The Hattiesburg Progress was founded in 1897 as a weekly newspaper and was later named The Hattiesburg American. In 1907, the Hattiesburg Progress was acquired by The Hattiesburg Daily News. When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, the newspaper was renamed the Hattiesburg American. The Hattiesburg American was acquired by the Harmon family in the 1920s and was sold to the Hederman family in 1960. Gannett Company acquired the newspaper in 1982. The Hattiesburg American has quite a history of political activity. In the early 1960s, the Hattiesburg American spoke out against the development of the Republican Party in Mississippi. The publication echoed the Democratic contention that the primary beneficiaries of a two-party system would be "the 920,000 Negroes who dwell here." The American denounced Republican leaders Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona and Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York, rivals for the party's 1964 presidential nomination, for their common membership in the National Urban League and the NAACP. The American also criticized Robert Taft, Jr., son of the late U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio for having stated that "no segregationist belongs on a Republican ticket or even in the party."
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