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Little is known about the origins of the Weekly News or about the breadth of its appeal to readers. The newspaper’s offices were located on 23rd Street, south of Pennsylvania Avenue in a District of Columbia neighborhood called Randle Highlands. No extant early issues of the newspaper exist, and the few and incomplete holdings at the Library of Congress cover only August to December 1909.

Weekly News first appeared on Saturdays as a four-page, three-column publication; but the paper expanded to seven columns by December 1909, with a much smaller font and more than double the content of earlier issues. Subscriptions were advertised at ten cents per month. With the motto “Devoted to the Section East of the Anacostia River,” the Weekly News appealed to the working classes, especially those living in the Southeast Washington neighborhoods separated from the rest of the city by the Anacostia, a tributary of the Potomac River. Elias Auger, a Baptist minister from Randle Highlands, is listed as proprietor and manager in latter issues of the newspaper.

Early issues are characterized by society listings, church news, and advertisements for insurance, real estate, groceries and dry goods. Once the newspaper expanded, news of downtown Washington and the Southeast neighborhoods of Anacostia, Congress Heights, and Randle Highlands appeared regularly, as well as brief entries on national and international news. Advertisements also diversified and became more numerous, comprising half of each issue. Poetry, practical household tips, recipes, and curiosities appeared as well. Like the Suburban Citizen which covered the Takoma Park neighborhoods of Northwest Washington and adjoining Montgomery County, Maryland, the Weekly News was intended for a specific suburban audience. Ultimately, however, it lacked the crusading spirit of that earlier niche title.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC