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The Gleam. [volume] : (Juneau, Alaska) 1916-1919
Alternative Titles:
  • Weekly gleam
Place of publication:
Juneau, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Juneau, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
[publisher not identified]
Dates of publication:
  • Oct. 8, 1916-v. 1, no. 8 (Dec. 17, 1916) ; v. 1, no. 1 (Mar. 16, 1919)-v. 1, no. 27 (Sept. 14, 1919).
  • English
  • Alaska--Juneau.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213587
  • Juneau (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Suspended with Dec. 17, 1916 issue; resumed with Mar. 16, 1919 issue.
sn 93049265
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The Gleam. [volume] October 8, 1916 , Image 1


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The Gleam

The Juneau Gleam was a weekly focused on local politics published by Helen McEvoy in 1916 and 1919. The paper's first issue was on October 8, 1916; it was suspended with the November 5 issue, after elections had concluded. It included a goodbye that noted the paper had been created to help some candidates get elected and that, win or lose, it was ending. The paper supported the election of James Wickersham for delegate, calling him the "tried and true" option. The Gleam also pushed strongly for John Cobb in the election for attorney general of the territory of Alaska. The paperreturned on December 3; the December 10 issue explained that there had been no intention to return, "but so many readers asked for us that we decided to visit with you." The Gleam was suspended through 1917 and 1918, during World War I, and returned on March 16, 1919.

Upon her return in 1919, McEvoy complained that the city "has been neglected" during the war, resulting in the flourishing of gambling, bootleggers, and prostitution. Juneau's Front Street was a repeated target of McEvoy's for its drunks and speakeasies that continued in spite of Alaska's passing a prohibition law in 1917. The Juneau police force and its chief, Nels Sorby, were frequent targets of McEvoy for their alleged unwillingness to clean up the streets or uphold the laws, and she hinted that the violent tactics of Carrie Nation against alcohol establishments might have to make a comeback. She noted that the police tolerance of drunkenness, however, only extended to white drunks. McEvoy's writing earned her several critics, and after one very unpleasant encounter she remarked that she might get a gun "and God help the man who says anything vulgar in front of [the editor] when she is armed."

McEvoy argued that Juneau had not done nearly enough to attract fishermen and make them feel welcome, and she began reporting on the comings and goings of fishing vessels. McEvoy pushed strongly for legal equality of women, noting that wives were never counted as next of kin and so, if widowed, were reliant on the generosity of their husbands' families. McEvoy was a member of the local Alaska Labor Union, but she ran into trouble when the secretary of the Ketchikan branch of the Alaska Labor Union, Bradley Sawyer, came to Juneau in 1919. McEvoy alleged that Sawyer came to Juneau to take over its branch of the Labor Union and that "there were enough jelly fish in that body to let him do it." The Gleam was placed on a list of "unfair" publications by the Labor Union, and McEvoy was expelled in September. She fiercely criticized Sawyer and his supporters, but their blacklisting seems to have had an impact, and the Gleam was suspended for good shortly afterwards. After the Gleam ended, McEvoy took a teaching position at the government school for natives in Douglas.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections