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HBS students to recreate historical event in play, March 18

In July of 1899, newspaper owners Joseph Pulitzer of The World and William Randolph Hearst of The Journal agreed to raise the wholesale price that the newsboys and newsgirls paid for the papers from 50 cents for 100 papers to 60 cents. Within a few days, the "newsies," lead by Kid Blink, organized a strike against the newspapers.

Henry Barnard School fifth graders will perform in a historical drama based on the events of 1899 on Friday, March 18, at 9:30 a.m. in the Nazarian Center’s Sapinsley Hall.

The play was written and directed by Sharon Fennessey, professor at Henry Barnard School. Both fifth grade classes at Henry Barnard School play the various roles of the newsies who lead the strike and organize their fellow newsboys and girls from every borough of New York City.

Playing the lead roles of Sarah Simons and Jack Sullivan are Eliza Mahoney and Peder Schaefer. Essie Simons is portrayed by Maya Van, and Kid Blink and Gracie Mulligan, strike leaders, are acted by Sara Gedeon and Loretta Querceto.

During the strike, the newspapers lost two-thirds of their circulation. Finally Hearst and Pulitzer struck a compromise with the strike leaders. The wholesale price would remain at 60 cents for 100 papers, but Hearst and Pulitzer agreed to refund the cost of all unsold papers. The newsies accepted the compromise and the two-week strike ended.