What is Newspaper Carrier Day?
Today is September 4th, and you know what that means — International Newspaper Carrier Day!
Today’s the day that people around the world celebrate that most harried soul, the paper boy. But regardless of whether you get your paper delivered by a traditional paper boy on a bike or a grownup paper carrier tossing papers out their window before the sun comes up, you should take a moment to thank the people who bring you your local news and sports page.
In America, Newspaper Carrier Day is always celebrated on September 4th although the true “International” version of the holiday is usually on a different day. For instance, this year International Newspaper Carrier Day will be observed on October 10 — though I have no idea why the varying dates exist, it is important for me to warn our international readers that their day for celebrating the paper boy is a few days in the future. Have no fear, neighbors to the north and south — if you didn’t get your Paper Carrier Day festivities underway today, you’ve still got about a month to prepare.
In Spanish, your paperboy is your “repartidor de periodicos”. Our German friends call their paper delivery worker “Zeitungsjunge”. If you’re planning on thanking your paperboy in France, you’ll be saying “merci” to you “livreuer de journaux”.
I’m not being totally lightheartedhere. What would we do without our paper carrier? I know I’d never have the motivation to wake up and trudge down to the local grocery store to pick up my local rag every morning, and I’ve got to say, my paper carrier is consistent. Only once in the last few years has my paper not been resting neatly by my door, and that was during a terrible monsoon rainstorm. Cheers to you, paperboy.
Newspaper Carrier Day is meant to honor everyone who is now, or once was, a newspaper carrier. Ever have a paper route? You can join in on the fun.
This day has been picked for a specific reason. Believe it or not, Newspaper Carrier Day commemorates the actual hiring of the very first newspaper carrier, according to legend. While the job of newspaper carrying dates back to the early 1800s, it was on September 10, 1833 that 10 year old Barney Flaherty became the first official newspaper carrier. Benjamin Day, who was the publisher of The New York Sun, hired young Barney Flaherty to sell his papers for a penny apiece. The only job requirement asked of young Barney was that he had to prove to Mr. Day that he was capavble of throwing a newspaper into the bushes with consistency.
These days few kids deliver papers door to door from their bikes they way they used to — except maybe in small towns. But, but the “Carrier Day” tradition lives. This job is now largely held by adults, many of them delivering the paper from their cars.
This day is important for those of us who read the news every morning. By recognizing the importance of newspaper carriers in getting the newspaper to us each, we can give back just a bit of what has been given to us every morning, faithfully. Consider finding your paper carrier and giving them a tip, a free meal at a local restaurant, or a bike repair coupon (if your carrier still delivers from his or her bike).
There’s a rumor that President Ronald Reagan once got in on the act of celebrating National Newspaper Carrier Day. On October 6, 1982, Regan wrote a brief message supporting this day’s existence.