Happy birthday, PDN! Our first issue came off the presses 99 years ago today

The above-the-fold front page of the inaugural edition of the Port Angeles Evening News

The above-the-fold front page of the inaugural edition of the Port Angeles Evening News

On April 10, 1916 — 99 years ago today — a daily newspaper calling itself the Port Angeles Evening News began publication.

It grew out of the weeklies Tribune-Times and Olympic Leader, owned by rival editors-publishers A.A. Smith and E.B. Webster, respectively.

Smith and Webster, sensing the boon that a redeveloped downtown Port Angeles brought to the economy as well as advertising pressures from a competing newspaper, The Herald, combined forces to publish the Evening News.

Webster assumed full ownership a few years later, and it would remain in the Webster family for about 50 more years.

That first issue 99 years ago — carrying a banner headline atop Page 1 suggesting: “If You Like the Looks of the Evening News, Subscribe” — also had these nuggets:

■ A fashionable etching of “A Dress for the Promenade,” which takes special care not to reveal even an ankle.

■ The Star Theater of Port Angeles advertising the silent movie “The Price,” saying: “It is a modern story of love, jealousy and revenge in which the coming of love to an ill-mated man in the form of his secretary causes jealousy on the part of the neglected wife.”

■ Sequim expecting the largest crowd of any May Day since inauguration of the farm town event that would go on to celebrate the irrigation of the Dungeness Valley.

■ In a dispatch from Washington, D.C., a Rep. Jones saying that “the altruistic arguments for retaining possession of the Philippine Islands rests on commercialism, and benevolence is cast aside.”

■ News from Seattle noting that a general strike of the shingle weavers union throughout all territory north of California and west of the Missouri River was ordered, providing that mill owners refuse to raise wages that were reduced two yeas ago.

■ And protests continuing of a Port Angeles city ordinance banning cows from city streets.

(City Councilman Bige­low suggested a compromise that each of the 95 protesting families be allowed to keep one cow, to at least cut down the number of bovines running through the city.)

Reflecting the growth of both the North Olympic Peninsula and the newspaper itself, the Port Angeles Evening News morphed into the Peninsula Daily News in the 1970s, and switched to morning publication in the 1990s.

Something Smith and Webster definitely couldn’t envision in 1916: www.peninsuladailynews.com.

In the new millennium, the website quickly became the North Olympic Peninsula’s largest, logging page views of up to 1.5 million monthly, according to its analytics.

Internet aside, a daily newspaper with “News” in the nameplate has published six days a week continuously for 99 years.

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