It wasn’t the first newspaper column geared toward children, but “Aunt Jean’s Daily Talk” published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle beginning in the early twentieth century was one of the most influential during its long run. “Aunt Jean’s Daily Talk” was a special section set aside “for [our] young readers”, news for Aunt Jean’s “nieces and nephews”.
The column featured stories geared toward children and fun things like contests, puzzles and various clubs (entertainment, humane, games and more). Children joined the clubs and regularly wrote to Aunt Jean submitting their stories, poems and drawings (many quite good), garnering credits for prizes. They learned about history, how to be kind to animals, being kind to one another, how to be a good citizen and more.
Typically a child’s letter would be signed “your nephew” or “your niece” and covered a range of topics:
Dear Aunt Jean – I want to ask you if any of the baseball teams need a player aged thirteen. I am a good player and will furnish my own suit. I could call and see the captain of a team on Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock. I am a very fine catcher and pitcher and would like to belong to one of the teams and help win a good name for it. Your nephew, LEWIS A. WALDRON
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