Black history month
This Week in History
West Palm Beach
World War II
The square building at the center of this photo is the Palm Beach Post-Times building on Datura in 1926. The view is from Dixie Highway looking East down Datura. The Harvey Building, still under construction, is in the background, and the West Palm Beach Fire Department and their equipment are in the foreground. (Courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County)
Oct. 23, 1961: Demolition nears completion on the old Post-Times building at 328 Datura in West Palm Beach. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
The Palm Beach Post gets a new building
July 1960: Aerial shot of the new Post-Times facility on South Dixie Highway.
Nov. 13, 1960: About 2,500 people attend the grand opening of The Palm Beach Post-Times’ new building. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
About 1,000 members of the public tour The Palm Beach Post-Times’ new building. The hooks hanging from the ceiling carried copy to linotype operators. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
In the composing room in 1960 (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
L. Boswell works with a stereotype dry mat, part of the printing press process of the day. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
Journalists work in the newsroom as a maintenance man installs a sign. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
The copy desk the day after John F. Kennedy was elected 35th president of the United States. In those days the copy desk was also called the “U-desk” because of the shape of the desk (the boss sat in the middle to control copy flow). The term persists today. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
The Palm Beach Post-Times’ downtown Lake Worth bureau in the 1960s. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
Tags: buildings, newspapers, photos, West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Life magazine welcomes the 1913 social season: “The dawn of another season finds Palm Beach more beautiful than ever, and the glorious sunshiny days are enchanting to the many visitors who left their northern homes in snow and bitter cold. The Breakers opened its doors Christmas Eve, as usual, with many of its annual visitors just waiting for that day to come. President Taft and his party, returning from the Canal trip, were among the early guests, and many other well-known people are staying there for the winter.”
Other “distinguished visitors” include Rockefellers, Pullmans, McLeans and Drexel Biddles.
The sporting section includes news of golf, baseball, fishing, bathing (in the pool and in the surf), and the latest in dance, “the dancing particularly being of a decidedly gymnastic nature, with the 1913 innovations of turkey trotting, bunny hugging, chicken flipping, alligator wiggling, hippopotamus wabbling, and the tango.”
Palm Beach Life, Jan. 21, 1913
Other diversions are listed in the Daily Program: midday and evening concerts on The Breakers porch, upcoming golf tournaments, and excursions to Miami and “all points on Lake Worth, including Munyon’s Island, the Houseboat, Bethesda-by-the-Sea and Pineapple Plantation.”
Palm Beach Daily Program Jan. 21, 1913
“Long auto trip from Boston to Palm Beach” was a front-page headline in the Jan. 21, 1913 issue of the Palm Beach Daily News. The Boyntons of Wollaston, Mass., “completed one of the most notable automobile trips ever made in this country, covering 2,600 miles in a four-cylinder White car.”
Palm Beach Daily News, Jan. 21, 1913
Tags: hotels, newspapers, Palm Beach
Happy New Year from 1930! “Sirens and songs, bells and bugles, horns and hammers blared and beat a rhythmless tune to welcome the birth of a young 1930 over the city at midnight.” Click on the image to browse the Jan. 1, 1930 edition of The Palm Beach Post.
Tags: holiday, newspapers
It’s a password of sorts among longtime readers of The Palm Beach Post. They’ll refer to “the Post-Times.”
If you’re a newcomer, or too young to remember, the phrase refers to when Palm Beach Newspapers, the former parent company of the Palm Beach Post, also published an afternoon entity: the Palm Beach Times.
The afternoon Evening Times, which dated all the way back to the Roaring ’20s, has been gone now a quarter-century this week.
The weekly Palm Beach County, founded in 1909, became the daily Palm Beach Post in January 1916. The Times was founded Sept. 8, 1922. The two newspapers published a joint Sunday edition. Operators answered the phone “Post-Times,” and longtime residents still use the term. And yes, it is a partial inspiration for the title of this history column.
Palm Beach casino owner E.R. Bradley bought the two papers in 1934, and sold them in 1947 to the Perry family, owner of 28 newspapers.
John Perry, an engineer, businessman and inventor, inherited the chain when his father died in 1953.
He sold in 1969 to Cox Enterprises, owner of newspapers, broadcast outlets, car auctions and cable companies.
The Times was renamed the Evening Times in 1979.
Eight years later, like most afternoon papers, it would fall victim to the evening television news.
In May 1987, it merged with the Post and the afternoon edition of the Post carried both mastheads. On Sept. 25, 1987, the last newspaper bearing double mastheads was published, and the Evening Times was history.
This van, as seen on May 6, 1964, was part of the ‘Post-Times’ coverage of Palm Beach County when the Times was still publishing. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
A related plea for help: For decades, until newspapers were preserved on microfilm, the Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Times were kept in binders in storage rooms. At some point, someone walked off with the Times for the month of September 1928.
The importance of that — and a possible reason for its theft — was that on Sept. 16, 1928, came the great Okeechobee hurricane, whose death toll ranks second among all events in U.S. history and which was arguably the most influential single event in Palm Beach County’s history.
Needless to say, the weeks of coverage before and after the storm are of great historical import but are, for now, lost to scholars.
If you have any papers from that month, please contact the Post or the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.
Lovers of “Bat Boy” wept five years ago this week when the Weekly World News ended its run of absolutely, positively true stories of portals to hell, hitchhiking demons and aliens befriending sitting U.S. presidents.
On Aug. 27, 2007, supermarket checkout counters hosted the last print edition of the Boca Raton-based tabloid, “the world’s only reliable news.”
Generoso Pope, who’d created the National Enquirer empire and moved his operations to Lantana in 1971, started the Weekly World News in 1979 only because he didn’t want the old black-and-white printers to go to waste after he bought color printers for the Enquirer.
For two decades, the brains behind the paper was Eddie Clontz, who died of diabetes complications in 2004. He was only 56.
The paper discovered missing World War II bombers on the moon. Its space alien endorsed Bill Clinton for president.
After it revealed the existence of baby ghosts, some 1,000 readers wrote in, wanting to adopt.
Clontz’s mantra: Let the source tell the story.
As for being a reliable source, well, that was for the readers to decide.
Long before The Onion, the Weekly served two disparate audiences: people who knew it for the goof it was, and people the first group smirked at — those who actually believed it.
“There were days when I’d leave and my face and my stomach would hurt from laughing,” Bob Lind of Boca Raton said in a Palm Beach Post article at the time of the paper’s closing .
Lind is the singer/songwriter most famous for Elusive Butterfly, and he was a writer at the Weekly for more than 10 years.
The Weekly had moved with the Enquirer from Lantana to Boca Raton in 1999. It stayed when the Enquirer relocated to New York in 2005.
At the height of the paper’s circulation boom in the early ’90s, more than a million readers bought a copy each week. Near the end, circulation slipped below 90,000. That’s when the plug was pulled on the print edition .
Fear not: You still can get the latest about Bat Boy, the iconic large-eyed child with bat ears and pointy teeth. Just go to weeklyworldnews.com. Its recent headlines: “Girls Bat Boy Would Like to Date” and “Asteroid to Destroy the Moon on September 30, 2012.”
You’ve been warned.
Nov. 7, 1993: Weekly World News Editor Eddie Clontz (center) shows off two splashy covers of the Weekly World News to appreciative staff members and an otherworldly visitor. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)