Top of page

Newspaper The New York Herald (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920 New York daily herald

View All Front Pages

About The New York Herald (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920

The New York Sun debuted on September 3, 1833, becoming the first successful penny daily, popular with the city’s less affluent, working classes. Its publisher, Benjamin H. Day, emphasized local events, police court reports, and sports in his four-page morning newspaper. Advertisements, notably help-wanted ads, were plentiful. By 1834, the Sun had the largest circulation in the United States. Its rising popularity was attributed to its readers’ passion for the Sun‘s sensational and sometimes fabricated stories and the paper’s exaggerated coverage of sundry scandals. Its success was also the result of the efforts of the city’s ubiquitous newsboys, who the innovative Day had hired to hawk the paper. The Sun added a Saturday edition in 1836.  A number of weekly and semiweekly titles were also published, such as the Weekly Sun (1851-69), which shares the same masthead as the Sun with “Weekly” appearing in the title ornament.

The paper’s true glory days began in 1868 when Charles A. Dana, former managing editor of the New York Tribune, became part owner and editor. Dana endeavored to apply the art of literary craftsmanship to the news. Under him, the Sun became known as “the newspaperman’s newspaper,” featuring editorials, society news, and human-interest stories. A Sunday edition was added in 1875 and, later, a Saturday supplement appeared, offering book notices, essays, and fictional sketches by Bret Harte, Henry James, and other well-known writers. In the 1880s, the paper’s size increased to eight pages and in 1887 the Evening Sun hit the streets in two editions: Wall Street and Night

On September 21, 1897, in response to a letter from eight-year-old reader Virginia O’Hanlon (“Papa says ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”), the paper published “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” This opinion piece by veteran newspaperman Francis P. Church, insisting that Santa Claus “exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” caused an immediate sensation. It became one of the most famous editorials in newspaper publishing history; the Sun would reprint this editorial annually until 1949.

By 1910 the paper averaged some 15 pages, with Sunday editions triple that length. In 1916 entrepreneur Frank A. Munsey, owner of multiple other newspapers, purchased the Sun, and a series of mergers followed. In July 1916, the Sun briefly became the Sun and New York Press and then reverted to the Sun by the end of the month. In 1920, the Sun merged with the New York Herald, and the titles were combined to create the Sun and the New York Herald which appeared daily from February to September of 1920. In October 1920, the daily was split into the New York Herald and the Sunabsorbing the Evening Sun in the process.  The Sun continued until January 5, 1950, when it merged with the New York World-Telegram and became the New York World-Telegram and the Sun. In 1966 that title became part of the World Journal Tribune; the latter folded the following year.

The Sun morgue of clipped newspaper articles is held by the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library. The Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division holds an estimated one million photographs, which were assembled by the Sun and subsequent papers between the 1890s and 1967, in the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Provided By: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation

About this Newspaper


  • The New York Herald (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920

Other Title

  • New York daily herald

Dates of Publication

  • 1840-1920

Created / Published

  • New York [N.Y.] : James Gordon Bennett, 1840-1920.


  • -  New York (N.Y.)--Newspapers
  • -  New York County (N.Y.)--Newspapers
  • -  New York (State)--New York
  • -  New York (State)--New York County
  • -  United States--New York--New York--New York


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily, Jan. 9, 1842-1920
  • -  Vol. 6, no. 1565 (Sept. 21, 1840) ; v. 6, no. 2 (Sept. 22, 1840)-v. 87, no. 153 (Jan. 31, 1920).
  • -  Issues for Sept. 22, 1840-Jan. 31, 1920 called also whole no. 1566-30,476.
  • -  Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  Weekly eds.: Weekly herald (New York, N.Y. : 1836), 1840-<1888>, and: Dollar weekly herald (New York, N.Y.), <1849>, and: Family herald, 1857-<1862>
  • -  Steamer eds.: Herald for Europe, 1846-<1848>, and: California herald (New York, N.Y.), 1848-<1849>, and: New York herald (New York, N.Y. : California ed.), <1852-1858>, and: New York herald (New York, N.Y. : Pacific ed.), <1864-1865>
  • -  Merged with Sun (New York, N.Y. : 1916) to form Sun and the New York herald.
  • -  Sun (New York, N.Y. : 1916) (DLC)sn 83030431 (OCoLC)9517450
  • -  Sun and the New York herald (DLC)sn 83030273 (OCoLC)9416945


  • 81 volumes : illustrations ; 60 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper
  • E457.5 .N3

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn83030313

OCLC Number

  • 9467138

ISSN Number

  • 2474-3224

Preceding Titles

Succeeding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The NEH awardee responsible for producing each digital object is presented in the Chronicling America page display, below the page image – e.g. Image produced by the Library of Congress. For more information on current NDNP awardees, see

For more information on Library of Congress policies and disclaimers regarding rights and reproductions, see

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The New York Herald New York N.Y. -1920. (New York, NY), Jan. 1 1840.

APA citation style:

(1840, January 1) The New York Herald New York N.Y. -1920. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The New York Herald New York N.Y. -1920. (New York, NY) 1 Jan. 1840. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,