An Obituary From the Future

NEW YORK —The last member of the newspaper family died today, ending a 329-year-old American dynasty.
He was preceded in death by “Publick Occurences Both Foreign and Domestick,” the first of his line in America, born Sept. 25, 1690, in Boston to Benjamin Harris, unlicensed and living just one issue; “Boston News-Letter,” born April 24, 1704, to John Campbell, living for 72 years; “Gazette,” born Dec. 21, 1719, in Boston and famed as a journal of the anti-British cause during the American Revolution, associating with the Adamses, James Otis, John Hancock and others; “American Weekly Mercury” of Philadelphia, born to Andrew Bradford; “New England Courant,” born Aug. 7, 1721, to James and Benjamin Franklin, which departed from the tradition of dull chronicles of foreign news, criticized royal power, and encouraged contributed letters, printed verse and essays, including Benjamin Franklin’s anonymous letters; and “Pennsylvania Gazette,” raised to adulthood by Benjamin Franklin. He was also predeceased by thousands of siblings of all manner of achievement and status, some known throughout the world as tops in their field and some known only in their hometowns but dearly loved by their friends and relatives; Scripps Howard News Service; and the Associated Press.
He is survived by television, radio, online radio, satellite radio, msnbc.com, cnn.com, weather.com, aol.com, yahoo.com, spacestationonline.com and moonnews.com.
His family was instrumental in promoting and fostering the American Revolution and, consequently, the birth of the United States of America. They encouraged the acceptance of the U.S. Constitution through publishing in installments Alexander Hamilton’s “Federalist,” which explained in great detail the founding fathers’ theories behind the Constitution. They inflamed public opinion on the issues of states’ rights, secession and slavery and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War. They announced the attack on Pearl Harbor and displayed in full color the attack on the World Trade Center.
They have accompanied Americans across the continent, to foreign lands and even on short trips to the bathroom, and they will be sorely missed by their loved ones. They loved to spend time with Americans, whether fishing, playing checkers at the general store, riding a train across the Rocky Mountains, flying to the Caribbean or simply relaxing with a good cigar after work. They served many purposes besides bearing good and bad tidings, lining bird cages, protecting fragile cargo in shipments from state to state, enriching flower gardens, and sheltering homeless persons from the weather.
Services will be held April 24, 2019, on Boston Common, with military honors provided by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Vietnam Veterans of America. Copies of the last published American newspaper will be entombed in the Bunker Hill Monument, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Sarah Palin Interplanetary Peace Marker, and the Lunar Colonization Obelisk. (“Non Sequitur” is one of my favorite  comics; this strip appeared the same day as my column.

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