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The Star

The Star

The Star was founded by the radical journalist and Irish Nationalist MP, T. P. O'Connor, in 1887. O'Connor was the editor but much of the work was done by his assistant, H. W. Massingham. Other radicals who worked for The Star included George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Belfort Bax, William Clarke, H. N. Brailsford and Ernest Parke.

Ernest Parke's reporting on the Jack the Ripper case increased the circulation of the newspaper. One important innovation introduced by The Star was the regular political cartoon. The Star was the first newspaper to employ David Low when they brought him over from Australia in 1919.

The Star ceased publication in 1960.

I made an excellent choice of an assistant editor of The star in the late Mr. H. Massingham, who was then in the obscurity of a syndicate agency of small importance; and for the first time his brilliant pen got a real scope. He used to talk with rapture of a gentleman whose name neither I nor, indeed, anybody else had ever heard before; his name was George Bernard Shaw; he was appointed as one of the assistant leader-writers.

I was recommended by Sir John Robinson, of the Daily News, to a young man named Ernest Parke, then working in the office of a City newspaper. Ernest Parke was then a young, flossy-haired man, with a keen face, a lithe and agile body, a tremendous flair for news, and capable of twenty-four hours' work, if necessary, in a single day. He was, as he is, a singular mixture of shrewdness and ideals; and intense Radical, and at the same time a thoroughly practical journalist. He might be trusted to work up any sensational news of the day, and helped, with Jack the Ripper, to make gigantic circulations hitherto unparalleled in evening journalism.

I recollect very well reading the first number of T. O'Connor's Star (that was in 1888). I read it over my cocoa and aerated bread lunch - with excited enjoyment. T. O'Connor, a journalist of genius, really was the founder of the New Journalism which ousted those dull morning papers ten years afterwards. His Star offered good reading from many pens, some already famous, some to be. He was bold enough also to declare a policy of justice for the under dogs. "The rich, the privileged, the prosperous," he wrote, "need no guardian or advocate; the poor, the weak, the beaten require the work and word of every humane man and woman to stand between them and the world."


The Star - History

AN INDEX TO THE FICTION PUBLISHED IN

Homepage | Serials | Short Stories | History of The Star | F. W. Thomas

The first issue of The Star appeared on the streets of London on January 17, 1888. A four-page broadsheet that was published six-days-a-week, it was priced like other evening newspapers at one halfpenny. The founder and very first editor of The Star was Thomas Power O'Connor (1848-1929), an Irish Nationalist M.P. and journalist who was born in Athlone and educated at Queen's College in Galway. On the front page of the opening issue of The Star was O'Connor's declaration of editorial policy, promising that The Star would champion the cause of the underprivileged and highlight the needs of working class families. To quote from O'Connor's editorial of the first issue: "The rich, the privileged, the prosperous need no guardian or advocate the poor, the weak, the beaten require the work and word of every humane man and woman to stand between them and the world." Published by the Star Newspaper Company from its original offices in Stonecutter Street near Ludgate Circus in E.C.4, The Star provided many Londoners with a voice not provided by certain other evening newspapers, often taking a controversial stand against government policies of the day. Very much a radical newspaper, typically The Star would strongly oppose military action (The Star was vehement in its opposition to the Boer War) and would represent the plight of workers in any trade union disputes. A liberal newspaper from its inception, The Star remained so for its entire lifespan, fighting for social justice and a better life for the poor.

From the beginning O'Connor was ably assisted by his right-hand man, assistant editor Henry W. Massingham (1860-1924), a talented journalist who succeeded O'Connor as editor in 1890. His tenure as editor ended the following year however, when Ernest Parke took over the role, remaining in the position until 1918. The early success of the newspaper was also down to a team of gifted and illustrious writers who contributed to The Star on a regular basis. Among these were George Bernard Shaw, James Douglas, Thomas Marlowe, H. N. Brailsford, William Clarke and Ernest Belford Bax. O'Connor himself went on to found and edit The Sun in 1893. An author of several books, he served in parliament for several decades until his death in 1929.


Thomas Power O'Connor (1848-1929)

It didn't take long for The Star to attract a huge readership among the population of the capital. In February 1888 the average daily circulation stood at 125,000 copies. In the years to follow the circulation of the newspaper rose dramatically. By the summer of 1895 The Star was achieving a daily net sale in excess of 150,000 copies. At this time the paper proudly claimed to have the "largest circulation of any evening paper in the kingdom." Furthermore, a little known fact is that for a brief period there was another version of The Star produced by the same publisher, The Weekly Star, which ran from between 1892 and 1894. Despite this early success, very early issues of The Star were less than attractive in terms of layout, with seven columns per page and almost half of the front page taken up by adverts. However, the overall look was typical of evening newspapers in this period. This was soon to change though. By the mid 1890s numerous drawings and illustrations were interspersed with the text. With the inclusion of short stories and fiction serials from 1896, along with the "Woman's World" feature, Edith Carrington's wildlife diary, literary reviews and Captain Coe's long-running horse racing column, it is no surprise that The Star's readership increased dramatically in the final years of Queen Victoria's reign. Despite these changes, the existing "Mainly About People," "Notes of the Day" and "What We Think" columns remained popular features for many years to come. The Star also gained an increased readership for its sensational reporting of the Jack the Ripper murders in London. The editors of the paper were certainly not afraid to experiment. A pioneering feature of The Star in the 1890s was the inclusion of a political cartoon, which proved a true innovation that was inevitably emulated by other newspapers.

