By ERIK CHALHOUB, Managing Editor

Nearly three years after Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia, signaling the end of the American Civil War, J.A. Cottle established the Weekly Pajaronian on the other end of the country in a small California town called Watsonville.

The one-page, six-column broadsheet first appeared in readers’ hands on March 5, 1868. The paper didn’t have any local or national news, instead, it filled its space with poems and opinion pieces with titles such as “Curiosities of Marriage” and “Feminism Growing.”

Since then, after numerous ownership changes, merges, publishers, editors, offices and adaptations to a shifting media landscape, the Pajaronian remains in Watsonville and is every part of the fabric of the community that it has always been.

Now, the R-P will be celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2018, and this is where you, the readers, come in.

Were you a paper boy delivering the R-P back in the day? We want to hear from you. Are you a longtime subscriber of 25 years or more? Give us a call. Do you have any stand-out photos or memories of the R-P over the years? Yes, we want those too.

But most importantly, we want to hear your ideas. What do you want to see during this sesquicentennial celebration? How can we make this such a special milestone that the future generation will draw inspiration from it for the paper’s 200th anniversary in 2068?

In March 2018, we will publish a commemorative magazine focusing on the people and stories that have made the R-P what it is over the past 150 years. Among the many features we have planned, the magazine will showcase historical photos, headlines and front pages, while focusing on major moments of the newspaper in conjunction with the important news of the time, both locally, nationally and internationally.

Let me know your thoughts. You can reach me at 761-7353 or [email protected].

Thank you for reading. Not many things continue to see the light of day after 150 years, and it is thanks to your support over the decades that we are at this milestone today.

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