The Hartford Courant, the Nation’s Oldest Newspaper, Celebrates 250 Years of Continuous Publication

HARTFORD, Conn.--()--Today, the Hartford Courant celebrates 250 years of continuous publication — an accomplishment no other newspaper in the United States can claim.

“We take great pride in being an integral part of the lives of Connecticut’s neighborhoods and invite everyone to join us in our celebration.”

For 250 years, the Hartford Courant has served as a guidepost in the community, delivering ground-breaking stories of triumph and tragedy – heartbreak and hope, all of which have helped shape the world we live in today. From the American Revolution to the digital revolution, The Courant has deftly covered the beginning — and end — of two world wars, the inauguration of every American president and the first man on the moon. The iconic title has delivered news of unspeakable tragedy, from the September 11 terrorist attacks to the devastating events at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The Courant has reported on the evolution of long-held positions on race, gender and sexual orientation in the face of demands for change – all of which underscore the critical importance of free press in a community.

In a letter, President Barack Obama wrote, “Since our very earliest days, the Hartford Courant has worked to uphold this cornerstone of the democracy we know today. Telling stories that demand to be told and making sense of events that might at first seem beyond comparison, your newspaper helps ensure all our people can make their voices heard and access the information they need.”

On September 17, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution honoring the Hartford Courant for 250 years of continuous publication. Senate Resolution 553 acknowledges that the first edition of The Courant was printed on Oct. 29, 1764 and constitutes The Courant’s position as the oldest, continuously published newspaper in the United States.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “From the early days of our birth as a nation, through wars, assassinations and cultural upheaval, the Hartford Courant has been a leading and enlightening voice, speaking truth to power. The Courant's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative work and daily coverage of public meetings, local campaigns and community events have kept millions of readers informed of the decisions and events that have shaped our history and lives.”

“Over the course of our 250-year history, the Hartford Courant has evolved from a weekly newspaper to a dominant, award-winning news and information brand, providing premium and engaging content across all touch points,” said Nancy A. Meyer, the brand’s Publisher. “We take great pride in being an integral part of the lives of Connecticut’s neighborhoods and invite everyone to join us in our celebration.”

“While we have been the storytellers, they aren’t really our stories — they’re everyone’s,” said Editor Andrew Julien. “This year has been a unique opportunity to look back at the events that have shaped us and our communities, and look ahead to the future we’re all currently writing.”

Follow the Hartford Courant’s social media sites: Facebook (Facebook.com/HartfordCourant) and Twitter (@HartfordCourant), hashtag #Courant250. You can also share with your friends and family online this video that captures the paper’s iconic front pages from throughout the years.

A brief history of the Hartford Courant

The Courant was founded on October 29, 1764, as a weekly newspaper (The Connecticut Courant) and has never missed a publication since its inception. Thomas Green, the paper’s founder, sold clothing, stationery, hardware and spices out of a store in front of The Courant’s office in Hartford to keep the paper in business. In 1913, the publication launched its Sunday edition.

In 2013, the Hartford Courant was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in the Breaking News category for “complete and sensitive coverage” of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and for “using digital tools as well as traditional reporting to tell the story quickly while portraying the stunned community’s grief.” The paper won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for a series of stories on the flaws that plagued the Hubble telescope and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for the in-depth coverage of the tragic events of the 1998 shooting at Connecticut Lottery headquarters.

Historical Facts about the Hartford Courant

  • George Washington placed an ad in The Courant to lease part of his Mount Vernon land
  • Noah Webster’s “Blue-Backed Speller” was first published in The Courant
  • Thomas Jefferson sued The Courant for libel — and lost
  • Mark Twain tried to buy stock in The Courant but his offer was turned down
  • The full text of the Declaration of Independence was in The Courant’s July 15, 1776 edition – on page 2

About Tribune Publishing Company

Tribune Publishing Company (NYSE: TPUB) is a diversified media and marketing solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms. The Company’s diverse portfolio of iconic news and information brands includes 10 award-winning daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and more than 150 verticals in key markets, including: Los Angeles; Chicago; South & Central Florida; Baltimore; Carroll County and Annapolis, Md; Hartford, Conn; Newport News, Va.; and Allentown, Pa. Tribune Publishing also offers an array of customized marketing solutions, and operates a number of niche products, including Hoy and El Sentinel, making Tribune Publishing the country’s largest Spanish-language publisher. Tribune Publishing Company is headquartered in Chicago. For more information, please visit us at www.tribpub.com.

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Contacts

Hartford Courant
Jennifer Humes, 860-241-3669
jhumes@courant.com

Tribune Publishing Company