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Newspapers and Newsies Podcasts

Newsies on Strike! The thrilling tale of New York newsboys fighting back

PODCAST We’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned Gilded Age story so we’re bringing back one of our favorite Bowery Boys episodes ever — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst vs. the newsies! LISTEN TO THIS SHOW HERE: It was pandemonium in the streets. One hot summer in July 1899, thousands of corner newsboys […]

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Mysterious Stories Newspapers and Newsies Podcasts

Great Hoaxes of Old New York: Mischief from Manhattan to the Moon

PODCAST Two stories of outrageous hoaxes perpetrated upon New Yorkers in the early 19th century. New Yorkers can be tough to crack, maneuvering through a rapidly changing, fast-paced city. But they can, at times, also be easily fooled. In this episode, we explore two of the wackiest stories in early New York City history, two […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Jacob A. Riis: The Power of the Flash

The daredevil antics of Nellie Bly (subject of our last podcast) proved that investigative journalism could prove a benefit to society while also selling stacks of newspapers (specifically, those of Joseph Pullitzer’s New York World). A few months after Bly’s trip to Blackwell’s Island, Jacob Riis published his first investigation for the New York Sun, revealing the wretched […]

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Health and Living Newspapers and Newsies Podcasts

Nellie Bly: Undercover in New York’s Notorious Asylum for the Insane

The story of New York World reporter Nellie Bly as she poses as a mental patient to report on the abuses of Blackwell’s Island’s Lunatic Asylum. PODCAST Nellie Bly was a determined and fearless journalist ahead of her time, known for the spectacular lengths she would go to get a good story. Her reputation was […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

SPY VS TRUMP: The best Donald Trump moments from Spy Magazine 1986-98

In 1987, Donald Trump released the book Trump: The Art of the Deal, a distillation of the 1980s that looked like a pocket-sized version of the real-estate mogul’s own brass-coated palace Trump Tower.  The book was a national best-seller, a staple of airport bookstores, aimed at business travelers. But a more unflattering look at Trump’s business savvy […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Shameless Urchins and Mighty Frauds: 19th Century Views of April Fools Day

The celebration of April Fools Day traces back to the Middle Ages and possibly as far back as the Roman era. In the mid-19th century, the unofficial holiday for pranks provided a good excuse to attack political opponents.  Here are a couple samples of writing from New York publications from this period which I’m quoting at […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Newsboys strike 125 years ago, but it wasn’t yet a musical

Newsies hawk newspapers to riders of a passing trolley [LOC] One hundred and twenty five years ago this week, hundreds of newsboys took to the streets in protest of unfair pricing and competition practices.  It was not their first time and, most memorably, it would not be their last. “For an hour or two they […]

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Holidays Newspapers and Newsies

Historic or disappointing? How New York newspapers covered the first Labor Day — September 5, 1882

Clothing cutters, horseshoers, shoemakers, upholsterers, printers, house painters, freight handlers, cabinet makers, varnishers, cigar makers, bricklayers and piano makers. The first American Labor Day began on September 5, 1882, with 10,000 workers from a wide variety of occupations circling Union Square, then parading up to the area of today’s Bryant Park. (A picnic ‘after party’ […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Angels and mermaids: Puck Magazine’s end of summer

This was the September 17, 1913 cover of humor journal Puck Magazine, featuring summer symbolized as a lovely mermaid on the back of a sea serpent, departing the Long Island shore. She wasn’t the only female embodiment in Puck that issue. In the illustration below, according to the official caption, “a female figure with wings […]

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Newspapers and Newsies Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day — insane or otherwise!

A Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum ad from a 1911 New York Tribune advises you to choose gum, not explosives. From the New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]), 25 June 1911. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

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Newspapers and Newsies Podcasts

The Cosby Show: A despotic governor in colonial New York and the sensational trial of John Peter Zenger

PODCAST A long, long time ago in New York — in the 1730s, back when the city was a holding of the British, with a little over 10,000 inhabitants — a German printer named John Peter Zenger decided to print a four-page newspaper called the New York Weekly Journal.  This is pretty remarkable in itself, […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

What if? Meteors over Manhattan, 1922

In 1922, the New York Tribune envisioned what it would be like if a meteor hit downtown Manhattan.  The article is a real scare piece on the potential of meteors destroying life on Earth.  It references the American Museum of Natural History‘s own meteor, Ahnighito, brought to the institution by Robert Peary in 1904.  As […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Hot off the press: the bicentennial of the Bronx Gutenberg

Hoe Avenue in the Bronx has nothing to do with farming, although it once indeed ran through a grand 19th century farm estate. The avenue’s namesake, Richard March Hoe, born 200 years ago today, brought about a revolution in the world of printing. Without his innovations, the phrase ‘hot off the press’ might never have […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Before ‘Newsies’: The Brooklyn Newsboys Strike of 1886

The grueling life of a Brooklyn newsboy, taken by Lewis Hine, 1910 (Library of Congress) The new Disney-produced Broadway musical ‘Newsies‘ puts melody to the events surrounding the Newsboys Strike of 1899. For one week that summer, young newspaper sellers fought back against their employers’ unfair pricing schemes, turning their former street corners into places […]

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Christmas Newspapers and Newsies

A Very Special New York Newsies Christmas

The gritty image of the scrappy 19th century newsboy, the can-do kid slinging newspapers from the street corner, full of vinegar and character, was an encouraging invention of the newspapers themselves. Children were cheap labor, willing to sling stacks of freshly printed papers to corners across the city. Many kids preferred the profession to that […]