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.
Decorating ears and highways
Here’s a little piece of newspaper design trivia for you: A small design element that appears in the top corner of the page on either side of the newspaper’s nameplate, or “flag,” is called an “ear.” (This is not to be confused with a “skybox,” which is a design element that appears above the flag.)
One or two ears may appear on a page, and newspapers often will dedicate an ear to a weather icon. On this New Era front page from 1930, there’s a little decorative ear in the top-left corner. “Highway rose fund growing fast!”, it reads, with a simple sketch of flowers with petals surrounding little dollar signs.
The graphic refers to a story about a fundraising effort under way to plant 2,000 red rose bushes along Lincoln Highway, stretching from the western side of Lancaster city to Mountville. A similar project was under way in York County, planting white roses from York city east toward the Susquehanna River.
A new decade
As the decade of the 1930s began, Lancaster County and the rest of the United States found itself in the midst of Prohibition (as a story on this page about a beer raid indicates), and the Great Depression. Here are a few lighter topics that may have affected everyday life at the time this front page was published:
• Scotch tape was first sold this year.
• The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930. It enjoyed more than 75 years of planet status before being demoted to a “dwarf planet” in 2006.
• The Motion Picture Production Code went into effect, strictly regulating depictions of sex and violence on film for the next 40 years.
• Cartoon character Betty Boop made her debut, as did “Looney Tunes,” the long-running series of Warner Brothers cartoon shorts which would later star the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.