Daily Histories: The 100-Year Book

Iowa State Daily histories

To celebrate the Iowa State Daily‘s 100th anniversary in 1990, a book was done that collected 108 front pages from across the Daily‘s history. At the beginning, there is a history of the newspaper alongside a couple photos of the then-present newsroom as well as some old staff and newsroom photos of years/decades past.

“Looking Back” from The 100-Year Book

The 100-Year Book (1990)

Student newspaper staff at Iowa State have written about campus events and controversies for 100 years.

The Iowa State Daily and its predecessors have published reports on everything from disagreements over wearing sweaters in the dining halls in the 1890s, to efforts to raise money for the Memorial Union in the 1920s, to the anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s.

This book traces the history of student newspapers at Iowa State from the first issue in 1890 to the present. Hundreds of student reporters, editors, advertising representatives and production personnel have been a part of that history.

Efforts to establish a student newspaper began in the spring of 1890 when a resourceful group led by F.E. Davidson issued a student news sheet called the Clipper. The students did this on their own initiative and without support from college officials.

Efforts to establish a student newspaper began in the spring of 1890 when a resourceful group led by F.E. Davidson issued a student news sheet called the Clipper. The students did this on their own initiative and without support from college officials.

Publishing of the Clipper led to the creation of The Iowa Agricultural College Student, which was launched with formal recognition on Aug. 7, 1890. Other student publications had existed earlier, but they were more literary magazines than newspapers.

During the early years of Iowa State, six literary societies were highly influential in student life. The societies’ most extensive effort began in June 1873 with the publication of the Aurora under a student board of directors headed by Millikan Stalker.

The Aurora published articles by faculty members, as well as essays and orations presented in literary societies and intercollegiate contests. It contained only a small amount of college news.

Publication of the Aurora continued until 1891, but in the 1890s also brought a demand for more reporting on athletics and other student activities.

With that aim in mind, students who had published the Clipper started The IAC Student in the fall of 1890.

The editors outlined the purpose of the new publication in the first issue: “We shall try to publish a college newspaper. The IAC is our field, and we shall endeavor to advance the institution in every manner possible. We shall not attempt to run a scientific or literary magazine, and we doubt if there is a demand for our ideas on politics or religion. It is our object to create a genuine college newspaper, one free from all alliances, and in this work we invite all the friends of the institution to help us.”

Seven issues later, the editors wrote: “Notwithstanding the prophesies of unfriendly critics, The Student has grown and prospered. We have endeavored to make it truly a student newspaper — a record of what they think and how they act.”

Initially, the staff published The IAC Student every two weeks, but weekly publication began later in the 1890s. The IAC Student later was called The Weekly Student, The Iowa State College Student and the Iowa State Student. As the university grew, the newspaper converted to a twice-a-week schedule in 1900. Publication of three issues per week began on Sept. 11, 1914.

In March 1938, the Iowa State newspaper began daily publication and officially changed its name to the Iowa State Daily Student. The current name of the Iowa State Daily came into use on Sept. 22, 1947, after editors decided the newspaper’s name should reflect its expanded coverage of state, national and international news.

The Daily has been published five days a week during the regular school year since 1938 with a summer publication schedule of one or twice a week.

Formal instruction in journalism began at Iowa State in the fall of 1904 when the school offered the world’s first course in agricultural journalism. Establishment of the course followed a meeting of agricultural leaders at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago in 1904.

C.F. Curtiss, dean of agriculture at Iowa State, and John Clay, head of a prominent livestock firm, discussed the possibilities of journalism as an aid to agriculture.

Fourteen agricultural leaders and editors met on the campus in the fall of 1905 to launch the first one-credit class. For a number of years, Clay financed the teaching of journalism until it became a part of the school’s regular curriculum.

The popularity of journalism grew steadily, and the fall of 1911, home economics students requested that a special course be offered for them.

Courses in engineering journalism were offered by 1920, and in that year, a four-year curriculum leading to the bachelor of science degree in agricultural journalism was approved for the college catalog. In 1927, the program became known as the Department of Technical Journalism.

Since the beginning of student newspapers at Iowa State, printing has been handled both on and off campus. The IAC Student first was printed by the Ames Intelligencer and later by other local printers.

That changed, however, in 1924 when the newspaper and three other student publications — the Iowa Agriculturalist, Iowa Homemaker and Iowa Engineer — united to form the Collegiate Press, later called the Iowa State University Press.

The Collegiate Press and Iowa State College agreed to establish a non-profit corporation. The college set aside the east basement of an addition to agriculture Hall for use by the College Press. The college provided heat and light for the rooms at no expense.

The Collegiate Press bought a Model A Duplex Press in August 1926, which enabled the student newspaper to convert to morning publication.

