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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.


"Greetings to the new-born twentieth century." January 1, 1901. The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Image 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

"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.