I came across this YouTube film about the New York City newspapers strike of 1945. It was a 17-day event. It’s quite interesting to see how people coped, or didn’t cope.
There were an amazing eight daily newspapers in New York at that time and people devoured the papers morning and night. This was before tv and apparently before radio news. Everyone got their news and a lot of their entertainment from daily newspapers and they were addicted to them.
After awhile, people realized during the strike that you could actually get your daily newspaper fix by simply going to the actual newspapers and purchasing the newspaper there. The truckers and delivery people were on strike, so the papers were being printed, just not delivered to the thousands of newsstands and homes. This was the era that Mayor Fiorello Laguardia read the comics to everyone over the radio, describing the goings on in the funny pages.
I find it amazing how many millions of newspapers were published and purchased daily. The New York Daily News alone was selling over 900,000 copies to people who came by the newspaper on foot. People would wait for hours to purchase the daily newspapers. That is 900,000 plus people stepping into the Daily News building to purchase the paper. They figured it was 30,000 people per hour!
Cops waited down in the subway and they told people to get off at the 33rd Street station rather than 42nd Street, where the NY Daily News building was, because the line went all the way from 42nd Street to 33rd Street!
The newspapers were: The Sun, The World-Telegram, the Journal American, The Daily News, The Post, The New York Times, the Herald Tribune and the Mirror. Eight dailies.
So many of the scenes in these films are still there – the Sun building was just restored, it sits near City Hall downtown, and while the Daily News has moved, their building on 42nd Street is still there.
Listen to the numbers as you watch these — the circulation numbers. Amazing. This was the period when the New York Daily News usually sold 2 million copies a day and over 4 million copies on Sundays.
The 1966 newspaper strike killed so many newspapers in New York City, but at least in 1945, the 17-day strike didn’t cause much harm and just proved how addicted people were to their newspapers – the social media of the time.