The world was changed forever in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. For the first time ever the masses could readily receive information on a wide scale. This led to the eventual invention of newspapers. The first newspaper was published in 1605 in Germany and ever since the newspaper has been the main source for people to gather their news. The W. R. Poage Library at Baylor University is fortunate to have a vast collection of historic newspapers. The oldest and perhaps the most fascinating of these newspapers is from 1844.
The Democratic Union from Harrisburg, Penn was published on July 6, 1884. The main headline of the paper highlights the upcoming election of 1844. The paper endorses then governor of Tennessee James K. Polk for president. The paper is heavily Democratic Republican leaning. It analyzes the failures of the Whigs to fulfill promises they made in 1840 and why the Democratic Republican candidates would do a better job. The paper is a prized piece of history the Poage Library is lucky to have. The paper was graciously given to the library by Jack E. Hightower, former congressman and Texas State Supreme Court Justice.
The Democratic Union is housed in the Jack Hightower Book Vault and can be seen along with the other treasures of the Poage Library Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.