Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 26
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Hundredth Anniversary of Founding to Be Celebrated by
Tea Vallao monin CrPV
Story of The News and Associated Enterprises-Texas Almanac and
State Industrial Guide, and Radio Stations WFAA and KGKO
The Texas Almanac is part of a larger
journalistic enterprise which also in-
cludes The Dallas Morning News and
radio stations WFAA and KGKO. To-
gether they comprise an institution
unique in the Lone Star State and one
recognized to be among the foremost of
The News-as this total enterprise is
known familiarly to hundreds of thou-
sands of readers and listeners through-
out the Southwest-represents the latest
word in modern, streamlined journalism.
It is staffed and equipped in all its de-
partments to render that maximum of
public service required by people aware
of the fact that they are living through
one of the great crises of world history
and who desire to be fully informed of
all that is happening about them.
The concept of a type of journalism
adapted to the uncertain present and the
even more challenging world of tomor-
row demands greater boldness and tac-
tical skill, both in planning and execu-
tion, than the press has ever before been
called upon to furnish. By means of its
daily newspaper, the two radio stations
and this more leisurely medium of fact,
the Texas Almanac, The News largely
realizes this newer concept of mid-twen-
Oldest Business Institution.
There is institutional pride, of course,
in the fact that The News is the oldest
business institution in Texas. Founded at
Galveston on April 11, 1842, The News
alone among all its contemporaries has
survived from that period of the free and
independent Republic of Texas.
The chief publication of The News is
also the oldest newspaper, daily or
otherwise, in Texas. By virtue of its
consolidation on Jan. 1, 1941, with the
Semi-Weekly Farm News-the surviving
pioneer unit of the original News started
in Galveston-The Dallas Morning News
carries the exact and concurrent age of
its publishing company. Both newspaper
and publishing institution, therefore, will
celebrate their centennial in April of
Mere survival, though, can not explain
the value and prestige of an institution.
It is, rather, a result, not the cause. In
this case it is the result of a remarkable
record of performance during the past
ninety-nine years. The traditions and
well-tempered skills forged in this ex-
tended performance comprise the great
heritage of The News.
When The News began publication al-
most a century ago, Texas was a strug-
gling, near-bankrupt land of less than
125,000 people with a precarious present
and an even more uncertain future. The
United States had rebuffed their first
offer to enter the American Union, and
Texans seriously considered asking to be
taken into the British Empire as an
alternative to falling once more under
Its home city of Galveston was in fact
only a straggling seaport village of
scarcely more than 1,000 inhabitants. Its
future home of Dallas was virtually un-
known, a one-year-old hamlet far inland
on the northern fringe of white settle-
ment. There were no roads worthy of
the name or any railroads or telegraph
lines in any part of the vast Southwest-
ern country, nine tenths of which was
still the domain of the Indian, the wild
mustang and the buffalo.
Started by First Printer.
A less promising prospect for the pub-
lication and distribution of a daily news-
paper could hardly be imagined than
that which faced Samuel Bangs, the pio-
neer Texas printer who brought out the
first issue of the Daily News at Galves-
ton on April 11, 1842. He was assisted by
his brother-in-law, George H. French.
That is why, after a few months at the
most, The News dropped from daily to
weekly issue-the form by which the
paper built up its strength and reputa-
tion before the War Between the States.
The News survived the excessively high
mortality rate for newspapers in Galves-
ton and in Texas because it fell in 1844
into the hands of a man of surpassing
ability, Willard Richardson. This Yan-
kee-born but Southern-reared journalist
must be considered the true founder of
The News, even though he took over
after a succession of owners and editors
had succeeded in barely keeping it alive
during its first eighteen months of
Willard Richardson directed the des-
tiny of The News from 1844 until his
death in 1875. This was a remarkable
period in the history of Texas. These
years saw the state enter the American
Union, then pass through a time of tre-
mendous growth and development during
the 1850's. They next witnessed secession
and Civil War and then the ordeal of
Reconstruction, with final redemption
from "the thief and the scalawag" in the
last years of Richardson's life.
The News under its founders was at the
forefront of leadership in the course
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/28/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.