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The Eleven Editions of the
November 3, 1948 Chicago Daily Tribune

Before the days of instant television news, newspapers often printed several editions each day. As more developments in major news stories came to light throughout the day, or a new event happened, newspapers would publish another edition to relate the new infomation. These editions were identified by "ears". (An "ear" was a notice at the upper right hand corner of the front page.) The ears showed the order in which the editions were printed. The public became familiar with the ears and would ask for a later edition if given a "One-Star Home" late in the day -- the more stars, the later in the day the edition was printed. Many editions were printed in three formats.

(1) City Editions: On November 3, 1948, for the Chicago Daily Tribune, they each had 54 pages. As the name implies, these were delivered primarily within the city limits.

(2) 40 Mile Circulation: Papers delivered by bulk by truck, train or bus to news dealers from suburbs up to 40 miles from Chicago with such cities as Whiting and Gary, Indiana.

(3) Mail Editions: These were much smaller -- fewer pages -- than the standard city editions. Local ads like the classified and display ads as well as much of the national ads were left out of the mail editions. For the November 3, 1948 editions, each in this category had 28 pages.

Steve Alsburg, NCSA member number 06, related of yet another edition with a different headline. As per his catalog listing description, this paper is as follows: Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 3, 1948 'DEWEY AHEAD! RACE CLOSE/DEMOCRATS WINNING SENATE' (1 1/4 " headline) it has stories concerning the 1948 Presidential election. This is the FINAL ONE STAR EDITION that corrected the famous faux pas early which headlined 'DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN' The error was corrected in the headline only. The front page story about Presidential race begins: 'DEWEY AND WARREN WON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YESTERDAY BY A LARGE MAJORITY OF ELECTORAL VOTES. President Truman went down to defeat with few states outside of the South.' Lewis Kramer, NCSA member number 10, sent me two photocopies of different editions. One is the "GOP WINS WHITE HOUSE!", but this one is a "One-Star Final." The other paper had yet another different headline.

"After reading the last issue, I started to compare the timeliness of the stories in each edition to see if I could figure out the order in which the issues were printed. To aid in this research, I went over to the Michigan State University library to examine the microfilms and see which of the editions they had on file. Imagine my surprise when I found that the only one they had on film was totally different from any of the ones I had seen or heard of to that point!

I examined the entire paper, plus the ones for November 2 and 4 and discovered something else. November 3 is the only day during the strike that any portion of the paper was typed rather than typeset. I was able to verify this because of the fact that portions of the sports section especially were also typed. This lends credence to the fact that "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" and its offspring were indeed meant to be rushed onto the streets to scoop the other papers.

The following is a time line showing the order in which the issues were printed, what ear was on it, and some of the information used to determine when each edition was printed:

(1) "GOVERNOR DEWEY CLAIMS VICTORY" -- two star home edition.

In the "Electronic Bulletins" (columns 4-6), the first item is a quote from Dewey campaign manager, Herbert Brownell, with the time of 6:30 PM Central Standard Time: "We will wind up sweeping two thirds of the states for the Republican ticket." Also in this issue, the Arthur Sears Henning story in column 8 is titled, "Dewey Wins on Basis of First Tally". Finally, in the election returns bulletins, Tennessee is shown with 230 districts reporting out of 2300. This apparently was the first issue of the Tribune to hit the streets with election returns.

(2) "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" -- (City and Mail editions)

The Brownell quote is now included as part of the Henning story, "Puts G.O.P. Back in the White House". The election returns for Tennessee now show 421 districts reporting. Also, this is the first issue with city and state race results.

According to an installment of ABC-TV's "Our World" program shown in 1987, this issue went on the streets about 9:00 PM and was not pulled until almost midnight. It is important to note that both the "GOV. DEWEY CLAIMS VICTORY" and the 'DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" editions were on the streets the evening of the 2nd and not the 3rd of November as dated -- They not only got the headlines wrong but the date as well!

(3) "G.O.P. WINS WHITE HOUSE" -- (Suburban edition).

The bulletins columns are now titled, "Late Reports", and include a new quote from Brownell released at 8:30 PM CST, "As of this moment, the Dewey-Warren ticket is assured...of 295 electoral votes." Henning's story is titled, "Rural Vote Swings for Dewey". Tennessee is now showing 1338 districts reporting.

(4) "EARLY DEWEY LEAD NARROWS" -- (City edition).

This edition is the first to include the state results in the headline. Also, Tennessee results now reflect the returns from 1582 districts. Henning's story now seems to be pulling a reversal of the previous edition, "Farms, Cities Give Truman A Heavy Vote; Key States Still in Doubt". In addition, other stories include a column 1 title, "Democratic Sweep Takes State Posts; Dewey Has Slim Illinois Lead" and column 7, "Truman Gets Slight Edge in New York State".

(5) "DEWEY HOLDS NARROW LEAD" (Sports Final -- City edition)

This issue includes the sub-headlines, "Truman Pulls A Vanishing Act on Fans" and "Dewey Tops Close Battle in New York".

(6) "DEWEY AHEAD! RACE CLOSE" (Mail Final).

(?) "IT'S TRUMAN BY 150,000" (Flash 4 Star Edition)

One of the November 4, 1948 editions of the Chicago Daily Tribune showed a photo with the following caption: "The eleven editions printed by The Tribune yesterday to keep readers abreast of the election results." All eleven editions were shown in a fanned out format. Unfortunately, only the top edition headline can be read in its entirety. The headline of the top edition states: "PRESIDENCY STILL IN DOUBT/ELECT STEVENSON, DOUGLAS". The next two editions on the pile are the "DEWEY HOLDS NARROW LEAD/STEVENSON, DOUGLAS WIN" and the "EARLY DEWEY LEAD NARROW/DOUGLAS, STEVENSON WIN". None of the rest of the headlines can be read in the photo. The one on top is a previously unrecorded edition.

This makes a total of 8 of the eleven edition headlines identified. Can anyone out there provide information and photocopies of the front pages for these 3 "missing" editions? Your assistance is appreciated.

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