History of The Herald

Picture 4(At left: The first editorial board of The Brown Daily Herald, in a Commencement issue published on June 17, 1892.)

To visit the Brown Daily Herald Digital Archive, from which this image and much of this information was taken, please visit http://dl.lib.brown.edu/dbdh. For more information about the digitization project, please visit the Digitization Project page.

The inaugural issue of The Brown Daily Herald is almost 117 years old, and four pages long. On that day — Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1891 — the Herald's editors wrote somberly of their purpose in undertaking the sixth daily college newspaper in the country:

"This issue begins the career of the Brown Daily Herald. Whether it shall remain as one of the fixtures of Brown or die a natural death is left to the students themselves. ... The Herald will not lay claim to any literary merit but will contain only the college news, notices and announcements that may be of daily interest to college men. ... We ask a fair trial and we will demonstrate our right to live."

In the newspaper's early years, editors set type at a little press in the wee hours of the morning at the foot of a slumbering College Hill. Supposedly, the notoriously alcoholic press operator delayed the Herald's printing on more than one occasion. And today's incoming freshman class would be relieved to know that The Herald no longer publishes the University's anthropomorphic records for each entering class as front page news. The average weight of men in the class of 1908 their freshman year? 139.4 pounds. Height? 5'9.1".

These relics of turn-of-the-century college life in The Herald's archives are overshadowed by graver moments in history that have shaken Brown's campus — World Wars I and II, Vietnam. As race relations made headlines in the 1960s, The Herald's tone shifted with a changing University, becoming more provocative and — maybe — more self-aware. "Blacks Set To Leave University," reads a headline from Dec. 5, 1968, when the majority of black students walked out after President Heffner refused to set an 11 percent quota for black students at Brown and Pembroke colleges.

Much has changed at The Herald in the last 120 years. Click here for more on The Herald Today.

Since 1891

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