EntertainmentNew Year: what happened in Peru 100 years ago?

New Year: what happened in Peru 100 years ago?


At the gates of receiving in 2022 the lists and summaries of the Old Year on music, cinema, politics, sports and a long etcetera are the order of the day in newspapers, social networks and web pages. But there was a time when the end of the year was not celebrated with as much vehemence as in our times.

Reviewing the edition of January 1, 1922, we find a chronicle on “The New Year at El Comercio.”

“The first new year of El Comercio did not exist, for the truism that in those remote days it was not customary to give editions on holidays, much less give them as nurturing and special as in our times”, explained the chronicle that was published on the first day of 1922.

“The custom of making reviews of the life of each year, came later with the advances of Peru and the progress of the journalistic spirit among us and especially in El Comercio”.

Those summaries were an account of the life of the country in its economic and social aspects.

The chronicler of the time says that on December 31, 1877, the then director of the dean newspaper, José Antonio Miró Quesada, was writing some notes for the summary when an unusual storm broke out in the capital. Despair seized women, men and children when they saw that the already gray Lima sky darkened and thunder and lightning began to rumble.

This fact reminds us of the one experienced in May of this year when a large part of the Lima districts woke up to the deafening rhythm of thunder.

Medicine in 1921

The journalists of the dean newspaper published, on January 1, 1922, a summary of what happened in the 12 months of 1921 where the main event was the Centennial of our Independence.

and for the more than 25,000 articles published in the more than 500 specialized magazines in the world.

In addition, more than 60 international conferences were held, among which were: history of medicine, against tuberculosis, school hygiene, urology, among others.

Economic magazine of the year 1921

“The year 1921 has been one of immense crisis. With exports having decreased in value and volume, the accelerated movement with which national wealth has increased during the last five years has suffered a serious setback, affecting both the private economy and public income “. With these lines began an extensive report with graphs and figures that showed readers the ups and downs of the Peruvian economy and the world.

In 1921, a Peruvian family spent 204 Peruvian pounds a month on food and other household services. Although it was a relatively lower figure than in 1920, family spending had increased twice as much as in 1913.

While in London alpaca wool was very well received by the stock markets on the other side of the world.

Cotton and sugar exports;  as well as, alpaca wool was the most important economic news of 1921. Photo: GEC Historical Archive

Reflecting this situation, the Municipality of Callao did not organize popular events to welcome in 1922. Better luck had the EW Hardt house employees who were treated to a ‘champagne’.

However, the situation was calmed down and the Plaza de Armas was illuminated for the hundreds of families who came out to greet the New Year.

New times and formats

Beginning in 1950, the summaries of the dean newspaper grew in pages and content. Politics, sports, entertainment, culture and the international joined economics and science.

At present, the annual counts are interactive and are made based on a chronology that the Historical Archive team develops throughout the year. Thus we managed to collect the most important news of the year to come, day by day, month by month. Check the one for 2021 here.

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