The Star had to contend with stiff competion though. In the early years The Star competed against a number of other evening newspapers in London, among which were the Pall Mall Gazette, the Globe, the Evening Mail and the Evening Post. The Evening News in particular proved to be a worthy adversary. Indeed, in June 1895 an argument flared up between the editors of The Star and Evening News with both papers challenging the other's circulation figures. The Evening News felt the need to point out that a newspaper's circulation was not the same as its actual net sale, while also challenging the basic accuracy of The Star's circulation figures. The Star meanwhile firmily stood by its own claims and refuted the allegations of its rival, remarking that their own circulation figures had been independently verified. After a few more tit-for-tat exchanges, bored readers were no doubt pleased when both papers thankfully fell silent on the subject!

Despite such differences of opinion between The Star and its rival the Evening News, it is beyond dispute that the circulation of The Star increased dramatically in the final years of the nineteenth century. With the paper going from strength to strength, a special edition of The Star was issued on January 17, 1898, to mark the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the newspaper. Entitled "After Ten Years," the commemorative issue included several excellent line drawings, numerous articles and messages of congratulation from newspaper editors around the world. These were golden days in the newspaper's history, and with the beginning of a new century, The Star continued to flourish under the editorship of Ernest Parke.

Nevertheless, the fiercely competitive evening newspaper market in London proved too much for some titles. By the early years of the twentieth century, a number of rival papers were struggling to survive. One by one they folded until London was left with three surviving evening papers: The Star, the Evening News and the Evening Standard. Although managing to outlast the likes of the Pall Mall Gazette and the Evening Post, in May of 1912 The Star fell under the ownership of the Cadbury newspaper empire. At this point the sister paper to The Star, the national daily the Morning Leader, which like The Star was owned and published by the Star Newspaper Company in Stonecutter Street, merged with George Cadbury's newspaper the Daily News. The amalgamation of the two titles resulted in the Daily News and Leader, which became the new companion newspaper to The Star. On July 1, 1912, the headquarters of The Star were moved from their old premises in Stonecutter Street and relocated to nearby Bouverie Street, where they shared offices with the Daily News and Leader. From this point The Star was published by the Daily News Ltd, a company which belonged to the Cadbury family. Three years later, in May of 1915, The Star absorbed the short-lived Echo and London Evening Chronicle. Over the ensuing four months the newly merged paper bore the full title The Star and Echo, until the following August when it was once again known simply as The Star.

Such changes aside, the years following the acquisition of The Star by the Cadbury empire saw it continue to grow in size (with the exception of during the Great War when paper shortages limited the size of all newspapers) and popularity, with the estimable Ernest Parke remaining as editor. Happily for the many loyal readers The Star had attained over the years, there was little disruption resultant from the takeover. Fortunately the new owners were strong supporters of the Liberal party, so that the editorial bias of The Star went largely unchanged. A sense of continuity was assured, and this factor played a major part in the enduring popularity of The Star, with the paper continuing to plead for peace and social reform.

During World War One, rationing and paper costs meant that by 1916 The Star was by necessity only four pages long. The war also meant that The Star, like other newspapers, was under the control of government censorship. Another consequence of the war years was the need to increase the price of the newspaper in 1918 from one halfpenny to one penny. Although this was considered a war-time measure, rising costs meant that the price remained the same in the years after the war. Indeed, on a wider scale the era of halfpenny newspapers had come to an end. The final year of the war proved to be a transitional period for the newspaper. It saw the resignation of Ernest Parke, who had served as editor of The Star since 1891. His natural successor was James Douglas (1867-1940), who had worked as assistant editor to Parke for many years. Another major change to the newspaper was the conversion to tabloid size on December 27, 1917. Initially intended as an experiment in form, the new smaller size was popular with commuters, thus the paper became a tabloid on a permanent basis. This meant The Star was now made up of eight smaller pages instead of the former four broadsheet-sized pages. By the early 1920s The Star had increased to twelve pages. It continued to grow in size over the following two decades.

James Douglas' two years in control came to an end in March of 1920 when he left to become editor of the Sunday Express. At this point long-serving Star journalist Wilson Pope assumed the role. Two months later on May 6, 1920, The Star published its 10,000th issue. A commemorative edition was published to mark the occasion, with special contributions from founder T. P. O'Connor and Henry Massingham. Presently The Star went on to enlarge in size, expanding to 16 pages in 1922, and increasing to twenty-four pages by the end of 1928. Circulation figures published during the 1920s certainly testify to the continued growth and popularity of The Star.


Wilson Pope, editor of the Star from 1920-1930

In a visual sense issues of The Star during Pope's reign in the 1920s were a far cry from the heady days of the paper's early years. The use of photographs had increased dramatically, with the inclusion of many more feature articles developed along with the expansion of the sports, entertainment and fashion columns. The paper's long held traditions of news reporting and political commentary were still very much in evidence however. Wilson Pope's ten years as editor were an evident success, with circulation figures as ever on the increase and the overall quality of the newspaper improving all the time.

In 1930 The Star's companion newspaper the Daily News merged with the Daily Chronicle. The two papers, combined under the ownership of the Cadbury newspaper empire, formed the News Chronicle. From this point The Star and News Chronicle were seen as sister newspapers, continuing to share offices in Bouverie Street, E.C.4, with both titles published by the Daily News Ltd. The circulation of The Star continued to increase. By June 1930 the average daily net sale of the paper was 801,406. Around this time Edward Chattaway, who had previously served as assistant editor, replaced Wilson Pope as editor of The Star. Under Chattaway The Star reverted back to its former broadsheet size on October 22, 1934. Although this decision was to be reversed seven years later (see below) at the time it was felt that the continued growth of various features would be better served by making The Star a broadsheet once again. Chattaway remained as editor until 1936, at which point he was succeeded by Robert James Cruickshank (1896-1956) who held the position until 1941. Under both these editors The Star flourished. The introduction in 1936 of free illustrated supplements proved to be a popular innovation. The mid-1930s also saw sales of The Star increase even further, with the paper giving the Evening News and Evening Standard a real run for their money, although during these years The Star never quite gained ascendancy over its rivals. The Star's enduring popularity and high circulation figures were celebrated in 1938 with the publication of the book The Story of the Star, 1888-1938: Fifty Years of Progress and Achievement, which was published by the newspaper itself. Needless to say, for those wishing to know more about the early history of The Star, this is an essential read.

