Once upon a time Milwaukee had a vibrant newspaper culture. And you don't even have to travel back to the days of the German-language newspapers, nor even to the era of the Evening News and Leader, to find it.
Even as recently as the early 1990s, the city had two daily newspapers – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Despite the fact that they were owned by the same folks, the Sentinel and the Journal newsroom staff viewed their opposite number as competition.
And the papers weren't just packed with wire stories generated elsewhere; they had a local bent.
It would've made many cities green with envy.
One of the most beloved and mysteriously discontinued Milwaukee features was the afternoon paper's Green Sheet, with comics, columns, feature stories and more, printed on green paper.
My favorite feature was the "Remember When" column which had an old-time Milwaukee photo with an explanatory caption. Created by the staff at the Milwaukee Public Library, "Remember When" dished up great local history nuggets. I remember my mom had a copy of a book that collected many of the photos. Alas, I don't know where it's gotten to now.
A much-celebrated institution, the Green Sheet was ditched in 1994 in favor of who knows what.
The year the Journal canned the Green Sheet, its circulation decrease was four times higher than the annual decline the two preceding years.
You can get the inside scoop when Milwaukee Public Library hosts the Green Sheet's final editor, Dan Chabot, who held that post from 1981 to 1984, when he takes part in "Remember When … Everyone Read the Green Sheet?," Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m., at Centennial Hall, 733 N. 8th St., in the Central Library.
There's also a display of Green Sheets inside the Central Library, on the main floor, right outside the entrance to the children's library, on view until May 31.
You can register for the "Remember When" event online or by calling (414) 286-3011.
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