July 18, 2019

Americans gathered around their TVs 50 years ago to watch Apollo 11 land on the moon. It was an early moment of history that media enabled the country to share. The next day, newspapers wrote and illustrated that moment’s first draft, as they say, on the front page.

Looking at these now is, at least for me, many things – fascination at a day 50 years ago captured on paper and ink, sadness that some of these newspapers no longer exist, concern that 50 years from now future generations won’t have much to look back on as digital news seems to disintegrate over time, and appreciation that half a century ago, men and women worked hard in local newsrooms to tell their communities what was happening, often with style, sometimes a sense of humor and always with an awareness of how big that day really was.

I collected these front pages from newspapers.com. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Orlando (Florida) Sentinel:

The Burlington (Vermont) Free Press:

Albany (Oregon) Democrat-Herald:

Streator (Illinois) Daily Times-Press:

The Boston (Massachusetts) Globe (just look at all that white space!):

Lincoln (Nebraska) Evening Journal started merging with the Lincoln Star in the 90s, according to the Journal Star:

East Liverpool (Ohio) Review:

The rest I’ve tried to put in alphabetical order, with at least one from each state:

The Anniston (Alabama) Star:

Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner:

(Phoneix) Arizona Republic:

The (Blytheville, Arkansas) Courier News:

Los Angeles Times:

The San Francisco Examiner:

Colorado SpringsGazette-Telegraph dropped Telegraph in 1997, according to a company history page archived on Wayback Machine:

The Bridgeport Post is now the Connecticut Post:

The (Wilmington, Delaware) News Journal:

Fort Lauderdale (Florida) News closed in the late ’80s, according to the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:

The Atlanta Constitution, now the Journal-Constitution, officially merged with the Journal in 1982, according to AJC:

Honolulu Star-Bulletin merged with the Honolulu Advertiser in 2010, according to the Star-Advertiser:

The (Twin Falls, Idaho) Times-News:

The Terre Haute (Indiana) Tribune merged with The Star in 1983, according to the Tribune Star:

Carroll (Iowa) Daily Times Herald:

The Salina (Kansas) Journal (check out the illustrations for some pre-Vox explainer journalism):

The (Louisville, Kentucky) Courier-Journal:

The Crowley (Louisiana) Daily Signal:

Biddeford-Saco (Maine) Journal appears to have stopped publishing in 1977, according to the Library of Congress:

The (Baltimore) Evening Sun stopped publishing in 1995, according to The Baltimore Sun, which survives it:

Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle:

The Minneapolis Tribune merged with The Minneapolis Star in 1982, according to the Star-Tribune:

The (Jackson, Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger:

Springfield (Missouri) Leader and Press merged with the Springfield Daily News in 1975 to become the Springfield News & Leader, according to the News Leader. (I’m glad to see the earlier version of my hometown paper kept it groovy):

The (Kalispell, Montana) Daily Inter Lake:

Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal led with a photo spread front:

Nashua (New Hampshire) Telegraph:

The (Bridgewater, New Jersey) Courier-News:

Albuquerque Journal:

New York Daily News:

The Gastonia (North Carolina) Gazette:

The (North Dakota) Bismarck Tribune with the only paper in this collection that put Mary Jo Kopechne, who died in a car accident with Ted Kennedy, above the fold:

The (Oklahoma City) Daily Oklahoman:

Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) Record stopped publishing in 1972, according to the Library of Congress. This edition includes a hand-written “microfilm” note:

Newport (Rhode Island) Daily News:

The (Orangeburg, South Carolina) Times and Democrat:

Deadwood (South Dakota) Pioneer-Times, with some pretty great illustrations:

The (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) Daily News-Journal:

El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post:

The (Provo, Utah) Daily Herald:

Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia):

The (Centralia, Washington) Daily Chronicle:

The (Morgantown, West Virginia) Dominion News (check out the weather forecast):

Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Daily Northwestern:

Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune:

Read the rest of our Apollo 11 moon landing coverage here

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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