The year 1917 marks the birth of The Campanile. As a paper, we are honored to be a part of this 100-year anniversary and have dedicated the special feature, “Centennial Report,” to exploring our history. In each issue, we will travel into the archives of The Campanile. Our first report will venture back to the first available historical issue, Jan. 22, 1919.

The Campanile wrote its first issue in the fall of 1918. Students produced the first issues by writing on typewriters and printing the paper at a factory located on campus.

The January 1919 issue included four pages, quite the change from our current 24-page issues. However, the overall structure of our issues have stayed surprisingly consistent over 10 decades. The nameplate font for our logo remains the same and our overall page layout is similar. This original issue did not include the range of stories that are now produced, but it highlighted several Palo Alto-centric stories, including those from the neighborhood, and covered Paly sports as well.

The front page of this issue incorporated stories ranging from “Armenian Fund Drive Nets $177.10” to “First Game of Basketball Is Lost.” The top story on the page detailed Paly’s contribution to “feeding the starving Armenians,” referring to the extermination of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide.

Specific tags sold for 10 cents each ($1.50 today) to contribute to a fundraiser. The total amount raised, $177.10 ($2600 today), obliterated the school’s past record of giving to worthy causes. John Domby was credited with selling the most tags, contributing $14 to the relief fund ($290 today). The second major story on the front page detailed the Paly basketball game against Campbell High School, which took place on Jan. 11, 1919. The game ended in a nail-biting 20-19 loss for the Paly team.

“Many Alumni in Hall of Fame” dominated the front page of the January 1919 issue of The Campanile and highlighted the achievements of former Paly graduates. This particular issue told the story of Paly graduate Edgar Kirk Soper, class of 1904.

“On Wednesday of last week Edgar Kirk Soper, class of 1904, sailed with a party of geologists for the Island of Trinidad to investigate the southern part of that island for deposits of oil. In high school Edgar Soper made a fine record in scholarship and was prominent in student affairs as president of the student body and as captain of the baseball team.”

The Campanile has undergone changes in its 100 years. Librarian Rachel Kellerman has structured an online library, which will include the full archive of all Paly’s publications. It can be found at palyjournalismarchive.pausd.org.

About The Author

Philip Ericsson
Multimedia Editor

Philip is a junior at Palo Alto High School and is the Multimedia Editor of The Campanile. Philip’s previous articles in The Campanile include: “The Legacy of Barack Obama,” “A Paly Perspective on AI” and “The Rise of the Chinese Super League. Philip also runs Track and Field at Paly where he competes in hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

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