Old Mole

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Old Mole #25 (1969)

Old Mole was a radical New Left oriented underground newspaper published in Cambridge, Massachusetts from September 1968 to September 1970. Printed biweekly in a 16-page tabloid format, it was based for most of its existence in a storefront and basement office on Brookline Street in Central Square. Selling for 15 cents (later raised to a quarter), 47 issues were published in all, with press runs averaging 8000 to 10,000 copies. Subscriptions were free to prisoners and soldiers.

Old Mole was produced by a floating staff of 20 to 30 volunteers, with no more than 4 paid staffers. The staff was split evenly between men and women, almost all white, most of them college graduates and many connected with nearby Harvard University. About half of the paper's news coverage was local. One of its founders was Michael Ansara.[1] It was more politically oriented than many of the more hippie, psychedelically oriented underground papers of the period, and its politics tended to reflect the positions of the SDS chapter at Harvard, supporting the Harvard student strike in 1969.[2]

The paper's name came from a quotation from Karl Marx which appeared in the masthead: "We recognize our old friend, our old mole, who knows so well how to work underground, suddenly to appear: the revolution."

During the Harvard student strike of 1969, the Old Mole published daily "Strike Specials". In one of them, it published internal correspondence of Harvard administrators (the "Dear Nate" letter) that had apparently been stolen from University Hall during the student sit-in.[3]


  1. ^ Katharine L. Day, "Two Radicals Subpoenaed By a Senate Subcommittee", The Harvard Crimson, February 20, 1971]
  2. ^ "Swimming in a countercultural sea" by Dick Cluster, The Newetowne Chronicle (newsletter of the Cambridge Historical Society), Summer 2010, p. 1, 6. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2011.
  3. ^ Rebecca L. Walkowitz, "The Inside Dirt On The Old ", Mole", The Harvard Crimson April 7, 1989