Newsies.pdf - Newsies Newsies Read all about it Section 1...

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Newsies!!! Newsies!!! Read all about it!!! Section 1: Read section and then complete all following activities: Historical Background: In 1899, newspapers were the only source of news. Modern newsstands did not yet exist and neither did home delivery. The main distribution method was the newsboy, who would stand on streets yelling, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” and would shout out headlines to catch people’s attention. Traditionally, a newsboy would pay 50 cents for a hundred “papes” and sell each paper for a penny. However, during the Spanish-American War of 1898, the owners of two major New York papers, the New York Journal and the New York World , upped the price for the newsies to 60 cents per hundred papers, leaving the price for the customers at a penny a paper. This meant that the newsies would lose profit. At the time, the trolley workers in New York were on strike or higher wages. This strike may have been the inspiration for the newsies’ strike. However, not all newsboys wanted to strike. Those who tried to continue selling papers were called “scabs.” Throughout the city, wagon loads of papers were available for any newsboy who dared to sell them. Those who were on strike would often overturn the wagons, destroy the papers, and sometimes beat up the “scabs.” By the second day, the strike had spread throughout Manhattan and had even crossed into the Bronx and Brooklyn. Some of the Brooklyn newsies formed a union, with hats and badges stating their cause. Many groups printed handouts to give to people instead of a newspaper, hoping to spread awareness. They organized demonstrations in front of the World and Journal offices, carrying banners and yelling until police were sent in to disperse them. Some of the boys were even arrested. On the third day, they held a rally, at which a senator and a former alderman made statements. One of the more successful newsies even bought 1,500 pretzels and handed them out to the hungry boys. In the end, the owners of the World and Journal, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hurst, came to an agreement with the newsies. They left the price at 60 cents per hundred papers, but they agreed to buy back whatever papers the newsies couldn’t sell. This had never been done before. After more than two weeks, the strike was over.
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Section 2: Primary sources and accompanying questions: Analyze each primary source and answer questions.
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