“The Stars and Stripes” military newspaper celebrates a birthday and major milestone on July 29  at Reno’s National Auto Museum.
“The Stars and Stripes” military newspaper celebrates a birthday and major milestone on July 29 at Reno’s National Auto Museum.
RENO — What began as a small newspaper written and produced by a few Union soldiers in 1861 during the Civil War is now a journalistic tradition spanning 160 years. 

“The Stars and Stripes” military newspaper is celebrating its birthday with a national tour, and one of the stops will be in Reno. The public is invited to the celebration at the National Auto Museum on Lake Street July 29.

Included in the afternoon event will be a portrayal of famous WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle by local actor Doug Mishler. Videos will be shown of “The Most Dangerous Paper Route in the World,” the story of Stars and Stripes, and a virtual tour of the S&S Museum and Library in Bloomfield Mo.

“This should be a great event for veterans who remember ‘Stars and Stripes,’ and those who want to remember a few of the glory days of newspapering,” said local coordinator and former S&S staff writer Fred Hinners.

“We are honored to have a former European ‘Stars and Stripes’ editor, Brian Brooks, emcee the event. Brooks edited the newspaper from 1997 to 1999 and is a former associate dean of the Missouri School of Journalism.”

The event will feature “Stripes” newspaper displays and information on the Stripes Museum and Library’s outreach efforts, Liberty Days, re-enactor programs and educational efforts for children.

Hinners said the birthday event is free to the public, except for the $10 admission charge for the auto museum, and includes refreshments and access to the auto exhibits. There will be a social hour beginning at 2 p.m., followed by the Pyle portrayal by Mishler at 3 p.m. and the Stripes presentation.

No reservations are necessary, but the size of the group will be limited to the capacity of the NAM theater, about 150 seats. Tickets may be purchased online at the National Auto Museum website or at the door.

“We think the auto museum will be a great venue for us,” Hinners said. “It will be an afternoon of beautifully restored antique cars, a war correspondent at the front, and the days of hot type and rumbling huge presses.”

Background from Stripes.com:

Stars and Stripes maintains news bureaus in around the world including Europe, Pacific, and the Middle East to provide first-hand reporting on events. In addition to news and sports, Stars and Stripes news products contain all the elements of an American “news organization.” 

The newspapers for deployed personnel are provided at no charge to service members serving in harm’s way. In Europe and Pacific, the newspaper is sold on base in coin boxes and at military exchanges.

Home delivery to subscribers is available in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Stars and Stripes also produces a weekly U.S. edition distributed to more than 30 locations inside the continental United States.

Other publications include special supplements focused on topics of interest to the military community such as education, transition, and retirement planning. 

In addition to its print publications, Stars and Stripes delivers breaking news 24 hours a day through its premier Stripes.com website and on mobile aps for iOS and Android. 

Stars and Stripes has not been published continuously. A few editions were printed in 1861 and the paper was revived for WWI and WWII. The current publication has been in operation since the Second World War.