At this time The Star was marking a major anniversary in its history. The Star began celebrating its fiftieth year of publication with a special Jubilee article on January 17, 1938. The anniversary article included contributions from several former writers for the newspaper. These included reminiscences from George Bernard Shaw, A. A. Milne, H. G. Wells, A. G. Gardiner and Lord Hewart of Bury. The Star's Jubilee celebrations culminated with a banquet held at the Savoy Hotel on January 21. The meal was attended by all manner of notable personages among whom were members of Parliament, twenty-two Metropolitan Mayors and various Fleet Street editors. Also in attendance were representatives from the worlds of art and literature, religious leaders, bankers, civil servants and industrialists. The year 1938 proved to be a landmark year for The Star, with even Lord Rothermere, who owned the rival newspaper the Evening News, remarking that "The Star has retained in an extraordinary degree the vivacity and enterprise of its early issues." The fiftieth anniversary of The Star was truly a cause for celebration, and it is clear that the paper was loved and respected by many.

In the late 1930s The Star continued to compete successfully with its two rivals in the London evening newspaper market. Certainly in a political sense readers of The Star saw it as a welcome alternative to the generally right-of-centre Evening News and Evening Standard. In the months building up to the outbreak of war in September 1939, The Star made clear its opposition to the rise of Nazism in Germany. While other papers openly sympathised with Hitler and took great pains to appreciate and defend his point of view, The Star stood largely alone in condemning the actions of the Third Reich. This editorial policy, while acknowledged as fully just today, was atypical of British newspapers at the time. Indeed, as early as 1933, Hitler had banned The Star from sale in Germany because of the paper's criticism of the Nazi regime. As ever, The Star, along with the News Chronicle, was not afraid to stand by its convictions.

During the Second World War and the subsequent years of rationing, The Star, like other newspapers, was limited in page-length due to paper restrictions. As was the case in the first war, space limitations resulted in the disappearance of many regular features in The Star. Despite all this, The Star sold well during these austere periods. Indeed, the paper still found room to entertain as well as inform within the limits of its four pages, and the likes of the regular short story feature (solely provided for most of the war years by the estimable F. W. Thomas) would no doubt have provided light relief for many Londoners. Overseeing all this was Arthur Leslie Cranfield, who succeeded Cruickshank as editor of the Star in 1941. Cranfield's reign saw a number of changes to the newspaper. The most important was undoubtably the conversion from broadsheet back to the former tabloid size in February 1941. A few months after the conversion in size took place, The Star settled to an average size of eight (tabloid) pages. Despite the appearance of the odd twelve page edition, it was to remain this size for most of the 1940s and into the early 1950s.

Despite strict paper restrictions affecting the size and potential circulation of all newspapers in the U.K., The Star achieved its greatest ever sales in the late 1940s. The average daily net sale from July to December 1947 stood at 1,079,848 copies. The largest ever single day's sale of The Star was attained on November 20, 1947, when on the occasion of the marriage between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the paper sold 1,414,660 copies. Remarkably, these figures merely reflect the highest amount of newspapers which could be produced in the period the demand for The Star among Londoners is said to have far exceeded this. Indeed the circulation of The Star, in the immediate post-war period, certainly exceeded that of the Evening Standard, and was second only to that of Associated Newspapers' mighty Evening News.

During the 1950s The Star once again expanded in size and added many more features to its contents, while still maintaining the crusading stance it had held since its inception. After sixteen years as editor of the newspaper, Cranfield finally retired from the position in 1957. His successor was Ralph McCarthy (1906-1976), who had previously worked on the News Chronicle. Issues of the paper that appeared under McCarthy's editorial reign show that the traditions of honest news reporting in The Star were still very much alive. In addition to this the paper was now larger than ever, with the fashion, arts and entertainment columns in particular showing that The Star was successfully adapting with the times. The Star appeared to be doing well, a thriving newspaper in post-war London with its future seemingly looking bright. However, unknown to the paper's many readers trouble was brewing behind the scenes in Bouverie Street. The increasing popularity of television was having a detrimental effect on the circulation of The Star (and its competitors) in the late 1950s. This factor, in addition to falling advertising revenues, restrictive working practices, intransigent unions and weak management all contributed to the sad demise of The Star and News Chronicle at the beginning of the 1960s. With a suddenness keenly felt across Fleet Street, both The Star and News Chronicle ceased publication in October 1960, when they were bought by Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Daily Mail and Evening News, based in nearby Carmelite Street). The final issue of The Star was published on October 17, 1960, after which it was absorbed by its long-time rival the Evening News (the News Chronicle was simultaneously integrated with the Daily Mail). The decision taken by Laurence Cadbury and the board of directors at the Daily News Ltd to close both newspapers was controversial to say the least. The shock resulting from the closure of The Star and News Chronicle was profound, with hundreds of newspaper staff who worked in Bouverie Street abruptly thrown out of work. Loyal readers of the two newspapers felt a sense of betrayal and even their rivals felt genuine sadness at the loss of what were two very worthy competitors.

