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90 Today!

The oldest surviving Irish Echo now in the care of the Archives of Irish America at NYU


By Irish Echo Staff

The Irish Echo is ninety today.

Break out the, eh, cups of tea.

Charles F. Connolly launched the Echo in 1928 but the first issue has been lost to history.

But a few years back an issue from November, 1929, did surface.

The 1929 issue was in the possession of John Feighery, brother of the late Frank, who for some years was editor of the Hibernian Digest.

It is now in the care of Professor Marion Casey at the Archives of Irish America at New York University.

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The issue is dated November 30, 1929. That was a Saturday. The paper would be published on Wednesday, but dated for the following Saturday.

The front page of the 1929 paper carried the volume number, in this case two, denoting the second year of publication, and a separate number for the issue.

Ordinarily – and this is true today – issues are numbered sequentially for the specific year denoted by the volume number. So this November 30 edition might have been number 48 or so for that year.

Only it isn’t.

It is actually listed as number 60 and what this revealed was that Charlie Connolly had continued the issue number sequence that had started in 1928 through the turning of the year and into 1929.

Why he did this is a mystery. It might have been that he was trying to create the impression of the paper being around for longer than it was.

Regardless, going back 60 weeks from Nov. 30 leads to Saturday, October 6, 1929. Go back an additional three days to the Wednesday publication day and we get to the precise point of the calendar that the Irish Echo was born: October 3, 1928.

Ninety years ago and close enough to 4700 editions today.