Amit Agarwal has a great blog post called How to Find Old Newspaper Articles Online. He has a long list of sites to find newspapers; some require a fee.
My absolute favorite site to find historical American facts is the Library of Congress. I go there for everything!
The date today is September, 12, 2013. Let’s look at a newspaper from 100 years ago. The best way to view is to download the pdf file. I found trying to read the paper online was very difficult due to the pixilation.
The Bismarck Daily Tribune, September 12, 1913, Bismarck, North Dakota. The front page has an article called Man Murdered in a Drunken Row By Six Companions in a Box Car. According to the article Antoine Rigori, an Italian laborer working on railroad construction gang six miles east of Bismarck, was slashed and cut with knives by his six companions and died almost instantly. It continues to report how two local men apprehended three and collected the $50 cash prize. The remaining three are on the run and believed to have made their way to Mandan by following the river.
The article does continue, but I will let you read it for yourself. I am inspired enough to write my own short story based on this article!