Friday, April 20, 2012

Turning 21: The Independent's very first issue

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM


You may have noticed a little something in this week's printed issue of the Indy: a picture of the paper's very first cover, and an announcement about our 21st birthday party. Yes, most institutions mark anniversaries every five years with some big to-do. Not us. We decided 21 was a bigger deal because, honestly, do you better remember your 20th or your 21st? Maybe remember isn't the right word.

Anyway, we're celebrating. Throughout the course of the year you're going to see some nostalgic retrospectives in the paper, some big events in town, and, come fall, a special issue dedicated to the anniversary. But first things first: Go ahead and mark your calendar now for Indy Fest, which will serve as our birthday bash.

Indy Fest is Saturday, June 9, at Caras Park from 4 to 10 p.m.
It's FREE, of course, and will feature music, food, drinks and family-friendly activities.

The music lineup features Jameson and the Sordid Seeds, Sick Kids XOXO, Shahs, Off in the Woods, and Baby & Bukowski, plus tunes from the Tallest DJ in America, Aaron Traylor. On the food and drinks front, we're excited to unveil a limited edition beer, Indy Red Ale, brewed by Blacksmith Brewing Co.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for a favorite cover from our archives appearing each week in the printed paper. This week is the aforementioned debut issue — dated March 7, 1991 — with a story about Missoula's local peace movement, an interview with then-Mayor Dan Kemmis, and a report from Project Censored.

Republishing this cover turned out to be a little harder than you may expect. Long story short: Until a few weeks ago, we didn't have it. For years, it was rumored that all remaining copies of the first issue had been used as emergency rolling papers or were stashed in the walls of the old Fourth Street office with the dead bodies. The thing ceased to exist. Gone.

But one of the last copies turned up thanks to Becky Goodrich, part of the original Indy staff and now with Missoula Parks & Rec. It's in pristine condition and allows us to kick off our 21st in style.

Just be sure to pace yourself, party people. We've got a long way to go before we start ordering Bodega birthday shots or Feruqi's famed Flaming Blue Lamborghini. We're gonna be here a while.

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