July 30, 1899: “The Newsboys’ Strike.”

The Newsboys’ Strike.

Mass Meeting Last Night at Which Boycotted Papers Were Denounced.


The striking newsboys had a mass meeting last night at the corner of Johnson and Washington streets. At times the crowd of passersby who stopped to hear wht they had to say numbered several hundred. Several of the lads spoke, the best among them being George Thompson, nicknamed “Micky,” a familiar figure on teh Eagle corner. He denounced the World and Journal in strong terms, but his language was at all times entirely proper. His plea was chiefly for funds for the newsboys’ outing. He said that as a result of that outing a Newsboys’ Assoiciation would be formed.

Boys who scabbed were denounced.

“They are mostly Italians and the sons of foreigners,” the young orator declared. “They are willing to work for nothing. You see these night hawks. They are fly by nights, here to-day and at Coney Island to-morrow. Most of us boys have regular corners and regular trade. There is one class of boys I don’t blame for scabbing. These are the poor fellows who have no homes. They are not to be blamed if they do anything to make a few cents. Some of the boys who have homes say their mothers complain because they don’t bring in as much money as before. Mine don’t, but then she looks into these things different. Now, don’t you boys sell the World. Sell the Eagle and other papers that treat us right, and people, don’t you buy the yaller sheet.”

At intervals during his speech other newsboys passed a cigar box for pennies and the collections seemed to please the youngsters.

Source: “The Newsboys’ Strike.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 30 July 1899, p. 36.