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Showing posts from July, 2019

Newsboys' Strike: 120th Anniversary - Day 3

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As I've been putting this project together, I have been thanking my year 2000 self over and over for being so diligent and meticulous in my note keeping on these articles, especially as they're so easily confused. I wrote the dates of the newspapers on the back of every page, I made myself a list of all the articles I had, by paper, and by date. I even organized all my extra research about the newsboys themselves in a binder with tabs and labels and everything. Even before I was a historian by a university degree, I was a historian at heart and in mind. I knew, as I do know even better now, that if you don't label documents and they fall out of memory, they become almost useless, because it's the time and provenance that makes historical things valuable to us today. Without labels, without interpretation, without dates, it becomes so much of yesterday's trash and no one will be able to glean much of anything from it. This is why we value history - because it teach…

Newsboys' Strike: 120th Anniversary - Day 2

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I think the teen years define the word "obsession". You find something you love and you focus all your passion into that one thing. It's a tremendous time of growth and discovery and absolute annoyance on the part of everyone who has to live with you. Haha! 
Enter the world of Newsies fandom. 
There are a few requirements when being a hard core fan of the movie Newsies.
1. A cool name
2. Type fluently in a NY accent
3. Write fanfic (Oh, my gosh, I just found mine!!)
4. Dress like a newsy, talk like a newsy.
5. Know the movie completely by heart from start to finish.

With cool names like "Racetrack Higgins", "Kid Blink", and "Boots", having a nickname is a must. You might be wondering if I had a nickname. Why, yes I did! It's one I gave to myself - Knickerbockers, "Knicks" for short. And no, I'm not talking about the basketball team. I'm talking about the short knee pants that were still a popular fashion for boys at the…

Newsboys' Strike: 120th Anniversary - Day 1

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"Newsboys Strike For Better Terms" 
"Newsboys Go On Strike"
"The Newsboys' Strike"

These are the headlines that appeared in The New York Daily Herald, The New York Times, The New York Daily Tribune, and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on July 21, 1899. In the grand scheme of current events, this was a minor blip. The papers were daily regaled with numerous, ongoing strike events around the city and the country. So, the newsboys striking wouldn't normally have raised many eyebrows. I think what captured the attention of New York City and beyond was how quickly it grew and how many newsies were involved. (And just to set things straight, it wasn't just boys, there were newsgirls too!)
Who were these kids peddling newspapers? In the book Kids At Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor, the author, Russell Freedman, explains, 
"Working children were seen everywhere in America's cities. They sold newspapers, shined shoes, ran errands…

Newsboys' Strike of 1899: 120th Anniversary - The Beginning

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The newsboy strike of 1899 is an event in American history that captures the imagination and brings a twinge of pride at the thought of children fighting for something they found important. Of course, most of us are familiar with the story thanks to Disney and their movie Newsies and the later Broadway musical of the same name. We all know that historical events are usually embellished quite a bit when they reach the stage or silver screen, so what really happened in July 1899?

Well, I'm happy to say that the real story is just as exciting as Disney's version. No, there might not be a romance angle, but it is a story full of inspiration, betrayal, violence, chivalry, and kids with really cool names.

Something that most people don't know is that this wasn't the first time that newsboys had gone on strike. While doing research for this anniversary, I found a newspaper article talking about newsboys striking in Buffalo, NY in 1890 (Buffalo Morning Express, 5 Jan 1890). S…

NEWSBOYS' STRIKE: An Anniversary Celebration!

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The story of the newsboys strike of 1899 is just a tiny event in the course of a tumultuous time in the labor history of America. Disney brought the story to light with the movie Newsies in 1992. Many American kids who grew up in the '90s have fond memories of the movie and could probably sing a few bars from at least one of the songs. There is a smaller group of more obsessed fans who watched the movie until they knew every word, every lyric, and possibly every dance... And most recently, a new generation of fans was created when Newsies hit Broadway in 2012. It always brings a smile to my face when I hear modern-day teens singing Newsies songs.

I can now fully admit that I was one of those crazy fans from the 90s that obsessed about the movie. But, you all know how much of a history nerd I am, right? I don't obsess about things in the same way. So when I was a nanny in NYC (Long Island to be exact), what do you think I did with my free Saturdays? Catch a Broadway musical? N…

The Diary of Mrs. X - Installment 5

Another installment from the lovely Mrs. X's diary.


Sunday, February 4, 1945 Sunny. MacArthur entered Manilla today!
Jeanette & Cheryl helped me transplant the strawberries.

Saturday, March 10, 1945 Griffith Park
Thursday, March 15, 1945 Demonstrated star maps to a small group at leaders’ meeting this morning. After I paid balance on the two sleeping bags & also bought two tennis racquets (@ $5) for the girls. Good light racquets for them to learn with. Wandered home, gathering wild flowers en route. Had Girl Scouts & Brownies from new school here for a get-together. Mrs. M- came & we took data. Served cider & cookies. Mother & Dad stopped in on their way to desert. They came up yesterday on business & to see the house B- & P- have bought in Brentwood. It sounds interesting. Brought us jars of fruit & jelly. C. didn’t get home till 12:30.


I love that she wrote about a big headline. The Girl Scout tidbits are fantastic!