100 years ago, before the Internet, TV and radio, newspapers were key to obtaining information. But on election night, even an EXTRA edition couldn’t break the news fast enough. In San Francisco, CA the San Francisco Call newspaper collaborated with city managers and the utility company to get the results out instantly. The November 5, 1912 edition of the Call announced on the front page that a plan was in place to flash the city lights off and on to indicated the winner:
1 blink for Wilson
2 blinks for Roosevelt
3 blinks for Taft
It turned out to be a “One Interval” night as Wilson won the election. Read more about it here
Many old newspapers like the San Francisco Call of digitized and available online on websites like the Library of Congress’ free Chronicling America. Run a search on the people, places and events that shaped your ancestors lives and you may be amazed at what you find! I haven’t come across a family yet that wasn’t mentioned in a newspaper at some point. If you would like to have a proven step by step process to follow for getting the scoop your family in newspapers and some of the newest most innovative tools for doing do, check out my book How to Find Your Family in Newspapers.