Having said that, it should be noted that there is little room for sentimentality in the cut-throat world of newspaper publishing. History shows us that titles disappear overnight, often being absorbed by a bitter rival. Two or three newspapers may merge with one another and begin a new amalgamated life under a new title. Newspaper and magazine owners routinely close down or sell-off their titles for reasons known only to themselves. Such has always been the case with newspaper publishing, with the fate of long-running established titles decided by the proprieters, often to the bewilderment of the public and, more importantly to the staff who stand to lose their livelihoods. So with the demise of The Star in 1960, and the controversy surrounding its acquisition by Associated Newspapers. A whole team of talented journalists suddenly found themselves out of work, and the resultant devastation and sense of loss has been well documented in various reference works. There are two excellent books which provide a background and commentary on the final days of The Star and News Chronicle. The Murder of the News Chronicle and Star (1960) by Ewan Butler and Edward Martell is a fascinating work that was written, published and printed within a month of the events of October 1960. Also highly recommend reading is the book The Last Chronicle of Bouverie Street (1963) which was written by William Pattinson and George Glenton, two journalists who worked on the News Chronicle. Their first-hand account of the abrupt closure of the two newspapers makes for compelling stuff.

From October 18, 1960 the name of The Star lived on in a very limited sense as part of the full title of the paper which absorbed it. For eight years the masthead of Harmsworth's evening paper bore the title the Evening News and Star, until 1968 when the paper's name became just the Evening News once again. The Evening News and Evening Standard battled it out over the next twelve years, until the Evening News itself ceased publication when it was merged with the Evening Standard in October 1980. The new paper, now under control of Associated Newsapers, continues to this day and is the sole remaining evening newspaper covering the whole of London.

However, older generations still remember The Star with fondness and many recall it as one of the last of the great liberal newspapers. Although the history of The Star has now become the stuff of legend, with the early years of its existence at best a dusty memory, I hope the small overview I've written above stands as an affectionate testimony that this great evening newspaper entertained and informed Londoners for 72 glorious years.

Sources and Further Reading

Dennis Griffiths (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of the British Press: 1422-1992, Macmillan, 1992.
Hamilton Fyfe, T. P. O'Connor, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1934.
David Hubback, No Ordinary Press Baron, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1985.
Ewan Butler & Edward Martell, The Murder of the News Chronicle and Star, Christopher Johnson, 1960.
George Glenton & William Pattinson, The Last Chronicle of Bouverie Street, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1963.
Anon (ed.), The Story of the Star, 1888-1938: Fifty Years of Progress and Achievement, The Star Publications Department, 1938.


History of the Toronto Star

In 1892 Toronto was a bustling city of 180,000 with six newspapers competing for readers when a seventh daily, a self-styled "Paper for the People", suddenly appears on the streets.

Born on November 3, 1892, The Evening Star had been created almost overnight by 21 printers and four teenage apprentices who were locked out during a labour dispute at the afternoon News. Their aim was to publish a serious journal - and possibly to teach the News a lesson. Little did they realize that their bright new four-page sheet would grow into Canada's largest daily newspaper, The Toronto Star.

Those printers may have lacked capital and business experience. But they were inspired by the hope that a paper reflecting the concerns of working people like themselves could catch on in an already overcrowded field.

That dream outlasted their early enthusiasm. After initial successes the paper ran into financial problems. New owners stepped in to keep it alive, for various reasons, but they couldn't halt a steady drop in sales. Then a rising young journalist, a 34-year-old Joseph E. Atkinson was appointed editor on Dec. 13, 1899, and things promptly began to improve.

The Evening Star had been bought by admirers of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to support the new prime minister. When they asked Mr. Atkinson to run it, he agreed on two conditions: The Star would be independent of any political party and he'd be paid $5,000 a year, $3,000 in cash and the rest in shares.

Like printers before him, Mr. Atkinson was imbued with the idea of publishing a paper for ordinary people. As a boy he had known hardship and need. His widowed mother took in boarders to support her eight children. After she died, Joe left school at age 14 to work in a woollen mill. When it burned down a few weeks later, he had no job only private charity kept him from hunger.

These experiences had a lasting impact on young Joe Atkinson. First as a clerk at a weekly paper, later as a reporter and editor on the Toronto Globe and the Montreal Herald, extensive reading made him aware of great social changes then stirring in Britain. Along with his Methodist upbringing, his early life convinced him that liberalism was the way to a better future.

The circulation of The Evening Star was at an all-time low when Mr. Atkinson took over. Drawing on his experience as an editor, he quickly revamped and revitalized the paper.

Ads were moved off the front page to play up broader news coverage. Sports pages grew livelier. Society items gave way to a column for the lovelorn as well as meaty articles on women's issues. Its name slightly altered, The Toronto Daily Star caught the public eye with contests, promotions and premiums.

At the same time, Mr. Atkinson proved to be an astute businessman, more so than many other fine editors. He kept a sharp eye on expenses, tabulated his receipts each night and put off capital projects until he could pay for them in cash.

After one year, circulation was up from 7,000 to 10,000 by 1903, it passed 21,000. Meanwhile, as the paper gathered strength and influence, Mr. Atkinson planned for its future. Aware that any successful publication required a clearly defined constituency, he settled on ordinary working people who needed a strong voice in the community their interests and cares became The Star's.

Through the paper, in fact, and as chairman of a Liberal Party advisory committee in 1916, Mr. Atkinson helped to develop Canada's modern welfare system. His technique was to publish detailed articles on the social reforms in other lands -- especially in Britain -- and then to follow up with carefully reasoned editorials, pressing for similar advances at home.

Over the years, his crusades were many, varied, very often successful. Long before they became law, The Star campaigned for mothers' allowances, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions and the first phases of our national health plan. To the deep annoyance of many other businessmen, Mr. Atkinson also championed minimum wages and the rights of labour unions.

Coupled with that strong social conscience, his flare for popular journalism so appealed to the public that The Star's circulation and advertising increased steadily. By 1913 it was Toronto's largest paper and Mr. Atkinson had become the controlling shareholder.

After he died in 1948, his will left The Star to a Charitable foundation he'd established in 1942, both to be run by trustees familiar with Mr. Atkinson's policies and beliefs. But a retroactive change in Ontario law barred such a foundation from owning more than ten per cent of any profit-making business. So his trustees were given court permission to buy the paper in 1958, after promising to uphold its longstanding traditions.

