The Stars and Stripes, 1918-1919  |  A Closer Look at The Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes banner, a closer look at the Stars and Stripes
Inside the Pages: Advertisements - Illustrations - Soldier-Authored Material - The Sports Page - Women and the War Effort
Behind the Scenes: A Talented Editorial Staff - Military Censorship - The Self-Reported History of The Stars and Stripes - Complete Roster of Employees
A World at War: The American Expeditionary Forces - Timeline (1914 - 1921) - Historical Map

(Source: The Stars and Stripes, June 13, 1919.)
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Ads and Their Dumpers

Old Alphabet Britt will tell at length of the varied questions answered and errands run by the Soldiers Service Department, as will his assistants, Sgt. Wm. F. Garmain, the long distance machine gunner, and Pvt. Harry Stoner, later promoted to the printer. Sgts. George Mulvaney and Harold Sigmund and Lieuts. Michael and Fendick can tell of the despair of chasing ads in three languages -- French, English and profane -- only to have them thrown bodily out of the paper by a money-careless buck makeup editor who wanted to make room for Tip Bliss' damnfool "Facts About America" or Rixey Smith's soul-stirring history of the Chiropodist's Corps. Sgt. Red Lammers could contribute the wail of the mail man who had to handle the incoming flood for the most written-at paper in the world; Sgt. Don Long could wax emphatic over the trials of making out travel orders for dizzy correspondents; and R.S.M. Old Nick Beser and Sgt. Jake Weinstein could dilate to high heaven on the contrariness of the whole confounded bunch in the matter of the canteen.

Of the composition, printing and distribution of the papers, something has already been said, but enough cannot be said of the co-operation offered THE STARS AND STRIPES by the Daily Mail, Le Journal, and Hachette & Cle, the great French newspaper distributing firm, which got our young weekly on to every newsstand in France to serve those Yanks who were within reach of newsstands. Nor should mention be omitted of the efforts made by the Societe Anonyme des Papeteries Darblay to supply THE STARS AND STRIPES' insatiable appetite for white paper.

Foremen Courageous

At the Mail the paper has had two foremen with whom its compositors and make-up editors have worked so long and argued so strenuously that they consider them as fellow Yankees, that is until they open their mouths. Mr. John R. Roscorla the genial Cornishman, took the infant journal on from the start until September 1918. Then Mr. Jacob Faithfull, he of the Cromwellian and most appropriate name, former corpl'r'l in the Second Lunnon Rifles, took over, remaining up to the last week in May. It was he who taught at least two nasal New England editors to talk Cockney, without going so far as to leave H's out of eadlines.

On A.E.F.'s Anniversary

In conclusion, as THE STARS AND STRIPES is hauled down two years to a day from the date on which General Pershing, with the advance guard of the A.E.F., landed in France, and on the day before Flag Day, the staff of the paper wishes to express its appreciation of the generous policy of non-interference, of non-dictation which the General Staff, A.E.F., has held to from the start in its dealings with us. It loaned us about 25,000 francs to start on -- all long since paid back -- and then let us severely alone.

Only one request, which was couched as a request and not as an order, ever came to us, in 16 months, from the high Command. That was when the C.-in-C. adopted two little French war waifs under our orphan department's plan. Being American newspapermen, we naturally got all set to boost the cause by heralding the adoption far and wide. But a brief, yet polite, memorandum signed "J. J. P." asked us not to play it up - asked, and not ordered. And so the best story in that week's paper went in, along with Cook Smith's and Private Jones' adoptions, as simply: Gen. John J. Pershing .......... 2

We can remember another memorandum, the outcome of a little difference as to whether the paper was going to run for the enlisted man or not. It came from the fountain head of G.H.Q., through channels. And it said, in substance:

"The style and policy of THE STARS AND STRIPES is not to be interfered with."

It never was; and thus the old sheet was able to achieve whatever measure of usefulness, whatever place in the hearts of its fellow Yanks it may be credited with, now or in times to come.

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The Stars and Stripes, 1918-1919  |  A Closer Look at The Stars and Stripes