Omaha Daily Bee Newspaper Archive

The Omaha Daily Beewas a leading Republican newspaper that was active in the late 19th and early 20th century. The paper's editorial slant frequently pitted it against theOmaha Herald, the*Omaha Republicanand other local papers.[^1] After a 1927 merger, it was published as theBee-News* until folding in 1937.


It was founded as a pioneer newspaper in Omaha, Nebraska on May 8, 1871, by Edward Rosewater a Jewish immigrant from Bohemia who supported abolition and fought in the Union Army.[^2] The Bee was Nebraska's first regional newspaper,[^3] and was regarded nationally for its advocacy and success.^4 By 1875 the Bee had a circulation of 2,520 and by 1882 those circulation numbers increased to 6,100 daily copies.[^5] And while it was primarily a local paper the Bee also carried national and regional news in a simple eight column design.

The paper's slogan was "Industry, Frugality and Service." in 1888 Rosewater built the Bee Building to accommodate its presses, which were claimed to be the largest in the country. After his father carried the paper to national fame before his death in 1906, the paper began to slip under his son Victor Rosewater's control.[^6] The Bee was criticized for sensationalizing alleged attacks by black men in 1919 with headlines such as ""Frenzied thousands join the orgy of blood and fire" which escalated inter-racial hatreds that resulted in the Omaha Race Riot of 1919. It involved three deaths and thousands of dollars in property damages.[^7][^8]

The newspaper was sold to millionaire Nelson B. Updike, a local grain dealer, in 1920. In 1927, Updike purchased the Omaha Daily News and merged his papers to form the Bee-News.[^9] In June 1928 the Bee-News was sold to William Randolph Hearst. In October 1937, Hearst sold the paper to the Omaha World-Herald for $750,000, which promptly discontinued its publication.[^10]

According to a 1954 World-Herald report, "Edward Rosewater actually did not have journalism in mind when he launched the first edition of the Bee on June 19, 1871, to influence the public in favor of the ratification of a legislative bill originated by him, creating the Board of Education."[^11]

Bee and Bee-News alumni include Don Hollenbeck, who later worked for CBS News.[^12]


External links

  • . An oral history account of the paper from the Nebraska State Historical Society.

  • "Browse Issues: Omaha Daily Bee" Archived issues of the Omaha Daily Bee are made available for viewing by the Nebraska Newspapers project out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

[^1]: Bristow, D. (1997) ''A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha.'' Caxton Press. p 93.

[^2]: Larsen, L. & Cotrell, B. (1997). The gate city: A history of Omaha. University of Nebraska Press. p 69.

[^3]: Larsen & Cotrell (1997) p 194.

monopoly"](,9171,770946,00.html?promoid=googlep), Time. October 11, 1937. Retrieved 4/29/08.



[^7]: Jan Voogd, "Race Riots and Resistance: The Red Summer of 1919" Peter Lang, 2008 page 108

[^8]: For front pages in 1919 see """Frenzied thousands join the orgy of blood and fire"





Original source: Omaha Daily Bee. Shared with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License