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Mon, 11.03.1879

The California Eagle Newspaper is Published

*November 3rd is National Journalism Day, so on this date, we celebrate the first publication of the California Eagle from 1879, it was one of the oldest Black-owned newspapers in America.  

John James Neimore founded the newspaper as The Owl that year to serve new arrivals to Los Angeles during the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans left the Deep South. The paper offered information on employment and housing opportunities as well as news stories geared towards the newly arrived migrant population.  After Neimore's death in 1912, Charlotta Bass bought the paper and renamed it California Eagle.   Her husband, J.B. Bass,was editor until his death in 1934   

By 1925, the newspaper had a circulation of 60,000, the largest of any African American newspaper in California. Its publishers and editors were active in civil rights, beginning with campaigns for equitable hiring, patronage of black businesses, and an end to segregated facilities and housing.  In 1951 Bass retired and sold the California Eagle to Loren Miller, the former city editor.  Miller was a Washburn University, Kansas law graduate. After he relocated to Los Angeles in 1930, he began writing for the Eagle and eventually became city editor. In 1945, Miller represented Hattie McDaniel and won her case against the "Sugar Hill" restrictive covenant case.  

He was appointed in 1963 as Superior Court of California judge.  In 1963, Miller sold the paper to fourteen local investors in order to accept his appointment as judge. The California Eagle initially increased circulation from 3,000 to 21,000.  But within six months the paper had to close; on January 7, 1964, the California Eagle ceased publication after 85 years.    

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The sale began-young girls were there, Defenseless in their wretchedness, Whose stifled sobs of deep despair Revealed their anguish and distress. And Mothers stood with streaming eyes, And saw their dearest children... THE SLAVE AUCTION by Frances E. W. Harper.
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