Today, a century after the Paper for the People was born and 48 years after Joseph Atkinson's death, The Toronto Star continues to respect and reflect his finest principles.

The first edition of The Evening Star appeared with the slogan A Paper For The People, on Page 1. The four-page paper, published by 21 printers and four apprentices locked out at the Toronto News, sold for a cent. It was printed in the third floor offices of the World at 83 Yonge Street.

Publication was suspended in the Great Panic of 1893, which caused unemployment and closures across the U.S. and Canada. Most of the founding printers had already returned to the News. Three weeks later, publication resumed under new ownership of William J. Gage, the first of a succession of different owners over the next six years.

The Star moved to 26-28 Adelaide Street West.

Joseph E. Atkinson, who spent eight years at the Globe before becoming managing editor of the Montreal Herald in 1897, returned to Toronto as manager and editor of The Star. He came at the request of a group of Toronto Liberals who purchased the paper for $32,000. The paper had a circulation of 7,000 and 52 people on the payroll. Mr. Atkinson's name first appeared in the masthead December 21, 1899. Under the terms of his contract, Mr. Atkinson was eventually able to acquire controlling interest of The Star.

The paper's name was changed to The Toronto Daily Star.

In the grip of one of the worst heat waves in record, The Star helped raise money for fresh air funds run by charitable groups. The following year, The Star Fresh Air Fund was established to help underprivileged children escape the summer heat.

The Star became the first newspaper in the history of Canadian journalism to use the wireless to cover news. A wireless set was installed on the steamer Niagara during the Canada Cup races off Hanlan's Point. A Star sports writer sent reports to a station on Toronto Island which were then telephoned to the newsroom.

The Star moved to new premises, purchased for $150,000, AT 18-20 King Street West. The building, erected in 1878, gave The Star the largest newspaper offices in Canada. The paper had a circulation of 37,000, five telegraph services and a staff of more than 100, including 23 writers.

The Star's Santa Claus Fund was established at the beginning of a depression with the goal of ensuring no child under 13 was overlooked at Christmas.

The Star moved into first place among Toronto daily newspapers with circulation of 65,000. In 1899, its circulation had been last among Toronto newspapers.

The first edition of The Star Weekly containing The Spell of the White Silence, a short story by Robert Service, sold 9,469 copies.

Daily newspaper prices in Toronto rose to two cents.

The Star became the first newspaper in Canada to use new rotogravure printing techniques.

The Star became a pioneer in broadcasting by establishing its own radio station -- CFCA. The Star sponsored the first public demonstrations of radio in Canada and a Star truck carried the first portable radio unit on a tour of fall fairs in 1922 and 1923. CFCA was the first radio station to broadcast a hockey game, launching the career of broadcaster Foster Hewitt in March, 1923 from Toronto's Mutual Street Arena. The Star supported public ownership of radio and CFCA went off the air September 1, 1933, following passage of the federal Broadcasting Act in 1932. Mr. Atkinson believed the act firmly established radio as the government monopoly and that there would be a slight place for private radio stations.

The Star Weekly absorbed the Sunday World and became the one weekend magazine in the city.

The Star moved to its new building 80 King Street West. With 650 employees and a circulation of 175,000, it had become the largest circulation newspaper in Canada.

The Star was one of the few newspapers in Canada not to lose circulation during the worst year of the depression. Star circulation exceeded the rival Telegram by 4,000 copies a day in the city. In the suburbs, The Star outsold the Telegram by three to one, and in the province by ten to one.

Daily newspaper prices in Toronto rose to three cents. 1942 The Atkinson Charitable Foundation was incorporated.

Joseph E. Atkinson died, leaving The Star to the Atkinson Charitable Foundation. Mr. Atkinson's son, Joseph Story Atkinson, was elected chairman of the board and president of the foundation and Harry C. Hindmarsh, Mr. Atkinson's son-in-law, was elected president of The Star.

The Ontario government introduced the Charitable Gifts Act, limiting charities to no more than a 10 per cent interest in businesses. The bill was later amended to give charities seven years to divest.

The Star became the first Canadian newspaper to sign a contract with the newspaper guild.

The price of The Star increased to five cents a copy.

The Harbour plant at One Yonge Street opened to print The Star Weekly on modern rotogravure presses. The new ink manufacturing plant opened on the same property.

H.C. Hindmarsh died. Five weeks later, Beland Honderich, who became editor-in-chief in 1955, was appointed a director of The Star.

The Star increased its price to 10 cents and the Globe and Mail and the Evening Telegram followed suit a week later. Circulation plummeted. From a daily average of 387,000, Star circulation dropped to 320,000 in 1958 and 316,000 in 1959.

The sale of The Star, required under the Charitable Gifts Act, was completed. It was sold to the five trustees of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation - J.S. Atkinson, Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh, W.J. Campbell, Dr. B.M. Thall and Beland Honderich for $25,555,000, the highest price paid to that date for a newspaper property anywhere.

Four-colour pictures appeared in The Star for the first time during the Royal Tour of that year.

The Star became the first newspaper in Canada to use Linofilm photocomposition in typesetting.

Beland Honderich was elected president and publisher of Toronto Star Limited. Mr. J.S. Atkinson was elected chairman of the board.

The first edition of StarTVWeek appeared.

The Star announced it would accept beer, wine and liquor product advertisements.

After 58 years of publication, The Star Weekly was taken over by Canadian Magazine. The new Canadian/Star Weekly was launched October 7 and sold across Canada for 20 cents.

The ink department, established October 1, 1937, stopped manufacturing ink because the land was needed for the new 25-storey Star building at One Yonge Street.

John Bassett announced that the Telegram would cease publication. The Telegram's last edition appeared October 30, 1971.

