Topic(s):

National Newspaper Carrier Day 

National Newspaper Carrier Day 

US #1015 pictures a boy delivering newspapers along with a hand holding a torch, symbolizing free enterprise.

On September 4, 1833, the first recorded newspaper boy was hired, an event celebrated today as National Newspaper Carrier Day.

In 1833, Benjamin Day, publisher of the New York Sun newspaper ran an ad looking for people to sell his papers.  It read, “A number of steady men can find employment by vending this paper.  A liberal discount is allowed to those who buy to sell again.”

US #1015 – Classic First Day Cover

On September 4, 1833, 10-year-old Barney Flaherty went to the Sun inquiring about the papers.  While Day had put the ad out looking for men, he was impressed by the boy’s excitement for the job and decided to hire him.  Flaherty became the first recorded paperboy in America that day.

From that time on, young boys were the main deliverers of newspapers to the general public.  They could be found standing on street corners or walking through neighborhoods.  In the early days, the newspaper boys were not employees of the newspapers.  Rather, they bought the papers from the publishers and sold them as independent workers.  They could not return the papers and usually earned about 30¢ per day.

US #1015 – Fleetwood First Day Cover

In 1960, the Newspaper Carrier Hall of Fame was established.  It honors several famous newspaper carriers including Martin Luther King, Jr., Warren Buffet, Walt Disney, Carl Sandburg, and John Wayne.

In addition to National Newspaper Carrier Day, there’s also an International Newspaper Carrier Day.  This observance was created by the Newspaper Association of America and is celebrated as part of National Newspaper Week.  The weeklong celebration is held during the first full week of October, with Newspaper Carrier Day held on that Saturday.  This year, International Newspaper Carrier Day will be held on October 10.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

Did you like this article? Click here to rate:
[Total: 7 Average: 4.7]

Share this article

6 responses to "National Newspaper Carrier Day "

6 thoughts on “National Newspaper Carrier Day ”

  1. To me, being a newspaper boy was a terrific job! I fondly remember that my cousin and I had two different routes and would switch off doing them every other week. I can still remember the various homes and customers we delivered to in Brockton, MA today! It was a simpler and wonderful time!

    Reply
  2. Delivering papers taught great responsibility. If someone didn’t get their paper, you sure would hear about it. It also taught us in New Britain CT to deal with all kinds of weather.

    Reply
  3. My sons both had paper routes when in their early teens throwing the papers in the afternoon–in Dallas suburbs. The early days of the week they did it on bicycles, but by Thursday the papers were so heavy, due to all the ads that started mid week, we had to load a station wagon and throw them from the vehicle so they could manage the load. They also had to go and collect the fees from the homes each month which really was another major chore, since many people would not be home and it wold take numerous stops to collect their earnings. But as stated above, it taught responsibility and how to work with resilience to be successful.

    Reply
  4. On my paper routes in the 1950’s we carriers were instructed to put the paper either on the porch or by the door. Throwing on to the lawn or driveway would result in a complaint call to the local supervisor.

    Reply
    • Paul on my route almost everyone had a milk box . I would put the papers in there and on collection day most customers would leave their money in there.

      Reply
  5. I had married student housing on my paper route in Denver. The Denver Post wouldn’t let one collect early. I always lost money when the quarter ended; the students (my customers) were gone. It was also never a very good tip route ! Ah well, it was still fun !

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Love history?

Discover events in American history – plus the stamps that make them come alive.

Subscribe to get This Day in History stories straight to your inbox every day!