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October 19, 2010 > History: Old newspapers in Union City

History: Old newspapers in Union City

By Myrla Raymundo

Browsing through old newspapers in the Union City Historical Museum files can be a very interesting and fulfilling experience. The old, yellowed pages reveal interesting bits of Union City history, making it easy to explore historical content and discover a lot of happenings. The following are found in the old newspapers kept at the Museum:


Alvarado Pioneer

The Alvarado Pioneer was started in 1929 by George H. Oaks and printed in a small shack on Union City Boulevard (Levee Street at that time.) The Alvarado Pioneer was published weekly in Alvarado, Alameda County, California, Home of Holly Sugar Corp. and Leslie Salt Company. George H. Oakes was Editor and Publisher.

A subscription cost $1 per year. Named Newspaper of Legal Status by Judge Harries, it was entered as second-class matter on March 26, 1947 at the Post Office at Alvarado, under the Act of March 3, 1879.


The Union City Leader

The Union City Leader was an independent weekly newspaper published on Fridays, and entered with second class mailing privileges at the Post Office in Union City. It was decreed a newspaper of general circulation by the Superior Court, Alameda County on July 20, 1961.

The subscription rate by mail was $4 per year and the price per copy was 10 cents. Richard L. Folger was the Publisher; Peter Owens, Editor; and Larry Orozco, Sports Editor.

The Leader started in October 22, 1959 and had a heavy circulation not only in Union City, but also in neighboring cities. After 15 years, in May of 1973, the business folded.


Union City Outlook

The Union City Outlook was a short-lived newspaper that was published for six months, from April 30, 1975 to November 19, 1975. Richard G. Ford published the newspaper. The Outlook started as "a community newspaper, designed to tell the story of what is happening where and when, while spotlighting community interest items."

In the first issue, Ford mentions community members prompting him to publish a local newspaper covering Union City. He had worked at Folger Publishing, the publisher of the previous Union City newspaper, The Union City Leader.

The introductory subscription rate was $4.25 per year, with the regular price going to $5.50 per year. The first issue was 12 pages, with most issues being 8, 10, or 12 pages.

The Outlook carried at least two pages of local sports covering both high school and independent leagues.

Reflecting the Hispanic background of a majority of the Decoto residents, the Outlook published articles and editorials in Spanish alongside the English text. On May 21, 1975, the first Spanish/English Editorial was published. The June 4 issue had the first Spanish/English headlines and news articles.

Like a lot of small businesses just starting out, the Outlook was not able to make enough money to keep it going. In the final issue, Ford thanked the community for the support they had shown over the short life of the Outlook. The Outlook was the last local newspaper for Union City.


The Argus

Started in the 1960s, The Argus purchased its Fremont rival News Register, originally started by George H. Oaks and Stuart Nixon. The Argus became part of the Sparks Newspaper chain, which included the Daily Review and Tri-Valley Herald. It is now owned by MediaNews of Denver, Colorado.


What's Happening & Tri-City Voice

What's Happening was a monthly glossy color news magazine published from September 1998 through December 2001 by William and Sharon Marshak. The Tri-City Voice is a newspaper that expanded from What's Happening Magazine. Tri-City Voice started publishing in January 15, 2001 and is distributed from the Hayward/San Leandro/San Lorenzo/Castro Valley area throughout the Tri-Cities, Sunol and Milpitas twice a week.



Anyone interested in knowing the history of Union City during the olden days may come and visit the Union City Historical Museum, located at 3841 Smith Street in Union City. The Museum has all the issues of these newspapers.

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