235 years ago today, The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser became the first successful daily newspaper published in America. Exactly 12 years later, the paper was the first to publish George Washington’s Farewell Address. The publication was renamed several times and in 1825, Poulson’s Advertiser was granted an interview by the Marquis De Lafayette during his famous visit to the United States. The final successor of the Packet is said to be The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In 1962, The Inquirer laid claim to being “the oldest daily newspaper in the United States founded in 1771”—a line that appeared on the paper’s masthead for the next 13 years—after a local historian commissioned by the major morning paper laboriously constructed a “family tree” that purported to show that The Inquirer was the successor through a series of acquisitions to The Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser. (1784)