Langston Hughes Just Got a Year Older How a random late-night online search led to new discoveries about the poet’s birth and early years.

Recently, a writer’s casual online search for one of his own ancestors accidentally led to a wealth of unknown documentation of Hughes’s early life, including evidence of a different birth year.

Here’s a look at one example of how digitized newspaper databases are throwing open new doors of discovery — and at what difference that year might actually make.

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