Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

September 21, 1784
The Nation’s First Daily Newspaper Began Publication

Do you get a newspaper delivered to your house each day? The nation’s first daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, began publication on September 21, 1784. Many independent newspapers ran before that on a weekly or monthly basis. America’s first independent newspaper, the New England Courant, was published by Benjamin Franklin’s older brother in 1721. By the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, there were 37 independent newspapers to keep the colonists informed.

During the 1780s and 1790s, citizens turned more and more to the press to keep up with political changes in the country. In response, several city newspapers began publishing daily.

The newspapers debated new amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Of course, it was the First Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of the press, that ensured newspapers would remain an important source of political debate and news. Big events such as the Spanish-American War created even greater markets for dailies. What do you like to read about in your local daily newspaper?