The calendar has produced a strange and almost eerie confluence of anniversaries this weekend: the deaths 40 years ago this past Friday of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and 120 years ago early tomorrow morning of President Abraham Lincoln.
To those of us who remember vividly Roosevelt's death at Warm Springs, Ga., following a massive stroke on April 12, 1945, it's a bit remarkable, looking back, that the event is one-third the distance backward in time to the assassination of Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in downtown Washington.
How young, really, our nation is!
At the right is the top part of the multiple-deck headline of the New York Herald that appeared on Sunday, April 16, 1865, although the death early April 15 had been reported in a late edition of the prior day's paper.
The original issue of the four-page paper reproduced here is a collector's item, selling for about $200, and it's in excellent condition, having been printed on paper with a high rag content, unlike today's high-acid wood pulp newsprint that yellows and quickly becomes brittle.
The vertical shape of such headlines was dictated by the printing technology of the day. Horizontal banner headlines followed the later introduction of rotary presses using stereotyped printing plates.