The printed word has been commonplace in society for hundreds of years. Although newspapers have undergone drastic change over this time, they have consistently delivered current events to common people. The attitudes of the time are reflected in these newspapers, making them the most useful resource for learning more about the past. The Daily Mirror is a perfect example of one of these historic newspapers.
The Daily Mirror was originally intended to be a newspaper by and for British women. Launched on 2 November 1903 by Alfred Harmsworth, it was overall unsuccessful. He claimed that "women can't write and don't want to read”.
In 1904, The Daily Mirror was relaunched as a pictorial newspaper with a much broader range of topics. The paper had a typically middle- class political stance, however, this took a turn in the late 1930s. The Daily Mirror gradually became more liberal and aimed at the struggling working class of Britain. By 1939, the paper was selling 1.4 million copies every single day. For the duration of the Second World War, the newspaper presented itself as the paper for the common soldier and worker. This stance was a great success and circulation increased to 4.5 million copies a day in the late 1940s. The Daily Mirror began printing an edition for northerners in Manchester in 1955. The resulting readership by the large working class made The Daily Mirror the most popular newspaper during the 1960s. After being far surpassed in sales by The Sun, in 1999 The Daily Mirror had no choice but to merge into the Trinity group. The Sunday Mirror and The Daily Mirror successfully merged with a regional newspaper, Trinity, for financial security.
Highlights and curiosities about “The Daily Mirror”
- After The Daily Mirror became focused on general news in 1904, all female journalists were fired, Including editor Mary Howarth.
- Harmsworth had intended it to be “really a mirror of feminine life as well on its grave as on its lighter sides”, hence the name.
- The name of the newspaper was changed to The Daily Illustrated Mirror on 26 January 1904 but changed back on 27 April 1904.
- The newspaper was sold to Harold Harmsworth, Alfred’s brother, in 1913. Harold was notably the pioneer of The Daily Mail newspaper.
- The Daily Mirror has consistently supported the Labour party in British parliament since 1945.
- The newspaper was printed on blue paper on 2 April 1996. This was part of a Pepsi marketing campaign
- Piers Morgan was fired as editor of The Daily Mirror on 14 May 2004 after the publication of fake photographs depicting acts of violence from British soldiers towards Iraqi prisoners. The Daily Mirror later headlined ‘SORRY .. WE WERE HOAXED!’ and apologised for the incident.
How to explore The Daily Mirror archive and get The Daily Mail back issues
To find back issues of The Daily Mirror or to check availability of the newspaper, follow these steps:
- Go to "The Daily Mirror" Newspapers archive page
- Select the relevant date for you
- Choose your desired newspaper and edition.
- Select the pack you wish to purchase. There are a variety of delivery and gift options to fit your needs.
- If your purchase is a gift, make sure to add their name to the certificate of authenticity along with your chosen date and message.