The New York newspaper Amsterdam News is founded.
The year 1909 was an eventful one for African Americans: W. E. B. Du Bois and associates organized the NAACP; Matthew Henson, a Black man, accompanied explorer Robert Peary on the first successful expedition to the North Pole; and a relatively unknown South Carolina native founded the New York Amsterdam News.
James Henry Anderson was born shortly after the Civil War but ran away from his farm home in South Carolina at age 12. After working at a variety of jobs including bellhopping and a stint in the Navy, Anderson settled in New York and decided to try his hand at publishing a newspaper for the Black constituency.
At the time only about 50 Black newspapers were being published in the United States. But Anderson parlayed a $10 investment, six sheets of paper and two pencils into his venture and launched one of the most influential publications in the annals of the Black press. Using his wife's 5 x 4 - foot dressmaker's table in the basement of his home at 135 W. 65th Street, Anderson named and produced his paper for the Amsterdam neighborhood where he lived. The Amsterdam News began life as a 2-cent per copy six-page weekly that covered city items, Black social organizations and local YMCA events.