Each day, the Newseum — the D.C.-based interactive museum of news and history — features its top ten front pages from across the U.S. and around the world. On days when major events unfold, like the first papal resignation in 600 years, it’s not uncommon to see a trend among the sheets.
The papers arriving at newsstands and doorsteps Feb. 12 certainly carried a theme, placing Pope Benedict XVI’s departure from his pontiff chair squarely above — and below — the fold.
Headlines ranged from the descriptive ("Catholics lose their shepherd") ...
(Photos courtesy of Newseum)
… to the direct ("Ex Papa").
From word play (“Benedict Bows Out”) …
... to shocking coincidences (“Bolt from the blue: Pope’s resignation shocks church”).
And from the editorial (“Benedict quits; church reeling”) ...
... to the exclamatory (“¡Jesus!”) ...
... and the somber ("the spirit is willing").
The papers the Newseum highlighted ranged from Vicenza, Italy (Il Giornale di Vicenza) in Europe, to as far west as Santa Ana, Calif. (The Orange County Register). Southern Hemisphere newspapers making the list included El Espectador in Bogota, Colombia, and Diário da Região from São José do Rio Preto, Brazil.
While all of the ten papers gave papal coverage precedent on the front page, other adjacent stories will be remembered as future generations revisit old editions, ranging from a preview of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address (Journal & Courier, Green Bay Press-Gazette), to a trio New Jersey teachers convicted of sex abuse (Courier-Post), and continued reporting on a bolognaise sauce scandal (The Guardian).
Obama, bolognaise, abuse and Benedict. Just a snapshot of headlines forever marking Feb. 12, 2013.