Chicago Tribune

From Academic Kids

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The Chicago Tribune, formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper", remains the leading newspaper of the Midwest of the United States.



Founded in 1847, the Tribune published its first edition on June 10, as a Know Nothing paper. It consisted mostly of columns that were xenophobic, with constant foreigner and Roman Catholic bashing. The xenophobia was toned down, but the paper began promoting temperance. Eight years later when "Long" John Wentworth entered his second term as mayor of Chicago, he sold The Chicago Democrat to Joseph Medill and five partners. Before and during the American Civil War, Joseph Medill pushed an abolitionist agenda and strongly supported Abraham Lincoln, whom he persuaded to run for the Presidency in 1860. The paper remained a strong force in Republican politics for years afterwards. Medill served as mayor of Chicago for one term after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Under the 20th century editorship of Col. Robert R. McCormick the paper was strongly isolationist and actively biased in its coverage of political news and social trends, calling itself "The American Paper for Americans," excoriating the Democrats and the New Deal, resolutely disdainful of the British and French, and greatly enthusiastic for Chiang Kai-shek and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. McCormick died in 1955, just four days before Richard J. Daley was elected mayor for the first time.

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Chicago Tribune

The Tribune 's legendary sports editor Arch Ward created the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1933 as part of the city's Century of Progress exposition. The Tribune 's reputation for innovation extended to radio -- it bought an early station, WDAP, in 1924 and renamed it WGN, as in "World's Greatest Newspaper," and started WGN-TV on April 5, 1948.

Many of the biases of the Tribune's past were consigned to the past under Clayton Kirkpatrick, who edited the newspaper from 1969 to 1979. Notably, in 1974, in a break with tradition that caused a nationwide stir, the Tribune called for the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon after first publishing the complete 246,000-word text of the famous Watergate tapes.

Subsequently the Tribune has been a leader on the Internet, acquiring 10 percent of America Online in the early 1990's, then launching such Web sites as ( (1995), ( (1996), and ( (1999). In 2002 it launched a tabloid newspaper targeted at 18- to 34-year-olds known as RedEye.

Notable stories

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Front page of the Tribune incorrectly reporting that Dewey won the 1948 presidential election

One of the great scoops in Tribune history came when it obtained the text of the Treaty of Versailles in June of 1919. Another was its revelation of U.S. war plans on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack.

The paper is also well known for a mistake it made during the 1948 presidential election. At that time, much of its composing room staff was on strike, and early returns led the paper to believe that the Republican candidate Thomas Dewey would win. An early edition of the next day's paper carried the headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN", turning the paper into a collector's item when it turned out that Harry S. Truman won and proudly brandished it in a famous photo.

Although under Col. McCormick the Tribune for years refused to participate in the Pulitzer Prize competition, it has won 24 of the awards over the years, including many for editorial writing.

The Tribune Company

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Tribune Tower, Raymond Hood & Howells, architects, opened 1925

The Chicago Tribune is the founding business unit of The Tribune Company, which includes many newspapers and television stations around the country. In Chicago, Tribune owns the WGN radio station (720 AM) and WGN-TV (Channel 9). The Tribune Company also owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The Tribune Company owned The New York Daily News from its 1919 founding until its 1991 sale to Robert Maxwell. The founder of the News, Capt. Joseph Patterson and Col. McCormick, were both descendants of Medill. Both were also enthusiasts for simplified spelling, another hallmark of their papers.

Since 1925, the Chicago Tribune has been housed in the Gothic Tribune Tower, the result of a famous design competition.




See also

Tribune Tower

External link

sv:Chicago Tribune


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