Google's new News Archive Search lets you search back over 200 years of news. Both free and fee-based content is included in News Archive Search.
"Google has partnered with news organizations including Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Guardian and the Washington Post, and aggregators including Factiva, LexisNexis, Thomson Gale and HighBeam Research, to index the full-text of content going back 200 years."
You can limit the searches by specific time period, news source, and language.
"As ZDNet blogger Garett Rogers, former SEW news editor Gary Price have pointedly noted, much of the fee-based content in Google Archive Search is available at no charge via many public libraries who subscribe to fee-based services and provide free access to patrons."
Source: Search Engine Watch