By RUTH MORGAN
The headline of the first Starkville Daily News issued October 31, 1960 read, “GOOD MORNING!” The entire article is printed below:
"TODAY marks the climax to a 15 year-old dream….the conclusion to many years of negotiations….the completion of months of detailed planning, moving, hiring and arranging. And today also brings the final relief that every father knows after he has spent the night pacing the floor of the maternity ward.
The STARKVILLE DAILY NEWS is born. And we want you to consider it a member of YOUR family.
From the outset, the 21 of us who make up the staff of your Starkville Daily News pledge to you our talents, abilities, and energies to the wholesome upbuilding of this community and area. This challenge is tremendous. The opportunities for service are unlimited.
Your Starkville Daily News will be a hometown newspaper—interested in every phase of community life. We will NOT be metropolitan in nature, and neither influenced nor dominated by any metropolitan connection. We will NOT be in the commercial printing or office supply business. Our efforts will be wholly and completely devoted to the publishing of a daily newspaper which will be a credit to Starkville, Miss. State University, and the trade area which surrounds and supports this growing city.
Again, we are humbly grateful for the response given to us here in Starkville and at Miss. State University. We sincerely appreciate the kind things Morris and Henry Meyer have had to say about us. This is a wonderful community—and the warm welcome we have received makes us even more determined to make the Starkville Daily News a publication which you can claim with pride.
We want you to drop in to see us at our modern new office in downtown Starkville soon. We’re at 101 South Washington—almost equidistant between the City Hall and the Court House. Three telephone lines are in operation to serve you: 2121, 2122 and 2132. Full leased wire reports of the Associated Press serve the Starkville Daily News. And such direct communication is a TWO-way avenue, for over the AP lines we’ll be channeling prime news from this city and area to the rest of the state—and the nation.
You’ll soon be meeting all our staff members. Many of them you already know. ALL are eager to serve you. And prompt distribution of the Starkville Daily News will be made by our corps of 20 carrier boys who will start on their routes every morning at 5 o’clock.
They are a wonderful group, and have already gained several hundred new subscribers through the contacts they have made this week. These have been added to the thousands of paid-up subscribers to the Starkville News (weekly)—which means that your Starkville Daily News, right from the start, has the largest circulation in the history of any newspaper ever printed in this city or county. And it’s paid circulation….which means the Starkville Daily News is an invited guest in the home.
In addition to this coverage, 2 news vending machines and honor racks have been distributed over the city and campus—all in strategic places. Others will be added.
Plans are already being made for several motor routes which will reach out many miles from Starkville.
As the years roll by, we humbly feel that the Starkville Daily News will be the means for motivating growth and progress. We will be here to promote those projects which are for the betterment of the community….to uphold that which is just and decent….and to reflect the very pulse beat of this area.
Specifically, we will be at the elbow of city and county officials to give support, to every deserving undertaking. We will be reflecting the advantages of this city in order to claim new industrial jobs. The editorial voice of this newspaper will be ever clear—calling on all citizens to display the great American heritage of self-expression.
And we will be ever mindful of the One who gives us the strength to work and the vision to inspire. The Starkville Daily News will not thrive on the sensational. Rather, it will be a hometown family newspaper which can be read aloud in the family circle. Stories of crime and violence will be used only when they are of such nature as to claim pressing local interest or concern.
Yes, it’s a great new day. And tomorrow will be another….and the day after another. Your Starkville Daily News will be in your hands, before breakfast, six day a week—Monday throughout Saturday. And we’re glad YOU are in our family of readers.
Campus News Column Will Be Featured
In this first issue of the Starkville Daily News, you will find a column by Bob McHaney covering student activities on the Mississippi State University campus. Bob is a member of the Daily News staff on the campus, and his column will be a regular feature.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. L. McHaney of West Point. Bob is a junior at State and is majoring in journalism. After getting his degree, he plans to make a career in the small daily newspaper field.
Bob is prominent in student activities and a member of the Reflector staff.
Another State University student, W. G. “Buddy” Coleman is the campus circulation manager for the Daily News. Buddy is establishing dormitory routes for the Daily News and a copy of this issue is being delivered to students living in the dormitories. The Daily News will also be on sale at handy racks on the campus and students can buy copies each morning at the College Grill entrance where newspapers are sold.
The Daily News will feature complete coverage of Mississippi State University and the campus activities of its students. Special sports coverage will keep students and faculty informed on the Maroon’s athletic activities both on the campus and away.
The First National Bank of West Point congratulated the City of Starkville and Surrounding Area.
You are to be congratulated in that you now have a daily newspaper. You will soon realize that this mark of progress will add to the development of every phase of your community life. This will be YOUR newspaper and in it you will find items of interest that no other newspaper will provide for you. You will have every reason to be justly proud of it and one to which you will gladly lend your support.
Henry Harris is to be congratulated in that he selected your city and section for a further venture of expansion in the newspaper business. Your people possess a cooperative spirit and a vision for growth, and Henry just could not have chosen a finer place to establish a newspaper. Our best wishes to the Starkville Daily News.
The cost of the paper and publisher, by carrier boy, is $15.60 per year. By mail the cost is $7. William Henry Harris is the publisher; Sherrill Nash, the editor of the successor to Starkville News founded in 1901 and The East Mississippi Times founded in 1869.A poem published in the local newspaper in 1913 reprinted from The Denver Post describes a hometown paper:
The Old Home Town Paper
When the even’ shades is fallin’ at the end of the day.
An’ a feller rests from labor, smokin’ a his pipe o clay.
There's nothin’ does him so much good, be fortune up or down
As the little country paper from his old home town.
It ain’t a thing of beauty and its print ain’t always clean
But it straightens out his temper when a feller’s feein’ mean.
It takes the wrinkles off his face and brushes off the frown
That little country paper from his old home town.
It tells of all the parties an’ the balls of Pumpkin Row
‘Bout who’s spent Sunday with who’s girl, an’ how the crops’ll grow.
An’ how it keeps a feller posted ‘bout who’s up and who’s down
That little country paper from his old home town.
Now, I like to read the dailies an’ the story papers too;
An’ at times the yaller novels an’ some other trash—don’t you?
But when I want some readin’ that’ll brush away a frown
I want the little country paper from my old home town."