Category Archives: Richmond History

Our Own Community Press

Masthead Oct 1981 CROP

In August of 1976, gay and lesbian members of Norfolk’s Unitarian Universalist church formed a branch of the Unitarian Universalist Gay Caucus (UUGC), and quickly decided that they needed a newsletter: Our Own Community Press was born.

First cover positive

 

The first issue of Our Own Community Press asserted that “Not Just Another Gay Group is Born,” followed by an explanation of the guiding philosophy of the Tidewater  UUGC:

We devote ourselves to the improvement of gay life through increased positive visibility. …We are not outwardly visible unless we allow ourselves to be… The gays who are confused, lack self-confidence, or question their unique lifestyle are gays who must be reached. They must be helped to realize whatever decisions they make for themselves cannot be labelled “good” or “bad” by virtue of a simple sexual preference. Gay is good when we first accept it for ourselves, and better when we educate the public with regard to our pride, productivity, and heritage.

 

April 1984 Subscription AD

 

Originally a newsletter, Its first issue was a single, one sided 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. Our Own Community Press changed to newspaper format in January of 1978. The paper was typed, edited, and assembled over a one week period every month by volunteers and staff. It was available for free, though readers could subscribe for a suggested donation. The paper also sold ad space to defray costs, and encouraged readers to “spend your gay money at gay businesses.”

 

 

 

In their coverage, the UUGC stayed true to their promise to provide visibility and hope to gay men and women in the region. In a time where positive gay representation in media was sorely lacking, Our Own Community Press took care to inform readers of new books, movies, or … read more »

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“A Carol of Clothes:” Winter Fashion and Hints for the Holiday Hostess

By Claire Johnson, Newspaper Project Intern

Merry Christmas from the VNP!

RTD 12-14-1919 SANTA

The holiday season has long meant family gatherings and a a full social schedule. Women of early twentieth century Richmond who wanted to make sure their parties, menus, and wardrobes were current and stylish had to look no further than the women’s pages of their  newspaper. There they could find decorating tips, menu suggestions, fashion advice, and etiquette help to make sure their holiday parties went off without a hitch.

Times Dispatch 12-3-1911 HEADER

Richmond Dispatch 12-23-1894 HEADER

In celebration of this holiday season, join us on a visual tour of the fads of Christmas past.

1894:

Richmond Dispatch 12-23-1894 CAROL

The times. December 09, 1894 WAISTThe times December 09, 1894 CLOAK N COPY 2

 

1896:

Norfolk Virginian 12-20-1896

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1901-1902:

From The Times, December 1901

The times. (Richmond, Va.) 1890-1903, December 08, 1901 WALK HAND The times Dec 08, 1901 DINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Dispatch, December 1901

 

From The Dispatch, January 1902

 Dispatch 1-12-1902 Text

 

1907:

RTD 12-15-1907

1911:

Times Dispatch 12-3-1911

1915:

RTD 12-19-1915

1917:

RTD 12-12-1917 YULETIDE COAT

1919:

RTD 12-14-1919

                        Richmond Times-Dispatch December 14, 1919

1922:

RTD 10-22-1922read more »

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A Look Back at the Richmond Downtown Expressway

Front page of the Progressive Richmonder from June 1950, a pro-Downtown Expressway specialty newspaper.

Front page of the Progressive Richmonder from June 1950, a pro-Downtown Expressway specialty newspaper.

In our collection we have an unusual one-off edition of The Progressive Richmonder from June, 1950 that was circulated to promote support for the construction of a downtown expressway. The paper was produced by a group identified as the Forward Richmond Highway Committee.

The object of the paper was to convince readers to support a referendum to be held at a Special Election on Tuesday June 13, 1950. The referendum did not propose a specific route for an expressway but was used as a gauge of the public’s support for the idea. The project’s total estimated cost was $29 million. Richmond’s contribution would be about $8 million dollars, with the Commonwealth contributing another $8 million and the Federal Government contributing $13 million.

The reasons given to support the expressway included that it would relieve existing traffic congestion, increase safety, faster travel for Richmonders, economic development (though the phrase did not yet exist, a proponent explained, “Everyone, motorists and all, stands to benefit financially in the long-range expressway planning.”), and scenery, “Landscaping that accompanies the construction of expressways and the building of parkways will add to the city’s beauty.”

Another argument used was that other cities had expressways in their downtown areas. An article cited examples in Detroit, Michigan, Sacramento, California, Houston and Dallas, Texas, and Hartford, Connecticut. It also stated a number of other localities were presently in the process of building expressways, the cities included Boston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

Alternative solutions and complaints by the opposition are briefly mentioned and dismissed. “We are told that the expressway would be an unsightly ditch. But the engineers say that it will be a handsome roadway, mostly at natural ground level, but if below ground … read more »

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