Thursday, October 13, 2011
On this Day in History.....
Here is one of my finds from last week's birthday sojourn to the estate sale! It was a little on the pricier side ($11.25) but it was my birthday so I treated myself. :D Plus, I've never seen anything like it!
First of all, let's check out the hefty price tag of $6.95! The "day in history" is November 2, 1956, but the book wasn't published until 1959. Using the handy-dandy inflation calculator, we discover that the same book would cost $51.39 today. I'm going to make an assumption that the book would be a flop today at that price! It's only bound with linen tape and with one click anyone can find any newspaper they'd like on any given day. These are the times I marvel at the technology out there.
I like to put items like this in perspective by "doing the math", relative to my own reality. In other words, on this particular day in history my dad was only 36, my mom only 10, and my Grammie only 32. This history occurred 12 years before I was born but it looks SO much older than that, doesn't it? ;) I like to imagine what regular life was like when people were reading this book - Eisenhower was president, rock n' roll was still in its infancy, men still wore hats, women still only wore dresses and we only had 48 states.
The book states that November 2, 1956 was a "day of crisis". The main stories of this time were the Hungarian revolution of 1956 and the Suez Canal crisis (or Tripartite Agression). We never learned about these things in our history classes in school, probably because my teachers always got so wrapped up in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War in the early part of the year. We barely ever made it into the 20th century, usually, which probably would've been more important and surely more interesting (at least to me). These two stories, while very important in the world history scheme of things, seem sort of meek compared to the scary terrorist news we hear today. I'm sure these stories do NOT seem unimportant to Hungarians or Egyptians, however!
While this book will no doubt serve as a fascinating history lesson while reading it, I'm going to be honest - I'm far more interested in the foreign ads. :D For some reason, they're omitted in the "Le Monde" portion of the book, which bums me out because, hey - French ads! But the others are there, in all their glory, including ads from:
Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurt;
Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm;
Al Ahram, Cairo;
Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo; and
La Prensa from Buenos Aires.
World history is important, no doubt; but I've always thought that if you really want to capture the zeitgeist of the time, check out the ads.
Here's a collage I've done using a (real!) foreign newspaper ad - you can't beat 'em for their look and the mood they capture!