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Greenbelt news review. : (Greenbelt, Md.) 1954-current
Place of publication:
Greenbelt, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Greenbelt, Prince George's, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Greenbelt Cooperative Pub. Association
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 19, no. 7 (Sept. 23, 1954)-
  • English
  • Greenbelt (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Maryland--Greenbelt.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01212073
sn 89061522
Preceding Titles:
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Greenbelt news review. September 23, 1954 , Image 1


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Greenbelt Cooperator and Greenbelt News Review

The Greenbelt Cooperator started in 1937 as a mimeographed weekly newsletter produced for the residents of the town of Greenbelt, Maryland. Greenbelt was founded in 1935 as the brainchild of Rexford Tugwell, a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration who helped formulate the New Deal and embraced a collectivist vision of urban planning. The town became an official project of the United States Resettlement Administration, and the town welcomed its first residents in 1937.

The Cooperator, like many local newspapers, faithfully documented the growth of the community through its coverage of civic affairs, business, society, recreation, schools, and religion. Readers of the Cooperator could read about social gatherings such as a marshmallow roast, lectures by an expert in home economics, clubs such as the Veterans Legion, Girl Scouts and other children's activities, and individual gatherings in people's homes.

What separates the Cooperator from other small-town newspapers was its cooperative nature. The staff was organized as a cooperative, and the newspaper's policies required that its members belong to at least one other cooperative in town. The stated purpose of the Cooperator was to promote the benefits of the cooperative movement as a social experiment. The editor and business manager were elected by the membership of the cooperative and by September 1939, copies of the newspaper were delivered to every address in Greenbelt.

Collectivist experiments came under increasing attack in the highly-charged, anti-communist rhetoric of the years following World War II. Although Greenbelt's residents remained committed to their cooperative vision, the name of the Cooperator was changed to the Greenbelt News Review in 1954. It continued to be published by a cooperative, staffed by volunteers, and distributed to every household in the town.

The Greenbelt News Review holds a distinguished place in the annals of the freedom of the press for a case that was argued all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. In July 1966, a local developer sued the newspaper for two million dollars after a report on a town meeting quoted several citizens who accused the developer of "blackmail." The News Review, responded with an aggressive fund-raising campaign, which ultimately raised $30,000. After local and state courts sided with the developer, the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protected the right to report in detail on public debates. The New Review wears this victory as a badge of honor and the newspaper continues to hold a special place in the life of Greenbelt.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD