Louisiana Front Pages

During the 19th century, many Louisiana newspapers were homegrown productions owned by local community members. Local newspapers often circulated among small communities where information, goings-on, and gossip spread quickly, and therefore, rarely appeared in the newspapers. In general, the front page of a 19th century Louisiana newspaper contains advertisements, legal announcements, poetry, and/or serial fiction. News headlines, feature articles, and anecdotes tend to appear alongside advertisements within the newspapers’ interior pages. Newspapers from this period provided few, if any, images or visual content among the columns of mostly uninterrupted text.

Louisiana newspapers drastically altered in layout and content during the first two decades of the 20th century. The newspapers’ issues presented unique imagery in the form of photographs and cartoons and provided readers with a front row seat to the development of the advertising industry. By the 1920s, the newspapers had evolved greatly due to the Associated Press, population growth, and advanced technology.

The following images highlight the evolution of Louisiana newspapers’ front-page appearance and structure. This showcase exhibits 28 newspaper titles representing the seven geographic regions of Louisiana including Acadiana/Cajun Country, Crossroads, Florida Parishes, Greater New Orleans Area, North-central, Northeast, and Northwest. To provide a wide scope of front-page evolution, the front pages selected also represent each calendar month as well as the decades covered in the Digitizing Louisiana Newspapers Project. For indentification and historical information about the titles featured below, go to the Newspaper Histories page.
For a closer inspection of each front page, click on the images to open the newspaper issue in Chronicling America.