The first edition of The Star was printed in the new Crabtree Vickers' presses at One Yonge Street.

The first edition of The Toronto Sun appeared.

The paper's name was changed to The Toronto Star.

The Star moved its operations from 80 King Street to a new building at One Yonge Street. The new building was officially opened the following May.

The Toronto Sun published its first Sunday edition.

The last edition of the Canadian/Star Weekly was published.

The Toronto Star acquired a controlling interest in Harlequin Enterprises.

A corporate reorganization was approved by the board of directors under which Toronto Star Ltd. would be a holding company and The Toronto Star newspaper would become a wholly-owned subsidiary. A year later the holding company was officially named Torstar Corporation.

Beland Honderich was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation.

The Star published its first Sunday edition.

Torstar acquired the remaining 30 per cent of Harlequin Enterprises.

The morning edition of The Toronto Star was launched.

Home delivery of the morning paper began.

Torstar and Southam signed a share exchange agreement under which Torstar acquired a 23 per cent interest in Southam and Southam acquired about 30 per cent of Torstar's non-voting shares.

Beland Honderich announced his retirement as The Star's publisher. He continued as Torstar Chairman. David Jolley was appointed publisher of The Star, the fifth since Joseph E. Atkinson came to the paper in 1899.

Construction began on The Star's new $400 million Press Centre in Vaughan.

For the first time, the public saw the new format and the kind of colour reproduction the presses at the Press Centre could achieve with the publication of a special preview section.


The Star of David – Meanings and Symbolism

Although many different meanings were attributed to the Star of David, no single meaning is completely accepted by all members of the Jewish community.

A medieval Jewish text suggests that the six points of the Jewish star are indicative of the six male attributes of God.

Furthermore, since the 20th century, the Star of David has been associated with the number seven, and thus with the Menorah, namely the ancient, seven-lamp Hebrew lampstand that featured in the Bible and was used by Moses.

Other suggestions link the Star of David’s design with the six directions of space as described in the Sefer Yetsira (North, South, East, West, Centre, Up and Down) the six days of creation, and the seventh day of rest, and the six working days of each week in the calendar.

There are various other interpretations throughout history, each with their own meaning, though those listed above are the most commonly reiterated amongst the Jewish community.

Regardless of the number of definitions and meanings that have been attributed to the Star of David symbol, there is a common point between all these attributions each point of the star is indicative of something in itself, with the center of the hexagram also representing something.


History of the Star Quilt

The Logan Health Foundation has adopted the Star Quilt to serve as a symbol of generous philanthropy. Through their long-term financial contributions to healthcare initiatives, friends of Logan Health honor and protect this community. And in appreciation, they receive a hand-made Star Quilt.

For many Native Americans, the star is a sacred symbol, equated with honor. The belief is a respected and longstanding tradition, inherited from their ancestors. The Assiniboine and Lakota Sioux Indian nations of Eastern Montana and North and South Dakota had a spiritual belief in the stars, especially in Venus, whose reflected light made it one of the brightest objects in the night sky with the appearance of a star. The planet Venus was their guiding star. It represented the direction from which spirits travel to Earth, symbolizing immortality.

Today, it continues to herald a new beginning, a new day dawning. Standing between darkness (ignorance) and light (knowledge), the morning star leads to understanding. Star patterns using natural plant dyes adorned hides and teepees. The symbol was interwoven within porcupine quill work and beaded patterns used on moccasins, leggings and clothing. When missionaries came in the mid to late 1800's and introduced fabric and sewing to Native American women, the "Morning Star Quilt" was born. It replaced the traditional red buffalo robe and was displayed at their funerals as a means to honor and protect loved ones on their final journey through the stars. Its tradition of honor grew as the quilts were draped around the shoulders of their braves and hunters when they returned from battle or a successful hunt. Often the young men would wrap themselves in a quilt on their vision quests.

The quilt and its traditions have been adopted by many Indian tribes. The Southwestern tribes, having a similar belief in the stars, call this quilt &ldquoGod&rsquos Eye&rdquo. And like many other cultures, they believe it is more of an honor to give rather than receive and still use the quilt today in their &ldquogive-away&rdquo ceremonies. The quilt is now more simply called &ldquoStar Quilt&rdquo. Today, Star Quilts are one of the most valued gifts of the Northern Plains Indians. They are seen as banners in schools for graduation and school functions, used as altar cloths in churches, placed on top of sweat lodges and used in powwows. They may be given to honor a special friend or family member, to a newly married couple, or to parents in celebration of a child&rsquos birth. They are given in sympathy to a family, honoring a loved one who has died. They are even given to those whom they have never met, out of respect and admiration.

Star Quilts are still wrapped around the shoulders of the recipient as a symbolic way to honor and protect that person on their journey through life. Giving is a universal tradition. Like the makers of the original Star Quilts who bestow their treasured creations upon others, rather than keeping them all of us have a capacity to share. When you see the image of the Star Quilt, let it be a reminder that there is honor in giving.


The story of the Star of David

The six pointed star represents peace and harmony in Buddhism, while alchemists believed it symbolized nature—how did the Star of David acquire its significance in Judaism?

Sharon Cohen, THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL
June 28, 2021

The Star of David originated long before it was adopted by the Jewish faith and the Zionist movement it appeared thousands of years ago in the cultures of the East, cultures that use it to this day. In the past, what we know today as the Star of David was a popular symbol in pagan traditions, as well as a decorative device used in first-century churches and even in Muslim culture.

But how is the Star of David tied to the fate of the Jewish people?

In the Hebrew context, the Star of David is actually referred to as the “Shield of David” (magen David), a phrase first mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, not as a symbol, but as an epithet for God [Pesachim 117b]. Another link to the shield concept is a Jewish legend according to which the emblem decorated the shields of King David’s army what’s more, even Rabbi Akiva chose the Star of David as the symbol of Bar-Kochba’s revolt against the Roman emperor Hadrian (Bar-Kochba’s name means “son of the star”).

