A Northern Virginia Daily special anniversary section

Celebrating 75 years: Index of stories
* View anniversary slideshow


A brief history: Important events for the Daily


March 26, 1912 -- E.E. Keister purchases the weekly Strasburg News for $6,000. The newspaper was a four-page hand-set paper, printed in the second floor of what was then the Letcher Eberly building on the southwest corner of King and Fort streets.

December 1916 -- Keister purchases the newspaper's first Linotype for $2,300. The new machine had 5,000 parts. The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote a brief story about the purchase because it was unusual for a weekly newspaper to have a Linotype machine.

Late 1918 -- Keister purchases the Edinburg Sentinel and resumes its publication on Dec. 2.

1919 -- Keister establishes the semi-weekly Woodstock Times.


1920 -- Keister establishes the semi-weekly Front Royal Record. Also that year, Keister consolidates the Edinburg Sentinel and the Woodstock Times.

1922 -- Keister erects a 3,000-square-foot building on Holliday Street in Strasburg to house the newspapers' operations. The plant moved from the second-story King Street location to Holliday Street.

1928 -- Keister establishes the weekly Marshall Chief Justice at the request of the Marshall Chamber of Commerce.

June 22, 1928 -- Keister incorporates his newspaper business under the name Shenandoah Publishing House Inc.


Sept. 15, 1932 -- Keister consolidates his four newspapers, and the first issue of The Northern Virginia Daily is published. Arthur D. Davidson was editor. Offices of the Front Royal Record, Woodstock Times and Marshall Chief were maintained as branch offices of the consolidated newspaper.

Sept. 1, 1935 -- Keister opens a newspaper bureau in Winchester. 1954 -- A two-story front office is built onto the main office on Holliday Street along with a two-story pressroom with basement for paper storage. The length of the main office grew to 235 feet.


May 31,1956 -- Davidson retires as editor. He was succeeded by John Alfred “Jack” Hamilton.

May 31, 1957 -- Hamilton resigns. Davidson temporarily came out of retirement to replace him.

July 1, 1957 -- Donald W. Scott is named editor.

Sept. 15, 1957 -- The newspaper celebrates its 25th anniversary. Jan. 19, 1959 -- Virgil L. Adams is named editor.


Dec. 25, 1961 -- Adams dies. James J. "Jack" Crawford, general manager of the newspaper, took on additional duties as editor.

March 1, 1966 -- The newspaper converts from the Linotype and "hot type" printing to "cold-type," offset printing. The newspaper purchased a Fairchild News-King 20-page press with a color ink unit and folder.


Dec. 5, 1972 -- E.E. Keister, the founder of The Northern Virginia Daily, dies. His elder son, William E. Keister, succeeded him as publisher.

June 30, 1977 -- Crawford retires.

July 1, 1977 -- John F. Horan Jr. is named editor and general manager.

1978 -- The newspaper purchases a 48-page capacity Goss Urbanite Press.


1981 -- More technology advances occur when the newspaper purchases Compugraphic One computer terminals, feeding directly into a typesetting computer. Reporters no longer used typewriters to write news stories.

Sept. 15, 1982 -- The newspaper celebrates its 50th anniversary. The public was invited to tour the news and press rooms. The new computer system was demonstrated and explained. The main press ran every 15 minutes.

March 1987 -- The newspaper's board approves the purchase of property at 135 S. Main St. in Woodstock, next door to its current office. The building was demolished and a new two-story structure was built to house the Woodstock bureau. The board also approved construction of second-story offices at the newspaper's corporate office to house the newsroom and accounting offices.


Aug. 13, 1993 -- Keister buys an office building at 15 W. Jackson St. in Front Royal. The Front Royal bureau moved from the Gilliam Professional building next door to the new location.

March 14, 1996 -- William E. Keister, publisher, dies.

December 1999 -- The newspaper holds its first annual Holiday Book Drive.


February 2000 -- Full-color news pages are introduced, and a new insert machine is installed. The Kansa insert machine reduced man hours in the mailroom, allowing the company to get the newspaper out to customers earlier. Previously, advertising inserts were placed in the newspaper by hand.

Oct. 17, 2000 -- The newspaper introduces NewsEditPro, a database and word-processing system that tracks the workflow of digital newspaper stories, pages and images, allowing journalists, editors and page designers to work as an integrated team. All computers in the newspaper's offices were switched to Apple.

October 2001 -- The newspaper transitions to a smaller, 50-inch web. The narrowing of the width of the printed page was fast becoming a newspaper industry standard.

March 16, 2002 -- The newspaper scores a record 115 points in the 2001 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes competition.

March 29, 2002 -- Elizabeth A. Smoot is appointed general manager.

April 2002 -- The newspaper's photography department goes digital. With digital cameras, the department downloads images from a memory card and directly imports them into the computer system. Special editing software allows photographers to edit thumbnails of each image and attach information easily for file names and caption information.

Sept. 28, 2002 -- The newspaper participates in Woodstock's 250th anniversary grand parade, sponsoring one of the parade's professionally built floats featuring an old-fashioned carousel and gazebo.

October 2002 -- The newspaper launches its Web site at www.nvdaily.com.

Nov. 1, 2002 -- The newspaper's Winchester bureau is moved to a new location at 19 W. Cork St. The bureau had been housed at 14 W. Boscawen St. for nearly 50 years.

April 30, 2003 -- For the first time, the newspaper helps sponsor the First Bank Queen's Dinner at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester.

May 5, 2003 -- The newspaper makes the "Late Show with David Letterman." Letterman shows a front-page photograph of band leader, Paul Shaffer, crowning Katherine Elizabeth Short, Queen Shenandoah LXXVI, at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester.

December 2003 -- The newspaper establishes the Daily Classic, a holiday basketball tournament for boys and girls teams at area high schools.

Aug. 2, 2004 -- The newspaper undergoes a redesign. The Daily's new look included the addition of a daily feature section, Valley Scene, and a region section consolidating news coverage from across the Northern Shenandoah Valley. A party to celebrate the newspaper's redesign was held outside the newspaper's main office with a live radio remote. Free food and prizes were given to the public.

September 2004 -- The newspaper launches its Newspaper In Education program.

August 2005 -- The newspaper first uses its new computer-to-plate system called ECRM News CtP for commercial work in August and then for The Northern Virginia Daily in December. The system improved efficiency by sending pages directly to plate, bypassing sending pages to negative.

March 4, 2006 -- The Strasburg Chamber of Commerce names The Northern Virginia Daily the community's Best Large Business.

Nov. 23, 2006 -- The newspaper publishes its first Thanksgiving Day issue.

March 2007 -- Smoot is named to the board of directors of the Virginia Press Association.

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