24 April 2009

A bit of fun history

Once again, I wasn't sure what to blog about. So I went back into my mind and went over some of my nerdy passions/OBSESSIONS. As you can imagine, I have a lot of them!

Anyway, back in 6th grade (2004-05), my sister and I stumbled upon the Disney movie "Newsies." I shared it with my best friend at the time, and we naturally got completely obsessed with it.* We argued constantly about whether Race Higgins or Spot Conlon was "hotter." We got the soundtrack, copied it, wore suspenders and newsboy hats, made our own newspaper cover about the movie, printed out bazillions of pictures. And, I, for my part, started a grossly awful fanfiction about Newsies.** (Click here to read, if you dare)

Well, okay, let my defend myself a little bit here. It is an AMAZING movie. I think it's Disney's best movie...or at least, DEFINITELY their best live-action/non-animated movie. Made in 1992, Kenny Ortega choreographed, starring Christian Bale when he was only 17 years old. And it's actually quite historically accurate. Which begins the wonderful nerdiness that went along with my obsession....I went online and looked up a bunch of stuff about the REAL newsies strike of 1899.

So, prepare youself for a bit of a fun history lesson here. Basically, the newspapers in New York raised the price of their papers during the Spanish-American War (both the cost for the newsies and the cost for citizens to buy from newsies), which was perfectly acceptable since the sales made up for it. Once sales went down, most newspapers reduced the prices again...except the New York World and the New York Morning Journal. So, the newsboys (most of them) decided to go on strike and refuse to keep selling the "papes." And, amazingly, the newsboys of 1899 actually DID sing in the streets to get attention, just like in the movie/musical!*** =] In 1899, newsies were gathered at Irving Hall from all over. 5,000 newsboys attended, and several gave speeches about the strike and what they should do....several leaders became appointed throughout the strike. In the real story, the newsies strike stopped after 2 weeks, when the publishers of the World and Journal agreed to refund unsold papers, though they did not lower the price from 60 cents for 100 papers.

Of course, there are many differences in the movie. In the movie, it appears that Pulitzer and Hearst made the price raise overnight, not because of The Spanish-American War. Obviously, they sing songs and dance. And they have a gathering at Irving Hall in the movie, though it happens rather differently...not with a diverse amount of people getting up to speak. And, in the movie, the newsies win the strike when Pulitzer and Hearst agree to lower the price of their paper for the newsies from 60 cents to 50 cents. Which, of course, is not how history played out.

Real quote from the Newboys Strike of 1899: "Ain't that ten cents worth as much to us as it is to Hearst and Pulitzer who are millionaires? Well, I guess it is. If they can't spare it, how can we?... I'm trying to figure out how ten cents on a hundred papers can mean more to a millionaire than it does to newsboys, an' I can't see it." ~ Kid Blink

Anyway, I think the movie is beautifully done, both historically and just as a movie. It's very...I don't know....heartfelt, true, lovely, etc. Of course, since it's Disney, they have to work in a girl who likes Jack Kelley and they kiss at the end...the first time, she is rather annoying, but then you get over it. Plus, the music is AWESOME =D



Christian Bale as Jack Kelley:

NEWSIES!!! Carryin' da Banner! =]

Uh...yeah. So, today one of my classmates fell asleep in precalc/SL IB Mathematics I and started snoring. Twas hilarious! =D Well, now I've got to work on an English speech, my Personal Project, math homework, and a US History project. *sigh*

Until tomorrow! Cheers! DFTBA! *I get obsessed with things very easily. ESPECIALLY when I was in middle school. Yeah....
**I'm still embarassed about that one *blushes*
***Man, I would love to travel back in time and see that!

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