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Valley Doctor Shares Rare, Historic Newspaper Collection

Some call the printed news the first draft of History. A Valley eyecare doctor shared his up-close view into some of the rare first drafts he owns dating back centuries.

In pursuit of a really good Father’s Day gift for a man who loved the news, Dr. Frank Caserta said, ”I wanted to get him something really special.” So he gifted his dad a New York Times from April 15th 1865.

Below the headline “President Lincoln shot by assassin,” part of the reports from the day stated, “The president still alive at last account.”

Caserta said when reading the centuries-old newspaper, he “felt like I was actually there reading this for the first time. Like Time Trave.”

What Frank saw through one of history’s first drafts, set the sights for the Valley ophthalmologist on where else he could travel back in time.

So through special auction and word of mouth, Frank now owns newspapers from when the Titanic sank in 1912, Pearl Harbor in 1941, and when the Germans surrendered in 1945.

That doesn’t even scratch the surface of his vast, rare collection.

“1515 is the earliest newsbook I have, but the full collection actually goes back 800 years,” said Caserta

What he showed us in person, many have never seen before.

The previous owner of a Paul Revere engraving of the Boston Massacre was a Regan-appointed Naval Secretary. It’s paired with a Boston Gazette report from March 1770.

The detailed report analyzed the event by saying in part “What showed a degree of cruelty previously unknown to British troops, was an attempt to fire upon or push with their bayonets the person who undertook the slain or wounded.”

The paper turned out to detail what some consider the start of the American Revolution from British control.

Caserta reminded us the Declaration Of Independence at the National Archives Museum in Washington D.C. is on a piece of parchment and was actually signed by our founding fathers about a month after July 4th, 1776.

He showed us a copy of the Declaration of Independence, older than the one in the national archives from the Massachusetts Spy dated July 17th, 1776.

The Isiah Thomas publication with a Paul Revere masthead would have given its readers the first-ever look at the words that declared our country free.

“Appearing under (a) rousing patriotic battle cry, ‘undaunted by tyrants, we’ll die or be free,” read Caserta

From time to time, he will take parts of his collection out of careful, climate-controlled storage and share it with inquiring minds.

The way it all started for Frank was, frankly – a part of the American dream. Sharing knowledge with the ones around you for a better understanding of how we got here.

“Others have pointed out, before it was history, it was news,” said Caserta.