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The oldest surviving Echo dating to November, 1929

EDITORIAL: The Presses Have Rolled For 95 Years

The Irish Echo is ninety five years on the job this year.

The precise birthday will be in October, 2023. But why wait?

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

However, 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.

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

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 five years ago and close enough to 5000 editions later here we are at 95.

It's a venerable age by any standard, and in any context.

It is also a testimony to all those who have worked down the years to bring generations of readers the story of Ireland, of Irish America, of America.

At 95 we start to think of 100. Five years is a long time and no time. We can't dictate the speed of time, nor the details of its passage.

We can only work towards reaching our centenary. With the help and participation of our readers and advertisers, and even in a time of peril for all newspapers, we are confident that our efforts will take us there. In the meantime, we'll raise a glass to the Echo, both venerable and vigorous, at 95.