Newsboys' Strike: 120th Anniversary - Day 13

Delivering Newspapers, New York City 1899
Photographed May 1, 1899.
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company
Camera: G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, Arthur Marvin

No doubt, you're here to discover whether Disney told us the truth in the movie - did the newsies win their strike? Did they band together with the messenger boys and the bootblacks and all the other child laborers in New York City and make Pulitzer and Hearst back down?

Well, I guess it depends on how you measure success. Did they achieve their original goal of making the big guys reduce the price of their papers to pre-war prices?

Let's take a look at the final two articles for Wednesday, August 2, 1899 to find out. That's right. Just two. Articles about the strike at this point were hard to find!


New York Sun
2 August 1899


New York Tribune
2 August 1899

Well, here is the final word in this New York Tribune article: "The reason for the change, the boys say, is that they are permitted to make full returns."

There you have it folks. It all came down to a compromise. They didn't exactly win (aka Pulitzer never gave in to a price change like in the movie), but they didn't exactly lose either. Any papers they couldn't sell, The Journal and The World agreed to buy them back. It was good enough of a compromise for the newsies leaders, and soon everyone else followed suit, but obviously not without a fight. Disney, you told us a few lies to sell a good story, but it's really not a surprise, so I guess all is forgiven. It's a pretty darn good story too.

Join me tomorrow for some final thoughts and a grand finale bonus!