The Star of David only became a distinctly Jewish symbol in the mid-14th century, when the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV granted the Jews of Prague the right to carry a flag, and they chose the six-pointed star. From Prague, the use of the Star of David as an official Jewish symbol spread, and so began the movement to find Jewish sources that traced the symbol to the House of David.

The Star of David displayed in Prague’s Old New Synagogue, photo: Øyvind Holmstad

On the other hand, the renowned Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem claimed that the Star of David does not originate in any way in Judaism. Though he noted the symbol was identified on a Jewish seal from the seventh century BCE found in Sidon, as well as in 3rd–4th century CE synagogue decorations, the star was found alongside other symbols that were known to not be of Jewish origin.

So where can we find representations of the hexagram (a six-pointed star) in other cultures?

The hexagram has been used in India for thousands of years, and can be found on ancient temples and in daily use in Buddhism it is used as a meditation aid to achieve a sense of peace and harmony, and in Hinduism it is a symbol of the goddess Lakshmi—the goddess of fortune and material abundance.

Hexagrams abound in alchemy, the theory and study of materials from which the modern science of chemistry evolved. Magical symbols were commonplace in this ancient theory, and alchemists recruited the six-pointed star to their graphic language of signs and symbols: an upright triangle symbolized water, an inverted triangle symbolized fire, and together they described the harmony between the opposing elements. In alchemical literature, the hexagram also represents the “four elements”—the theory that all matter in the world is made up of the four elements: air, water, earth and fire—effectively, everything that exists. One could say that the star is the ultimate alchemical symbol.

Alchemy borrowed the idea from the classical Greek tradition that masculinity symbolizes wisdom, while femininity symbolizes nature man is philosophy and woman is the physical world. The illustration below, which appears in an 18th century alchemical text, shows a man holding a lantern as he follows a woman holding a hexagram – wisdom being the key that reveals the secrets of existence.

“The philosopher examining nature” – an illustration appearing in an alchemical text from 1749, the Sidney Edelstein Collection at the National Library of Israel

In Islam, the hexagram is referred to as the “Seal of Solomon,” and it adorns many mosques around the world. Until 1945, the emblem was also found on the Moroccan flag. It was changed to the five-pointed star (pentagram), when the six-pointed star became the emblem of the Zionist movement. The use of this symbol has diminished throughout the Islamic world for the same reason. The hexagram can also be found in medieval and early modern churches—although not as a Christian symbol, but as a decorative motif.

The hexagram in Islam, photo: Vikramjit Singh Rooprai

Despite its use in other cultures, the Star of David is emblazoned on the Israeli flag, and thus it is considered the undisputed symbol of the State of Israel, regardless of its origin. A symbol’s power ,after all, is in the meaning we give to it.

This article originally appeared on The Librarians, the National Library of Israel’s official online publication dedicated to Jewish, Israeli and Middle Eastern history, heritage and culture.


Still Going at Full Speed After All That Mileage

In France, the release of the new Michelin Guide has the glitz and glam and media buzz of an Oscars ceremony. For the rest of the world, it’s simply considered a reliable source of information for culinary tourists and everyday diners who want an exceptional dining experience.

While it’s over 100 years old, if you’re an up-and-coming chef who wants to stay on top of the latest culinary trends, you’d be wise to track the trends taking hold in the world of fine dining.

Have you sampled your way through any of the Michelin Guide, or Bib Gourmand? We’d love to hear about your experiences, visit us at one of our open houses and tell us about it!

Did you enjoy this article? Then you’ll probably like these ones, too.

This article was originally published on February 10, 2016, and has since been updated.


12 The Old Republic

After sentient life forms had harnessed the ability to utilize hyperspace to travel the galaxy, they began to form alliances with other systems, banding together into larger and larger organizations that would eventually come together to create the massive Old Republic.

With the formation of the Republic, based out of the Core world of Coruscant, civilization began to spread out toward the far corners of the galaxy, setting hyperspace beacons, exploring new trade routes, and colonizing and settling new planets. While Republic rule diminished in the most distant systems, it was the infrastructure provided by the Republic that allowed society to stretch as far as it did.

Long after its dissolution, the lasting impact of the Old Republic could still be seen through the use of established trade routes, colonization of far flung systems, a somewhat common currency, language, and other semi-consistent cultural touchstones.


How to Find Vega

Vega is seen in the summer sky in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is part of the constellation Lyra. The "Summer Triangle" consists of the bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair. Vega is at the top of the triangle, with Deneb below it and to the left and Altair below both stars and to the right. Vega forms a right angle between the two other stars. All three stars are extremely bright in a region with few other bright stars.

The best way to find Vega (or any star) is to use its right ascension and declination:

There are free phone apps that you can use to seek Vega by name or by its location. Many allow you to wave the phone across the sky until you see the name. You're looking for a bright blue-white star.

In northern Canada, Alaska, and most of Europe, Vega never sets. In the mid-northern latitudes, Vega is almost directly overhead at night in mid-summer. From a latitude including New York and Madrid, Vega is only below the horizon about seven hours a day, so it can be viewed any night of the year. Further south, Vega is below the horizon more of the time and may be trickier to find. In the Southern Hemisphere, Vega is visible low on the northern horizon during the Southern Hemisphere's winter. It is not visible south of 51° S, so it cannot be seen at all from the southern part of South America or Antarctica.


The History of the Converse All Star “Chuck Taylor” Basketball Shoe

What is the oldest, most popular, and all time best selling basketball shoe of all time? (As a matter of fact, 60% of all Americans own or have owned at least one pair of these sneakers!) It is not the expensive Air Jordans that the Nike Corporation produces! Nor is it made by Fila, Reebok, New Balance, or adidas. It is the Converse All Star “Chuck Taylor”!

