distribution Committee’s efforts to find refuge for the ship’s passengers was a stay of execution for many of the passengers, many of whom later died in concentration camps after Belgium and Holland were occupied by the Nazis.

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