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About The Chicago star. (Chicago, Ill.) 1946-1948
Chicago, Ill. (1946-1948)
- The Chicago star. : (Chicago, Ill.) 1946-1948
- Place of publication:
- Chicago, Ill.
- Geographic coverage:
- Chicago Star Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (July 6, 1946)-v. 3, no. 36 (Sept. 4, 1948).
- Chicago (Ill.)--Newspapers.
- Labor unions--Illinois--Chicago--Newspapers.
- Labor unions.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00990260
- Working class--Illinois--Chicago--Newspapers.
- Working class.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01180418
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Available on microfilm;
- sn 87062321
- Succeeding Titles:
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Chicago Star and Illinois Standard
The Chicago Star was a progressive newspaper that ran from 1946 to 1948. It was succeeded by the Illinois Standard, which in turn only lasted until 1949, when it folded into the National Guardian. The Star was launched on July 4th (actually, the July 6th issue) with the goal of uniting the "plain people" of the nation across demographics: "from liberals to Communists; of all religions; of Negroes and whites; and of all minority groups." The board included union founder Ernest De Maio, Communist Party USA member William Sennet, former Daily Worker reporter Carl Hirsch, and Frank Marshall Davis, journalist for the Chicago Whip, activist, and poet of the Black Chicago Renaissance.
Both the Star and the Standard featured a wide variety of guests and columnists from the left side of the political spectrum. These included Spartacus author Howard Fast, adventurer and artist Rockwell Kent, radio DJ and creator of the program Destination Freedom Richard Durham, and Pulitzer Prize–winning broadcaster Studs Terkel. The Star came under heavy scrutiny for its views and writers; the Spokane Daily Chronicle called it "a red [Communist] weekly," and the Senate Committee on Un-American Activities included it in a list of Communist-backed newspapers, both of which claims were likely untrue. Apart from labor-focused news and opinions, the Star and Standard also offered local reports, arts reviews, and sports. They also organized various community events: charity fundraisers, balls, picnics, and rallies.
Like many progressive papers, the Star and its successors were plagued by financial problems. Each issue of the Star was sold for less than it cost to produce, and in 1948 the paper's debts caught up. A fundraising campaign was launched but attracted little money, and in the August 14 issue editor Hirsch announced the paper would be cut to eight pages. Less than a month later, the Star sold its assets and equipment to the Progressive Publishing Company, part of presidential candidate Henry Wallace's Progressive Party. The Illinois Standard launched its first issue on September 11, 1948. Following a failed funding drive and the Progressive Party's election defeat, however, the Standard lost momentum, and after a mere five months sold its subscription list. The National Guardian, a Progressive Party newspaper funded by Chicago heiress Anita McCormick, bought the list in hopes of creating a Midwest edition of the publication, but it did not come to fruition.