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Topics in Chronicling America - The Death of Pope Leo XIII and the Election of Pope Pius X

On August 4, 1903, the College of Cardinals in Vatican City elects Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto as the new Pope after the lengthy illness and death of Pope Leo XIII. He chooses the name Pius X, and leads the Catholic Church until his death in 1914. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of Popes

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Important Dates:

  • July 20, 1903: Pope Leo XIII, born Gioacchino Pecci and whose papacy lasted 25 years, dies at the age of 93.
  • August 4, 1903: Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto is elected Pope and chooses the name Pius X.
  • August 20, 1914: The papacy of Pius X ends with his death.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Pope Leo Pope Pius Cardinal Sarto Holy See Vatican/Rome.
  • For best results, limit the search to the year 1903, noting that the most specific results will be those from approximately June to August 1903.  It is also useful to browse newspaper pages from the summer of 1903 to find articles related to Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius X.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 1, 2013
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