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Jane Burleson, grand marshal of the 1913  Washington Suffrage Parade, halts at the beginning of the parade to see that the participants are following her.

Seeing Suffrage: Starting the 1913 Washington Suffrage Parade

Sometime around 3:20 p.m. on March 3, 1913, Jane Burleson gave the signal, and the 1913 Washington Suffrage Parade commenced on Pennsylvania Avenue. A short time after that, the arc of the suffrage movement changed markedly.

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Dwight Teeter

The First Amendment today

The nation seems to be in a state of perpetual war, and during times of crisis, individual freedoms are always in danger. Professor Dwight Teeter of the University of Tennessee discusses the state and strength of First Amendment freedoms today.

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Front cover of Battlelines: Gettysburg

Battlelines: Gettysburg displays never-before-published work of Civil War sketch artists

Many rare and never-before-published drawings of Civil War sketch artists are now available in Battlelines: Gettysburg, newly released by First Inning Press.

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Jonathan Swift, writer ‘to the vulgar’

Jonathan Swift wanted his writing to be “understood by the meanest.” It’s the standard we want our journalism students to shoot for.

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How we got the First Amendment (video)

In this two-and-a-half minute video, Dr. Dwight Teeter explains some of the political maneuvering that occurred to get the an amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech into the hotly-debated Constitution in the late 1780s. The freedoms protected by the amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — were not foremost in the minds of the […]

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FDR, the editor: A date which will live in infamy

The nation had just endured a bitter debate about whether or not it should go to war. The Japanese ended the debate on Dec. 7, 1941, but the attack on Pearl Harbor had not cleared away the bitterness. Franklin Roosevelt had to weigh his words carefully.

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Three Dead Americans: Life’s famous World War II photo

Americans waited nearly two years before the news media printed a combat photograph that showed a dead U.S. serviceman. The reasons for that wait were that such producing such photos are too shocking for the friends and families of the deceased and that the public’s morale and support for the war might be diminished. The […]

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Bay Psalm Book

Bay Psalm Book: the little book that keeps getting more valuable

The book represents in a small way a declaration of religious independence from the Church of England that could be exercised by early residents of Massachusetts.

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JFK assassination: TV news grows up in a hurry

To those who lived through it (including me), nothing is comparable to those four days in 1963 beginning on Nov. 22 when we heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Televisions all over America went on and stayed on through Monday night. We had never seen anything like it […]

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John F. Kennedy on the importance of open government (audio)

In April 1961, a few months after taking office as president of the United States, John F. Kennedy spoke to the American Newspaper Publishers Association about the importance of maintaining an open government. In the speech he said, “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a […]

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Following ‘th’ iliction returns’

More than 100 years ago, newspaper humorist Finley Peter Dunne, speaking through his wise-beyond-years character Mr. Dooley, ended a soliloquy about the Supreme Court by saying: “That is, no matther whether th’ constitution follows th’ flag or not, th’ supreme coort follows th’ iliction returns.”

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George Smalley and the Battle of Antietam

One of the most dramatic stories of a correspondent covering a battle in the Civil War is that of George Smalley of the New York Tribune and his adventure in getting his description of the battle of Antietam back to New York. Smalley’s first accounts of the 1862 battle were read by President Abraham Lincoln […]

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Battlefield coverage: Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

Rable notes how difficult it was to cover such an encounter between armies and how hard it was to get information from the field to the publication for which the reporter worked. One other difficulty that reporters had: figuring out who won. It was not always apparent.

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History of the telegraph

Communication and journalism were changed by the increase in speed in the 19th century — particularly the invention of the telegraph. Few scientific developments have changed life for everyone so radically.

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America’s first newspaper

It was first published by John Campbell in 1704. William David Sloan, a professor of journalism at the University of Alabama and one of America’s distinguished journalism historians, has put together an extensive history of this newspaper for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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Ray Stannard Baker, Woodrow Wilson’s friend

The current PBS American Experience program is a two-part biography of Woodrow Wilson, one of America’s most important presidents. Mentioned in the series is journalist Ray Stannard Baker, a progressive journalist who promoted Wilson’s candidacy for the presidency and who became his good friend.

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The unforgiveable blackness of Jack Johnson

PBS will broadcast on Jan. 17-18, 2005, a two-part series on Jack Johnson, the heavyweight boxing champion, whose achievements and life shocked the white-dominated society of early 20 th century America. The film is titled “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.” Johnson is the first black man since the era of Reconstruction […]

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Photographs from the New York Public Library

This gallery constitutes one of the largest collections of photographs anywhere — comparable to that of the Library of Congress. Most of the photos were taken before 1923, putting them in the public domain but decreasing their value to news organizations.

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Cearing his Deep Throat

Word comes today that the secret to one of the great politico-journalistic mysteries has been revealed: the identity of Deep Throat. It was Mark Felt, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the Nixon administration. This is an important revelation, and not just to those of us who have followed the Watergate story […]

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New images of the Scopes trial

The trial of high school teacher John Scopes in Dayton, Tenn., 80 years ago this month remains one of the 20th century’s iconic events. It drew vast media attention and pitted cultural forces against one another that are still at war today. This week, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Scopes trial, the […]

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