1992-music

Sometimes I lay awake at night, thinking about how if Newsies (1992) had been a commercial success, Disneyland and World could’ve had Newsies-themed attractions and parades and possibly character meet-and-greets.

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Newsboy Strike of 1899

And while you listen to Newsies for the umpteenth time today, I ask you to remember those very young, very real newsboys who started it all.

When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst decided to raise the price of a newsboy bundle of papers from 50 cents per hundred to 60 cents, purely to increase the sales of their newspaper. They didn’t think about the toll that would take on the kids that hauled their papers around, selling them for pennies to support themselves and families. These newspaper tycoons didn’t think those boys would realize how unfair that was on them. They clearly didn’t think they were smart enough.

On July 21, 1899, a bunch of angry kids with no money refused to sell those newspapers, demanding that the owners of the papers lower the price back. Within weeks, that small group of kids turned into 5,000 that successfully stopped traffic from coming across the Brooklyn bridge. Not only did that stop paper distribution in the city, but also in most New England cities, which is a HUGE feat. The newspapers tried to get men to sell the papers, but even those men sided with newsboys and refused to sell

After two weeks, Pulitzer & Hearst and the newsboys came to an agreement: the price would not be lowered, but the newspaper companies would now buy back all unsold newspapers; and on August 2, 1899, the strike ended.

The story of the strike is SO. IMPORTANT. These boys are among the earliest examples of not only unions, but among youth rights. These kids brought to light the awful conditions in which the youth of cities worked. They slaved away rain or shine, snow or sleet, well or sick, night or day. And those newsboys didn’t even work in factories, where lives were at risk with all of the dangerous equipment being operated by children. There were no breaks, no provided water or snacks, or anything that we now take for granted because we are used to having our rights as workers respected, thanks in part to these newsboys.

Not only that, but these boys are one of the earliest examples of youth movements! These kids…these CHILDREN…were able to effectively shut down aN ENTIRE. CITY. More importantly, they shut down New York. They are proof of the power that youth can have when banded together. So if you ever think that your voice doesn’t matter, think of these boys and how a few turned into thousands.

I know when we think of Newsies, we think of beautiful dancing gay boys who belt their hearts out about Santa Fe. But today, think about the very real boys who slaved for their rights, and ultimately our rights. Because of their strike, our rights are now respected as working individuals of this country. Because of their strike, the rights of the youth of this country are now respected.

Thank you. Thank you to the boys who refused to be stepped on. Thank you to the boys who refused to give up. Thank you to the boys who stopped the World.

Today in 1996 a musical about a gay couple, a lesbian couple, a straight couple, and AIDS came out. This show is called Rent. A few years earlier in 1992 a musical about a gay couple, a lesbian couple, a straight couple, and AIDS came out. The show is called the Falsettos. Happy Birthday to both of these amazing shows!!

listen im angsty but im not ‘steal-a-horse-then-ride-it-through-the-streets-of-new-york-city’ angsty