Newspapers serve a purpose in history

Published 7:01 am Sunday, November 6, 2016

History has a way of making you and your problems seem smaller.

That’s why a special section celebrating the Herald’s 125th birthday came at a weird — or good — time as we are days from the 2016 presidential election.

It seems everywhere I turn, people are in mid-panic over the potential results — and that unease comes from both political parties.

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One man stopped in the office recently and asked someone loudly if this will be, “The election to end all elections.”

While the mood leading to election Tuesday feels more tense than most recent elections with two divisive and controversial candidates, it’s important to put this in perspective.

My work on the Herald’s 125th tab provided a moment of reflection. For starters, it was a reminder of a newspaper’s place as a historic record for a community, chronicling the events of each year. But it also reminded me our place in history is small; it’s just a drop in the bucket, even while our moments may feel like a downpour.

In the Herald’s time alone, we’ve elected 31 presidents. No. 32, the 45th in this nation’s history, will be chosen Tuesday, and hopefully cooler heads will prevail once all our ballots are cast and tallied.

Why this election may seem dramatic and divisive, it’s a reminder that out nation has been in such places before — controversy, problems and disagreements are nothing new.

If you want to know about the Herald’s and Austin’s history, check out our 125th tab. And remember that no matter who wins Tuesday, it’ll all be history soon, and we’ll be voting in another election in four years.