front page 2001

On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary.

The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 

America attacked

At 9 a.m. on a Sunny fall Tuesday, nearly two decades ago, the United States was brought to a standstill. Four different airplanes were commandeered by 19 hijackers from the terrorist group al-Qaeda, with three hitting their intended targets. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, mostly due to the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Less than a day later, the citizens of Lancaster were already coming together to assist in a meaningful way.

The Sept. 12 issue of the Lancaster New Era detailed, amid the tragedy and turmoil, Lancastrians donating time, energy and anything they had to contribute.

“Flags are still flying at half-mast but we’re still continuing the work of the government,” said then Lancaster County Commissioner Paul Thibault. Before the sun had fully set on Tuesday, more than 250 county residents had donated blood at various blood banks, with one reportedly staying open until 1 a.m. The Lancaster Red Cross received 2,000 calls between Tuesday and Wednesday, nearly five times the usual volume. In addition, the Red Cross set up various blood drives which sent tens of thousands of units of blood to Washington D.C. and New York City.

Local reactions to the 9/11 attacks ranged from sorrowful to angry, confused to hopeless. Dozens of area churches opened doors late to allow parishioners of every denomination a chance to pray.

“One thing we know is that our lives have been changed – they’ve been permanently changed. None of us thought we’d be here tonight,” said pastor Ken Keim to a group gathered at Covenant Community Church. A handful of others contacted armed forces recruiters to find out how to enlist or to re-enlist. Among the dozen inquiries, one was allegedly from a 51-year-old man who had served in the military two decades prior.

Even the sports section, usually the area of the newspaper most separate from current events, couldn’t ignore the magnitude of the attacks. “Attacks bring sports world to standstill: Games become trivial in the face of Tuesday’s terrorism” reads the headline. Although the NFL, MLB and nearly every other national sports organization postponed and canceled games, an assortment of games at Franklin & Marshall went on as planned. Behind all of the different walks of life experienced by citizens of Lancaster County, the prevailing opinion was one of shock.

In the days and weeks that followed, a sense of normalcy would return, though things would never be quite the same. President George W. Bush’s approval rating would climb almost overnight from 51% to 90%, and the nation’s citizens would soon enlist – willingly or otherwise – in the War on Terror.