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Ten Valuable Old Historical Newspapers

Valuable old historical newspapers include Dewey Defeats Truman, the Pearl Harbor attack, Al Capone, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the John F. Kennedy assassination, the sinking of the Titanic, the Lincoln assassination and the San Francisco earthquake.

Old newspapers have value in the collectibles marketplace. Attracting the greatest attention are the vintage papers with the big historical headlines. Also of interest are your regular newspapers – called "atmosphere" papers – which contain no significant events of the day but do provide a glimpse into a bygone era.

Here are ten valuable newspapers featuring some of history's most famous headlines. They are an eclectic bunch, giving readers a general idea as to collectibility and values. Bear in mind that condition plays a major role in determining value and that newspapers must be original, and not reprints.  

Chicago Daily Tribune, November 3, 1948, Dewey Defeats Truman

The 1948 presidential election, as predicted by opinion polls, projected Thomas A. Dewey the victor. During the wee hours of the night on November 2, 1948, after voting had ceased, the Chicago Daily Tribune rushed this famous headline into print in the midst of a typesetter's strike. Later, after realizing their error, the Trib sent its employees out into the streets to retrieve as many copies as possible. The Tribune was not the only newspaper to get it wrong – just the most infamous – with President Harry S. Truman gleefully posing with the paper's embarrassing "Dewey Defeats Truman" banner headline. In excellent condition, one surviving example of this paper – bearing the stamp "Hickey Brothers Cigar Store" where it was sold – brought a top bid of $1,392.

Chicago Daily Tribune, Dewey Defeats Truman $1,392 - Robert Edward Auctions, LLC

The Stars and Stripes, May 8, 1945, Nazis Quit

The Stars and Stripes serves as the unofficial publication for the U.S. Armed Forces. An EXTRA for the European Theater of Operations, Germany edition, dated May 8, 1945, announcing Nazi Germany's official surrender is valued at approximately $215.

The New York Herald, April 15, 1865, Assassination of President Lincoln

Lincoln assassination newspapers are always in demand. One of the most famous is the April 15, 1865, edition of The New York Herald reporting on the death of the 16th President of the United States. Not surprisingly, this edition was saved by many people. Today, it carries a value of over $1,000 in excellent condition.

The New York Herald, Lincoln assassinated $1,000+ - historybuff.com

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 7, 1941, War! Oahu Bombed By Japanese Planes

One of the most famous newspapers of World War II, the first extra of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of December 7, 1941, reports the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. A complete edition in excellent condition could top the $1,500 mark. Reprints abound for this coveted issue, including ones made during the war and taken home as souvenirs by American servicemen.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor $750-1,500 - gohawaii.about.com

The Boston Daily Globe, April 16, 1912, Titanic Sinks, 1500 Die

In the annals of maritime disasters the loss of the "unsinkable" RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York heads the tragic list. A number of Titanic newspapers were printed, with the first report editions carrying the most value. The April 16, 1912, edition of The Boston Daily Globe is worth approximately $200-400.

The Call-Chronicle-Examiner, April 19, 1906, Earthquake And Fire: San Francisco In Ruins

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 remains one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The San Francisco Call-Chronicle-Examiner – a collective effort by the city's three wounded newspapers – dated April 19, 1906, is a rare periodical. A complete edition could sell for over $700.

The Call-Chronicle-Examiner, San Francisco earthquake $700+ - Library of Congress

The Dallas Times Herald, November 22, 1963, JFK Ambushed in Dallas, President Dead, Connally Shot

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been called the crime of the century. JFK assassination newspapers are legion, as they were saved by many people as historical keepsakes. The most valuable editions are titles from Dallas, Texas, the scene of the crime in infamous Dealey Plaza. The Dallas Times Herald final edition of November 22, 1963, is highly collectible, with a complete edition in excellent or better condition valued at $50-75.

Fitchburg Sentinel, May 21, 1927, Lindbergh Is Reported Over Channel

Aviation pioneer Charles A. Lindbergh's historic transatlantic flight in 1927 is the stuff of legend. The Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel of May 21, 1927, reported that Lindbergh in his Spirit of St. Louis had been sighted over the English Channel, bound for Paris. This ten-page edition is worth approximately $140.

The Macon Telegraph and News, October 16, 1931, Al Capone Guilty of Evading Taxes

In 1931 Al Capone, the czar of the Chicago underworld, was convicted of income tax evasion. Capone received an 11-year sentence, eventually winding up on Alcatraz. The Macon (Georgia) Telegraph and News of October 16, 1931, headlined Capone's stunning conviction in federal court. This edition carries a value of over $100. 

New York Daily Mirror, February 14, 1935, Guilty Death For Hauptmann

The Lindbergh baby kidnapping horrified the country during the Depression-era 1930s. Bruno Hauptmann was later convicted of kidnapping and murdering Charles Augustus Lindbergh II, the 20-month-old son of aviators Charles A. Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Hauptmann got the death penalty for his crime, dying in New Jersey's electric chair a.k.a. "Old Smokey" on April 3, 1936. The New York Daily Mirror of February 14, 1935, reported Hauptmann's conviction with the bold headline "Guilty Death for Hauptmann." This edition is valued at around $60 today.

New York Daily Mirror 1935 Lindbergh kidnapping conviction $60. Also pictured is the New York Journal, February 13, 1935 - Heritage Auctions

Literally hundreds of thousands of collectible newspapers await both the collector and history buff. It's all there in black and white – wars, assassinations, moon landings, crime and punishment, sports, medicine and you name it...

Top Image

  • The New York Times, May 8, 1915, the Lusitania sinking $100+ - The New York Times

Copyright © 2012 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved. 

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Comments (30)

Another very interesting and informative article for the collector.

Great account and excellent selection.

carolyn turner

I have a newspaper that is authentic dated March 24,1918 its all in tact. Iwanted to know is it valuable.

wow! wow! wow!, +1 it. surely a collecter's item. keep writing. you sure could write about the evolvement of languages too. I recently read that the English word mother has been taken from the sanskrit word 'matr'

Brenda

We have an original Stars and Stripes Newspaper, Volume 22, November 23, 1963. Headlines read "Kennedy Slain On Dallas Visit." Would like to know how much it's worth?

@Brenda. Your Stars and Stripes paper is worth around $20-30 in excellent condition. As my article states, the move valuable JFK assassination newspapers come from Dallas.

M J Stevens

I have an edition of The State Gazette (Trenton, NJ) dated November 11,1918..It ia original, very good condition and declares the end of WWI. Is there any value to it? I also have two old Stars and Stripes from WW II. Same question-any value?

Thanks.

Apologies for the FOUR questioms asked about the same thing. Using a smartphone and postings were duplicated. Smartphone is not so smart todat :(

@Mary Jane Stevens. Your World War I newspaper is worth perhaps $30-40. Your World War II Stars and Stripes are probably worth around $10 each. It depends on what the headlines are. I deleted three of your duplicate questions, which I guess makes me far smarter today than any smartphone.

ralph

Hello, I have a new york times news paper that reads 15 historic pages of the new york times across the front page . the following front pages are : the sinking of the titanic, russia invades germany and germany invades france, lusitania sunk by submarine, armistice signed end of the war, lindbergh does it to paris in 33 1/2 hours, roosevelt winner in landslide ,edward VIII renounces british crown, Japan wars on U.S. and Britain makes sudden attack on hawai, allied armys land in france in the havre chebourg area, President roosevelt is dead truman to continue policies, the war in euorp is ended surrender is unconditional v-e will be proclaimed today, First atomic bomb dropped on japan missile is equal to 20,000 tons of tnt, japan surrenders end of waremperor accpts allied rule.

can you tell me if this new york times collectors paper is of any value. I believe it was collectors a pull out. But i dont know what year this paper was published. If you have any information on this paper pleeeease contact me. I could use the money if its worth anything. Thanx. Ralph M.

@Ralph M. Your paper would have little value. It is some kind of collector's pullout which newspapers do from time to time.

shawn mcwilliams

I have a origanal Honolulu Star Bulliten I'm intrested in selling. Email me at Mishinman87@gmail.com.

shawn mcwilliams

I have a origanal Honolulu Star Bulliten I'm intrested in selling. Email me at Mishinman87@gmail.com.

Allison

hi i have the war papers part 1 to 90 dated sept 4th 1939

stephano matlock

Wantin to know how much my 1963 Texarkana gazette worth with jfk on the front featuring his death.

@Allison. I'm not sure what you mean – war papers 1 to 90? Obviously you're talking about the start of World War II, but which newspapers? @Stephano. If in complete, excellent condition your newspaper is worth about $20-25. JFK assassination papers are not rare, but the ones from Dallas – scene of the crime – are worth more.

Allison

Hi the papers are just called War papers issue 1 upto 90 i have all of them. In fab condition, and all intact. Where would i sell them and for how much?

axel

i have a bunch of head lines of seattle post of world war ll in fair condition if any one interested dont no what they are worth

i have a framed front page of the dead john dillinger from chicago, any idea on that?

Hello Mr. Felchner I have an original of the Call=Chronical=Examiner dated April 19, 1906 that looks exactly like yours. How much is this worth and how would I go about selling this paper and making sure I dont get scammers? If you would prefer to send me an email instead of putting the info on here you may do so at Tmills913@att.net.

Thank you for your help.

Hello!  I inherited an entire collection of well preserved front page Chicago Daily Tribune newspapers that belonged to my grandfather.  They were wrapped in brown paper until recently when I went through all of them.  They were stored folded.  I have the dates Dec. 8, 1941 thru Sept. 23, 1945 & Sept. 27, 1945, along with several additional pages that include full page color war maps or ads, which I have in a word document if anyone is interested.  I also believe that I have the full Sept. 2, 1945 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, but would need some help in verifying if all sections/pages are there.

Please email me with more info on what you believe to be the value of this collection.

soozq1211@gmail.com

Thank you for you help.

Scientists add on resumewriter.ws scanned newspapers for reading by other people. 

i have a 1927 paper with record of linberg flight is it valuable

i have a 1927 copy of linbergh flight to paris and record of his flight is it valuable it has been laminated

Good morning, I have a newspaper from News Texan from November 23,1963. Is it worth anything? 

I would like to purchase a newspaper with the headline President Dead that was issued after the announcement of JFK. If someone is selling this please email me on bergman.darren@gmail.com thanks

Hi this Ali in Philadelphia I have a New York Times Date March 21 1926 any idea of it\'s value?

The Sydney Herald Newspaper was recently given to me by a family member. It was brought out on Monday, April 18, 1831 which is 182 years old. I done some research on it and found out that this newspaper edition was \\\\\\\'The Birth Of The Herald\\\\\\\' (First Issue released) and only 750 copies were made on this day and it also has a speech in it from King William the 4th. It is the oldest newspaper in the Southern Hemisphere and has been kept in excellent condition.  Would anyone know its guesstimate value, not that i wish to part with it .... or know where i could get an estimate so that i can insure it. Please email me at amethystpanther333@hotmail.com ... Thanks muchly xox

Got a Chicago Daily News,Dated November 23,1963.Headlines read: PRESIDENT IS KILLED. I'd like to know it's value? 

I have a 1927 new york daily news newspaper with charles lindburgh on the cover,,,,does anyone know what its worth???

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