Sunday, March 28, 2010

Miami Crime Wave - June 3, 1950

Back before the Internet and 24 hour cable news, there were newspapers. Real newspapers.

In 1950 Miami had two daily newspapers, the Miami Herald and a competitor, the much smaller Miami News.

(Erik Maza at Miami New Times reminded us of just how different the Miami New was from the Herald.)

And the Miami of 60 years ago bore no resemblance to the Miami of today; it was a winter tourist destination but in the summer it was a humid, mosquito-infested, sleepy backwater.

However, if things got too boring or sweaty, you could always hop a sleek 4-engine DC-6 and head down to Havana which was just an hour away!

The Herald had a huge reporting staff. The News had to make do with a staff about half the size of the Herald's.

The Herald came out in the morning and the News was an afternoon paper. The News catered to a reader who had probably seen the Herald that morning. The paper had to have a different look and editorial approach which it delivered that in more ways than one.


The feisty and scrappy News grabbed the attention of its readers in ways the stodgy and staid Herald couldn't. The front page of the News used headlines that were bold and splashy.

And it printed crime stories. Lots of crime stories.

Consider the front page of the June 3, 1950 edition of the News.

There was the main story about a couple of teenage "boy bandits" who made their getaway on a "high-powered motorcycle."

Then there was the story about an off-duty cop who was attacked by three boys. The cop shot all three in a "gun-battle" that killed one of the boys, a 15 year-old Booker T. Washington high school student.

And if that wasn't enough crime to satisfy you, there was the story headlined: "His Wife Plotted To Murder Him, Ex-Beach Patrolman Wells Testifies."

The News finally folded in 1989, no longer able to compete with the Herald.

But the paper still lives on Google!

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff. What I really liked about the News were the columnists.

    Feisty, opinionated, knowledgeable -- also the comics page was superior.

    Don't forget, the News carried Zippy the Pinhead!


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