July 20, 1899 New York City
newsboys, many so poor that they were sleeping in the streets, begin a 2-week strike. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader Kid Blink
, who was blind in one eye. (New
York City newsboys, July, 1910, Lewis Hine
photo) The boys paid publishers up front for the newspapers; they were successful in forcing the publishers to buy back unsold papers. Strikers demonstrated across the Brooklyn Bridge
for several days, (early Occupy
) effectively bringing traffic to a standstill, along with the news distribution for most New England
cities. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader ‘Kid Blink’.
With one of the coolest nicknames in labor lore, ‘Kid Blink’ – – Lousi Ballet – – was blind in one eye.Hearst and Pulitzer hired goons to attack Blink and other newsies. The Newsboys Strike forced change in the way that Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst‘s newspapers compensated their child labor force. The strike caused Pulitzer’s New York World to reduce its circulation from 360,000 to 125,000, The strike increased the amount of money that newsboys received for their work.