CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
On April 1st, 1909, daily newspaper "El Universal" was issued for the first time. At the head offices located in Sociedad a San Francisco, Number 6, major domestic, political, international, cultural, society, accident and crime reports were published in four pages, for two Venezuelan cents. The daily circulation went from 8,000 up to 8,500 copies in less than two months, and the newspaper led by poet Andrés Mata was favored by readers and advertisers altogether
In 1909, the newspaper's head offices were located at Sociedad a San Francisco, Number 6, downtown Caracas (Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation)
Daily newspaper El Universal was born with a daily
circulation of 8,000 copies and four pages in size on April
Run by poet Andrés Mata and with Andrés J. Vigas as editor-in-chief, the newspaper provided political, national, international, society, cultural, accident and crime information; published short stories; supplied information on the arrival and departure of ships at ports, and advertised the newest products available in the local market.
In the first "Our Tribune," readers were promised a "free space; free from any personal feeling; a slave only of the duties voluntarily undertaken for the sake of our fellow citizens in the wide scope of journalism which, when nobly accomplishes its mission, is an effective talisman of redemption and breakthroughs, as opposed to the despicable, backward factor whenever a writer becomes indulgent."
"The journalistic work would lead nowhere, here or elsewhere, if it fails to favor and ensure its effectiveness, freedom of thought," added the first editorial.
The first major opening headline is "Constitutional reform. People's initiative. The Castro's demise," an open letter against the dictatorship of Cipriano Castro sent to the authorities of La Victoria, central Aragua state.
Goods such as Las Tijeras soap ("the only one that does not produce whitlows"); Swedish matches by J.M. Benitez; La India chocolate; Victor gramophones; player pianos and typewriters by Frank Maduro or the Compagnie Française's news were advertised in that first edition.
The newspaper published at the premises of Sociedad a San Francisco, Number 6, is a novelty in a semi-rural Caracas in the first decade of the 20th Century. The Mata's and Vigas' project was warmly welcome, to such an extent that its daily circulation rose from 8,000 up to 8,500 copies in less than two months.
And advertisers grew concomitantly with readers: the pioneers were joined by Fama de Cuba cigarettes; the American Laundry; Valentiner Behrens and Llyrol's phytine, and a medicine against headache at the Botica del Corazón de Jesús, among others.
On August 5th, when El Universal turned four months, the Venezuelan Constitution was reformed to curtail the presidential term to four years and legalize Juan Vicente Gómez's office taken on November 1908.
Major news in the year include the conquest of the North Pole by US Navy Commander Robert E. Peary, who hoisted his country flag 100 meters from the polar milestone on April 6th. French adventurer Louis Blériot became, on July 26th, the first man who crossed the English Channel onboard an airplane designed on his own, made of steel, fabrics and bamboo. He flew from Dover to Calais in 37 minutes.
5.- Renewed status
6.- Radio Capital
9.- Cyber Radio
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