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Laurel outlook. [volume] : (Laurel, Mont.) 1909-current
Place of publication:
Laurel, Mont.
Geographic coverage:
  • Laurel, Yellowstone, Montana  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Laurel Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (July 14, 1909)-
  • English
  • Laurel (Mont.)--Newspapers.
  • Montana--Laurel.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206665
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 86075258
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Laurel outlook. [volume] January 5, 1944 , Image 1


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The Laurel Outlook

Thomas Jefferson "Jeffy" Johns published the first issue of the Laurel Outlook on July 14, 1909, one year after Laurel's incorporation and three years after the town became a terminal division point for the Northern Pacific Railway. At that time the town was divided into two communities, with the eastern section and the western section both claiming to be the true Laurel. The Outlook served one side and its rival, the Laurel Sentinel, served the other. Outlook editor Johns wanted to avoid conflict, so many of his editorials focused on the only thing the two sides held in common: baseball. This shaped the paper's independent outlook on social and political issues for years to come. As the first Montana weekly to have its own engraving plant, the Outlook provided its readers with numerous pictures earlier than other Montana weeklies. Joseph Gehrett succeeded Johns as manager and editor and eventually won the paper's competitive battle with the Sentinel. Gehrett left the paper for a time to pursue publishing in White Sulphur Springs but soon returned with B.L. Price, a lawyer and business partner. In June 1921, Montana Governor Joseph M. Dixon appointed Gehrett as one of Montana's representatives at the Press Congress of the World, to be held in Honolulu that fall. After Campbell B. Calvert bought out Price's interest, he and Gehrett continued to run the paper until illness prompted Gehrett to retire in 1953. Calvert took ownership of the paper and continued to run it with his son, Campbell C. Calvert. C.C. Calvert received full control of the paper in February 1976.

Throughout the Second World War, the Outlook endorsed war bonds heavily. A steady stream of eye-catching illustrations and bold text urged the citizens of Laurel to buy each successive bond. One 1945 advertisement placed by the Yellowstone Bank featured an illustration of a soaring American bomber dropping bombs, accompanied by the text, "INVEST IN THE NEXT RAID ON JAPAN! IT TAKES PLENTY OF WAR BONDS TO BUILD B-29s!" The paper ran a regular column dedicated to "Letters from Our Boys" (later "Letters from Our Boys and Girls"), with letters from locals serving in the armed forces.

From 1946 on, the paper covered subjects less severe than the war news of before. Railroad employees received promotions, a city swimming pool was proposed, and the Northern Pacific boasted of its first new passenger cars since the beginning of the war.

Aside from the first rumblings of the Korean War, peacetime had arrived in full. By 1950, the Royal Theatre had nothing to show on Saturdays except for films like Challenge to Lassie, complete with sound and Technicolor. The war bond advertisements had been replaced by advertisements for U.S. Savings Bonds and the March of Dimes, and the local Chevrolet dealer advertised new cars for the first time in years.

Provided by: Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT