December 28th was just another Sunday in 1930. The Great Depression had been underway for over a year. Herbert Hoover was the US President and the 71st Congress was in session. The Executive Branch and the Congressional Branch were both under Republican control. One of Nebraska’s most famous Senators, George W. Norris, was a member then. It’s important to remember these facts when looking over a newspaper from that era.
A few very old issues of the Omaha Bee-News were in a box of vintage stuff that someone had stashed away and forgotten. I acquired the box earlier this year for a dollar at an estate auction. The newspapers are the most interesting items from that box.
The original Omaha Bee was the first regional newspaper in Nebraska. In its early years, 1871 to 1920, it was an highly esteemed periodical nationally for its social advocacy. In 1920, the liberal paper was sold to the conservative millionaire Nelson Updike. In 1927, The Bee merged with the Omaha Daily News and became The Bee-News. The Bee-News was acquired by the William Randolph Hearst chain in 1928. Hearst sold The Bee-News to the Omaha World Herald which immediately dissolved its old competitor. Nebraska has not had a major regional competitor to the World Herald since then.
The December 28th issue of The Bee-News reveals that the United States was becoming worried over unrest in Germany. After all, Germany’s defeat in the Great War was still relatively recent history. The world had again become a troubled place due to international political bickering and the worldwide Depression.
A major front-page story of this edition features the then largest airplane in the world, Germany’s Junkers G-38 airliner. There was rightful concern that the passenger carrier could easily be produced as a long-range bomber.
Inside the paper, there are descriptions of the possibility of a new worldwide war. Already, there were worries about Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party as belligerents. In addition to the story of the developing European alliances, the write-up about the looming threat of aircraft warfare is an interesting read. (Zoom into the images of the pages to read the articles.)
All things considered, this one newspaper was well worth what I paid for it. There are three more to read, so each of the vintage papers cost me 25-cents, apiece.