Pictured at left is Denver newsboy Tom Payne. At right is a group of Denver children posing outside the Denver Post building.

(Tom Payne photo courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection; group photo by H. Buckwalter, courtesy History Colorado)

The  newspaper stories were sensational, the headlines were big and bold, and the kids who shouted them on America’s street corners were often little boys who relied on a few nickels a day to put food on their tables.

It was the era of yellow journalism--portrayed vividly in the Broadway musical “Newsies” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The play takes place in New York in the late 1800s, when very similar scenes were happening in Denver.

The DCPA’s senior arts journalist, John Moore, unearthed the history of Denver’s newsies and told CPR’s Andrea Dukakis what he learned.

See if you can answer these questions:

  • What Denver sports empire was founded by a newsboy?
  • Why was the Denver Post building called “the bucket of blood”?
  • Where did Denver’s homeless “newsies” live?