New Century Celebrations: Topics in Chronicling America
When did the 20th century begin: January 1, 1900 or January 1, 1901? This guide provides access to materials related to the “New Century Celebrations” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
"GREETINGS TO THE NEW-BORN CENTURY," announces the San Francisco Call of January 1, 1901. It’s the dawn of a new century, but which dawn, Jan. 1, 1900, or Jan. 1, 1901? Revelers celebrate both. On that same day Harriet Hubbard Ayer wrote in the Evening World: "Hail to the woman of the twentieth century, with her bright, roughish eyes, her blowing hair, her radiant health and magnificent spirit," although the century was only one day old. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
January 1, 1900
Only some Americans celebrate the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, due to debate over when the new century begins.
January 1, 1901
Some Americans celebrate the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. By now it has certainly begun.