It was in 1908 that the Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business. At first the company only made galoshes and other work related rubber shoes on a seasonal basis. But eventually the company decided it was more efficient to keep their work force employed year round, and began making athletic shoes. With the popularity of basketball, the Converse Corporation saw the need to develop a shoe that people could wear while playing basketball. After lots of research and development, the very first version of the All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917. The All Star shoe originally came in natural brown colors with black trim. In the 1920s, Converse All Stars were made in all black canvas or leather versions. The All Star was to be the first mass produced basketball shoe in North America. It consisted of a very thick rubber sole, and a ankle covering canvas (or sometimes leather) upper. At first sales were slow. They would rapidly increase a few years later, thanks to Charles ‘Chuck’ H. Taylor.

Chuck Taylor is smiling every time someone laces up a pair of his “Chuck Taylor” sneakers.

Charles H. Taylor was a basketball player for the Akron Firestones. He liked what he saw in the All Star shoe and saw its potential for the sport of basketball As a matter of fact, he believed in the shoe so much that in 1921 he joined the Converse sales force, and later became the player/coach for the Converse All-Stars, the company's industrial league basketball. team. Throughout his career with Converse, Taylor traveled all across the United States hosting basketball clinics and promoting the All Star shoe. His personal salesmanship plus clever marketing devices like the Converse Basketball Yearbooks put his imprint on the sport at all team levels. But the Converse Corporation also bestowed something else on him. Because he was so successful in promoting Converse All Stars, as well as making important changes in the design of the All Star shoe, in 1932, his name “Chuck Taylor” was added to the ankle patch. The “Chuck Taylor” All Star basketball shoe was born!

The first white model was introduced at the 1936 Olympics, a predecessor to today's optical white high top.

Soon basketball teams as well as American boys were wearing Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars. In the 1930s Chuck Taylor designed the white high top model for the 1936 Olympics, and the shoe with its patriotic red and blue trim became very popular along with all black canvas and leather models of the All Star. Today you can still buy either the bright optical white model or an off-white un-dyed model called unbleached or natural white. During World War II, Chuck Taylor served as a captain in the Air Force and coached regional basketball teams, considered an important morale booster for the troops. And the All Star “Chuck Taylor” went off to war as GI’s did their exercises in the white high top chucks that became the official sneaker of the United States Armed Forces.

After World War II, the classic black and white Chuck Taylor All Star High Top was introduced in 1949, a much more eye-catching shoe than the monochrome black models that had been produced up to that time. Basketball was now a major professional sport, with the merger of the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America becoming the National Basketball Association (NBA). Chuck Taylor All Stars were the shoe for professional, college, high school, and all serious players, and these distinctive black or white high tops were part of the look of each team. In 1957 the low cut All Star was introduced and became popular as a more casual alternative to the high top. By this time Converse had an 80% share of the entire sneaker industry. Because of his tireless efforts promoting the sport, Taylor was called the “Ambassador to Basketball” and in 1968, Charles H. ‘Chuck’ Taylor was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, one year later he passed away.

The classic black and white high top was introduced in 1949.

Along with the passing of Chuck Taylor went the dominance of the Converse Company. New rival companies stepped in, spearheaded by the Nike Corporation, and began to chip away at the market share and influence of Converse. Lots of changes began to occur in the athletic shoe industry. These rival companies introduced new models with new colored looks, all leather uppers, and high tech innovations like pumps and air cells. Although Converse responded by introducing chucks in a variety of colors, and new models like the One Star and Dr. J, teams began abandoning their All Stars and going with other models and brands.

Starting in the 1970s, athletic shoes became so popular as footwear that adults refused to give up wearing them. Everyone wanted the look and feel of sneakers on their feet. Many new athletic shoe companies emerged and marketed a wide variety of basketball and other sports and leisure shoes.

The Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Star, once the premiere shoe of elite basketball players now became the shoe of the counter-culture and of baby boomers who refused to stop wearing their favorite pairs of chucks. The shoes became very popular with rock musicians, and younger generations wore them for their distinctive looks, colors, and comfort and as an alternative to the high priced high performance shoes made by Nike and other companies. They were considered a leisure shoe and now were purchased because they were fashionable. Converse manufactured chucks in hundreds of different variations that included prints, patterns, unusual colors, and special models for different age groups. Even so, the Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Star is still considered to be one of the top five basketball shoes of all time.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Converse Company began to experience hard times. The ownership and management of the Converse Company changed several times. These changes and bad business decisions along with their loss of market share took its toll on the company, and in 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. But the brand was too well established to abandon, and new ownership took over, closing all North American manufacturing and moving the manufacture of Converse athletic shoes from the USA to Asia. The brand was reestablished successfully and the company was eventually purchased by its rival, Nike.

Despite all of the innovations and changes in the athletic shoe industry, Chuck Taylor athletic shoes continue to live on! Thousands of pairs of high top and low cut chucks are still sold each week worldwide. Because they are a unisex design, the same sneakers are worn by both men and women, girls and boys. More than one billion pairs of chucks have been sold. Unlike other sneakers that lose their popularity, the Converse All Star “Chuck Taylor” still remains fashionable and people who like chucks are fanatical in their devotion to the shoes. As the decades pass, these simple but timeless sneakers are rediscovered and adapted by millions of people in each new generation who like their look and feel on their feet. Converse All Star “Chuck Taylors” have been around for nine decades and are still going strong! Since 1949, the basic design of the “Chuck Taylor” basketball shoe has not changed. Converse All Star “Chuck Taylor” basketball shoes in their distinctive high top and low top oxford models are the classic American sneaker, and a favorite shoe for people of every age all around the world.

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