The news of the days of yore stars at museum

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter



From Carl Landerholm’s area chronology

April 23, 1873 — “Judge Columbia Lancaster of Lewis River sent word to the governor of Washington Territory that Indians in war paint had come over the mountains from Yakima. He feared an uprising.”

May 17, 1877 — “Croquet has become the all absorbing game in Vancouver. Base ball is nowhere.”

Nov., 12, 1885 — “Reported that there had been anti-Chinese riots in Tacoma. … Troops from Vancouver brought back order, and the leaders of the trouble were brought to Vancouver for arraignment.”

May 27, 1891 — “Miss Eva Woodruff and Miss Ella Davis are the first Vancouver ladies to enter that most exhilarating sport of bicycling.”

June 11, 1912 — “Aviator Silas Cristofferson flew from the roof of the Multnomah Hotel, Portland, to Vancouver and landed in the Barracks. He rose to 5000 feet.”

April 8, 1926 — “The law changing the name of the county from Clarke to Clark went into effect.”

Nov. 30, 1929 — “A Varney airmail plane hit a lift tower of the Interstate Bridge.” (The pilot died the next morning.)

April 11, 1933 — “School board refused to modify ruling that ousts women teachers who wed.”

Dec. 27, 1942 — “The first Liberty Ship, the SS San Juan de Fuca, was launched at the Vancouver Kaiser shipyards.”

July 1, 1958 — “‘The band blared, a howitzer boomed, jets zoomed, and the crowd cheered’ as the new Interstate Bridge was opened to traffic at 11 a.m.”

People reading their newspaper on one particular day in April must have been gratified to learn that the city of Vancouver was finally shaping up:

“The ordinance restricting the running at large of horses, cattle and hogs is being strictly enforced by Marshall Slocum,” reported the Vancouver Independent. And as a result, the city “is no longer a vast hog pen.”

On April 17, 1879, that was big news.

The threshold for what makes headlines has changed in 160 years, along with the circumstances of daily life. That is the basis for a new exhibit at the Clark County Historical Museum -- “Above & Below the Fold: News Fit to Print.”

The exhibit opens Tuesday with a free reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the museum, 1511 Main St.

One man’s feat

“Above & Below the Fold” honors the work of Carl Landerholm, a longtime Clark County educator and news junkie.

Landerholm compiled a century’s worth of story summaries from several Vancouver newspapers -- including The Columbian -- in creating his Vancouver Area Chronology.

Landerholm, who died in 1961, assembled the chronology between 1956 and 1958, working steadily five to eight hours each day, “poring over literally millions of words in area newspapers, ” according to a museum news release.

Landerholm’s chronology is available on the museum’s website (

The exhibit includes interpretive panels that feature major news items from above the fold -- the top half of the page -- as well as quirkier stories from below the fold.

There also are photographs and artifacts from the historical museum’s collection.

People will be able to tell their own stories in a recording booth, and put on headphones to hear oral history recordings from the museum’s collection.

“Above & Below the Fold” runs through May 31, 2013.