The Collegiate Press and Iowa State arranged for a new building for the press and student publications in 1940. That building, with later additions, today is called Hamilton Hall and houses the student publications and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Hamilton Hall is named after Carl Hamilton, former vice president for information and development at Iowa State. Hamilton also served as editor of the Iowa State Student in 1934-35 and as head of the Department of Journalism in the 1960s, before assuming the position of vice president.

The Iowa State University Press now has moved its operations to another Ames location. The recent years, several area printing plants once again have handled the printing of the Daily.

Today, the Daily employs as many as 80 students and a professional staff of six. It has a circulation of 18,000 during the regular school year.

Former Daily staff members who have won Pulitzer Prizes for their outstanding work in journalism are Lauren Soth in 1956, Robert Bartley in 1980 and Thomas J. Knudson in 1985.

Student newspapers traditionally have served both as a source of information about campus activities and as a learning tool for those interested in journalism. Students newspapers sometimes face criticism, but so do most newspapers that voice opinions contrary to those held by some of their readers.

The 1899 editors of The ISC Student wrote their ideas about the function of college newspapers, which still hold true today:

“Each and every one of our readers cannot expect to find in The Student a mirror of his own mind. Some writer, we think it is Emerson, says he does not value the book or the friend that continually agrees with him. He wants occasional disagreement to whet his mind. If The Student is only to knuckle to each whim and passing notion and never express independent ideas, it will be a detriment and a drag upon the college. But if we can sometimes set you thinking, better yet if we can set you to talking, we shall consider our work well done.”

More about The 100-Year Book

Here are the front pages included in the book. They aren’t high quality. All of them were taken from the microfilm at Parks Library, so the quality varies and many photos are undefinable.

1890s (3)

  • 7 Aug 1890
  • 2 Jun 1896
  • 22 Mar 1898

1900s (1)

  • 10 Sep 1902

1910s (5)

  • 12 Oct 1912
  • 15 Apr 1913
  • 20 May 1916
  • 11 Oct 1918
  • 10 Dec 1919

1920s (8)

  • 12 Nov 1920
  • 29 Mar 1922
  • 18 Apr 1923
  • 8 Oct 1923
  • 28 Mar 1924
  • 22 Apr 1925
  • 26 Sep 1927
  • 8 Oct 1929

1930s (5)

  • 12 Apr 1930
  • 6 Apr 1933
  • 11 Feb 1936
  • 13 Oct 1936
  • 25 Mar 1938

1940s (11)

  • 7 Feb 1940
  • 3 Oct 1940
  • 5 May 1942
  • 30 Mar 1944
  • 24 May 1944
  • 8 May 1945
  • 8 Aug 1945
  • 15 Aug 1945
  • 18 Apr 1946
  • 16 Aug 1947
  • 3 Aug 1948

1950s (10)

  • 28 Jan 1950
  • 30 Sep 1950
  • 22 Feb 1951
  • 21 Oct 1953
  • 12 Jul 1956
  • 22 Sep 1956
  • 7 Nov 1957
  • 22 Mar 1958
  • 11 Apr 1959
  • 24 Sep 1959

1960s (23)

  • 22 Oct 1960
  • 19 May 1961
  • 15 Nov 1961
  • 31 Mar 1962
  • 28 Nov 1962
  • 11 Dec 1964
  • 27 Mar 1965
  • 16 Oct 1965
  • 3 Nov 1965
  • 9 Apr 1966
  • 23 Apr 1966
  • 17 May 1966
  • 23 Sep 1966
  • 8 Feb 1967
  • 8 Apr 1967
  • 6 Oct 1967
  • 6 Feb 1968
  • 18 May 1968
  • 25 Jan 1969
  • 1 May 1969
  • 16 May 1969
  • 17 Jul 1969
  • 23 Oct 1969

1970s (17)

  • 10 Apr 1970
  • 6 May 1970
  • 23 May 1970
  • 31 Mar 1971
  • 4 Jan 1972
  • 12 Feb 1972
  • 23 Jan 1973
  • 11 Apr 1973
  • 9 Sep 1974
  • 10 Jul 1975
  • 19 Sep 1975
  • 8 Oct 1975
  • 17 Mar 1977
  • 11 Aug 1977
  • 12 May 1978
  • 28 Jun 1979
  • 6 Jul 1979

1980s (22)

  • 26 Jun 1980
  • 25 Jun 1981
  • 19 Jan 1982
  • 22 Apr 1983
  • 21 Oct 1983
  • 18 Jan 1984
  • 28 Feb 1985
  • 12 Jun 1985
  • 26 Nov 1985
  • 29 Apr 1986
  • 23 Jul 1986
  • 13 Nov 1986
  • 20 Feb 1987
  • 31 Mar 1987
  • 10 Sep 1987
  • 19 Nov 1987
  • 2 Dec 1987
  • 9 May 1988
  • 12 Sep 1988
  • 3 Apr 1989
  • 3 Oct 1989
  • 9 Oct 1989

1990s (3)

  • 20 Feb 1990
  • 12 Apr 1990
  • 11 May 1990