New York World-TelegramThe New York World-Telegram, later known as the New York World-Telegram and Sun, was a New York City newspaper from 1931 to 1966.
HistoryFounded by James Gordon Bennett as The Evening Telegram in 1867, the newspaper began as the evening edition of The New York Herald, which itself published its first issue in 1835. Following Bennett’s death, newspaper and magazine owner Frank A. Munsey purchased The Telegram in June 1920. Munsey’s associate Thomas W. Dewart, the late publisher and president of the New York Sun, owned the paper for two years after Munsey died in 1925 before selling it to Scripps for an undisclosed sum in 1927. At the time of the sale, the paper was known as The New York Telegram, and it had a circulation of 200,000.
The newspaper became the World-Telegram in 1931, following the sale of the New York World by the heirs of Joseph Pulitzer to Scripps Howard. More than 2,000 employees of the morning, evening and Sunday editions of the World lost their jobs in the merger, although some star writers, like Heywood Broun and Westbrook Pegler, were kept on the new paper.
The World-Telegram enjoyed a reputation as a liberal paper for some years after the merger, based on memories of the Pulitzer-owned World. However, under Scripps Howard the paper moved steadily to the right, eventually becoming a conservative bastion.
In 1940, the paper carried a series of articles entitled "The Rape of China," which used Walter Judd's experiences with Japanese soldiers as the basis of support for a campaign to boycott Japanese goods. Publisher Roy Howard, an expert of sorts after travelling to Manchuria and Japan in the early 1930s, gave extensive coverage of Japanese atrocities in China. The paper's headline of December 8, 1941, read "1500 Dead in Hawaii" in its coverage of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1950, the paper became the New York World-Telegram and Sun after Dewart and his family sold Scripps the remnants of another afternoon paper, the New York Sun. (The writer A.J. Liebling once described the "and Sun" portion of the combined publication's nameplate as resembling the tail feathers of a canary on the chin of a cat.)
Early in 1966, a proposal to create New York's first joint operating agreement led to the merger of the World-Telegram and Sun with Hearst's Journal American. The intention was to produce a joint afternoon edition, with a separate morning paper to be produced by the Herald Tribune. The last edition of the World-Telegram and Sun was published on April 23, 1966. But when strikes prevented the JOA from taking effect, the papers instead united in August 1966 to become the short-lived New York World Journal Tribune, which lasted only until May 5, 1967. Its closure left New York City with three daily newspapers: The New York Times, the New York Post and the New York Daily News.
The archives of the paper are not available online, but they can be accessed at the Library of Congress, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and several research facilities in the state of New York.