If you are doing historical or sociological research, archived copies of newspapers can be great sources… and are even more convenient when they have been digitized!
A recent tool for finding digitized historical newspapers is NewspaperCat from the university of Florida. You can search by newspaper name or location, or browse by geographic location (States, Cities, etc.). The record will link you to the digital archive, whether it is from a local library’s digital copy or from other sources such as Google News. Use these links to search the actual content of the newspapers.
The University Libraries also subscribe to other historical newspapers that are not included in NewspaperCat because they are not freely available on the Web. We have the New York Times from 1851-2003 (current articles available in LexisNexis Academic), and the Wall Street Journal from 1889-1993 (current articles available in Factiva).
More information about finding first-hand accounts (primary sources) is available.