February 17, 1895 Yellow Journalism

Today in History

YellowKidMickey Dugan was “born” on February 17, 1895, a wise-cracking street urchin from the wrong side of the tracks. “Generous to a fault” with a “sunny disposition” Mickey was the kind of street kid you’d find in New York’s turn-of-the-century slums, maybe hawking newspapers. “Extra, Extra, read all about it!”

With his head shaved as if recently ridden of lice, Mickey was one of thousands of homeless urchins roaming the back lots and tenements of the city, not so much an individual as an archetype. Mickey Dugan was a cartoon character, the child of artist and “Buster Brown” creator, Richard Outcault.

Outcault’s “Hogan’s Alley” strip, one of the first regular Sunday newspaper cartoons in the country, became colorized by May of 1895. For the first time Mickey Dugan’s oversize, hand-me-down nightshirt was depicted in yellow. Readers soon forgot his name. He was simply “the Yellow kid”.

000789.1LOutcault worked for…

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