Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick
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Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick was the title of the first multi-page newspaper published in the Americas. Before then, single-page newspapers, called broadsides, were published in the English colonies and printed in Cambridge in 1689. The first edition was published September 25, 1690, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was intended to be published monthly, "or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener." It was printed by American Richard Pierce of Boston, and it was edited by Benjamin Harris, who had previously published a newspaper in London. The paper contained four six by ten inch pages, and filled only three of them.
No second edition was printed, as the paper was shut down by the British colonial authorities on Sept. 29th, 1690, who issued an order as follows:
"Whereas some have lately presumed to Print and Disperse a Pamphlet, Entitled, Publick Occurrences, both Forreign and Domestick: Boston, Thursday, Septemb. 25th, 1690. Without the least Privity and Countenace of Authority. The Governour and Council having had the perusal of said Pamphlet, and finding that therein contained Reflections of a very high nature: As also sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports, do hereby manifest and declare their high Resentment and Disallowance of said Pamphlet, and Order that the same be Suppressed and called in; strickly forbidden any person or persons for the future to Set forth any thing in Print without License first obtained from those that are or shall be appointed by the Government to grant the same."
Occurrences: News, Journalism, and More, a WordPress website and blog based out of Haverhill, Massachusetts, takes up where Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick was so abruptly forced to leave off. The universal human right "to hold opinions... and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers” is therein explicitly asserted. Content includes: relevant current events; an "Online Books and Rare Books" archive; and comprehensive, non-partisan "News-Oriented Resources" addressing our pressing need to succeed "on our own terms without interference or control by others."
"We are at a moment in time here in the United States when the attacks by our government on the freedoms enumerated within the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, as well as elsewhere, are increasingly severe... Read a lot. Ask a lot of questions. Demand answers (or at least the freedom to make up your own mind about what is happening). Speak up. Speak out.... The links here will enable that. What remains is for you to remain curious and active."
- Steven J. Shaw. Colonial Newspaper Advertising: A Step toward Freedom of the Press. The Business History Review, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 1959), pp. 409-420