Standing at a switchboard encased in plastic, I asked someone near me what topics he thought might be museum-worthy in the future from the span of our lives. “Newspapers, rotary phones, Atari, early computers…” We talked about this passage for a while. Both embracing new technology and media, both in some way reliant on the publishing industry, we imagined the inevitable near-reaching day when we would no longer be able to walk up to a newsstand and purchase a newspaper. Ironically, I/we never do this. Soon, surely in our lifetime, we will have to file print news into our memory, and to reminisce we can go to The Newseum — a museum comprised entirely of news.
This is my absolute favorite museum in Washington, DC. Unlike the Smithsonian museums, you have to pay to enter. A small fee grants a two-day pass and it takes just about that amount of time (probably more) to examine the archives. With headlines such as “$5,000 Reward, Billy the Kid, Dead or Alive,” “Assassination of President Lincoln,” “Titanic SUNK!”; “1st Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan,” “Martin King — Shot to Death,” “Men Walk on the Moon,” and others, it’s easy to exchange a day of your life for passage into history.
And I am always amazed by how moved I am reading about historic events in America. So it is extra, EXTRA special to me to know that our country’s history in print news is being carefully curated — it actually helps me sleep better at night.