Former paperboy gives away decades of historic headlines

Former paperboy shares decades of headlines

For decades, many Americans learned what was happening in the world after their newspaper landed in their driveway. One former paperboy kept nearly a century's worth of historic headlines — and now, he's giving them away to strangers for free.

Collectors came rushing to the house of the Washington-area man, who put out the word that he'd leave them on his driveway.

Greg Weinman and his historic collection of papers CBS News

For years, government lawyer Greg Weinman kept the papers packed and stacked in the back of his basement. In all, Weinman kept more than 2,000 yellow, brittle broadsheets, immortalizing events that changed the world.  

A child surveys Weinman's newspaper collection CBS News

He inherited the earliest editions from his grandfather. "Starting when he was about 12, he would save major headlines much to his mother's chagrin and dismay," Weinman said. He continued the collection, sharing the passion with his own children.

"Sometimes, I would even go to the airport, back in the pre-9/11 days, and wait for the flight to come in from, say, Houston, and then pick up papers people had as they were coming off the plane," he said.

But this newspaper man faced his own deadline when he downsized to a condo, and couldn't bring the papers along. Museums and libraries didn't accept the collection, so he did the unthinkable — just give them away, first come first served, one Sunday in his driveway.

"It is like letting my children go," he said, adding that he's not worried he'll go back to collecting newspapers in his new condo, because he no longer subscribes to a paper.

People came for hours, carrying boxes and babies, with hopes of laying their hands on history. Some wanted headlines they'd lived through, while others were hunting for newspapers from before their time. By day's end, everything from before 1990 was gone — and everything that remained was thrown out. 

"I have to admit that there was a moment or two earlier ... when I thought, 'I should keep that. I should save that,'" he said. "And then I realized, 'no, I shouldn't save it. It's time to let it go.'"