front-page-1937

On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 


The Hindenburg

The history of air travel would look a lot different if not for the crash of the LZ 129 Hindenburg. Among the most famous transportation disasters of the 20th century - along with the sinking of the Titanic. The airship lasted only a scant 14 months, from March 4, 1936, to May 6, 1937.

Of the 97 people aboard the evening flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Lakehurst, New Jersey, 13 passengers and 22 crew died when the Hindenburg went up in flames upon arrival. Unlike the Titanic, however, 25 years of technological advances meant that photos, film and live radio broadcasts could be used to paint a newsreel picture of a disaster for those who weren’t there to see it live.

This cover of the Lancaster New Era showcases one of the many iconic photos of the Hindenburg ablaze. In the years after the calamity, the Hindenburg would remain an indelible part of pop culture. Led Zeppelin used the famous photo as the cover of the band's first album. And people can still be heard exclaiming, "Oh, the humanity!" in reference to a quote from eyewitness Herbert Morrison describing the disaster.

Life in the 1930s

The Hindenburg disaster can serve as a metaphor for the decade in which it took place: In some ways, there were huge achievements, though most went up in flames. The Great Depression held an iron grip on the nation from 1929 to 1939. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to reinvigorate the nation with the New Deal, which introduced public works and financial reforms to offset the nation's financial woes.

Even with properly balanced checkbooks, World War II was on the horizon. Throughout the decade, Adolf Hitler would slowly rise to power and lead Germany though an upheaval that would irrevocably change the modern world. In 1933, Hitler would be named Chancellor of Germany, and six years later, after having consolidated power and invaded Austria, would kick off the Second World War with an invasion of Poland.

Sources: LNP archives; historyonthenet.com; airships.net.