The Examiner. A front page from over one hundred years old. The date, April 22 1897. Created as a pro-Confederacy, pro-slavery, and anti-Lincoln newspaper, it’s original shops were burned at the end of the Civil war. The US Civil War had ended little over thirty years ago and tensions and aggression had all but disappeared. The Franco-Prussian War between the French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia had ended in a German victory, setting the stage for later conflicts between the two nations that would envelop the entire world. Another year would pass before the Boxer Rebellion began in China in an attempt to expel foreign powers and Christianity. The world at this time bursting with events that would shape our lives today, before fading into the shadows of memory and dusty old books in the back of the library.
Were any of these events to have different outcomes, what would the world be like today? Our lives are so short relative to the course of human history, it is hard not to be completely engrossed with what is happening right now in this present moment in time. History becomes sort of a story. An amusing yet unrelatable substance whose lingering we can still see, yet the implications of which become lost in our current state. These papers, these snapshots of the world-passed, survived to this day because they were used as the backing for wallpaper in a tiny shack that has since collapsed. All that remains now is the floor boards and a scattering of warped boards, protruding nails, and jars with rusty lids.