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City: Chicago, Ill.
Available online: 2 January 1917 - 30 December 1922 (1837 issues)
On July 12, 1909, two supporters of the Lithuanian nationalist movement, Rev. Antanas Staniukynas and Rev. Antanas Kaupas published the first issue of the Catholic, Lithuanian-language newspaper, Draugas ("The Friend") in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Staniukynas managed the administrative aspects of the publication, providing financial oversight, while Kaupas took responsibility for the paper’s content as editor. Staniukynas and Kaupas, who both practiced as Catholic priests, believed Draugas would serve as a unique daily publication for members of the Catholic faith that was not fulfilled by the existing, more conservative Lithuanian Catholic publications: Katalikas ("The Catholic") [LCCN: sn00062053] and Žvaigždė ("The Star"). In 1916, the publication of Draugas moved to Chicago, where it resumed as a weekly under the name Savaitinis Draugas ("The Weekly Friend") [LCCN: sn92063853]. The following year, the newspaper returned to its original daily format and name, Draugas: Lithuanian Daily Friend. While Draugas has widely been classified as a Catholic-affiliated publication, another Lithuanian-American newspaper published in Chicago, Lietuva ("Lithuania") [LCCN: sn83045284] challenged this view because Draugus tended to support all Lithuanians, regardless of their religious affiliation. Lietuva thus accused Draugas of promoting divisive sectarianism–highlighting the diversity of religious thought within the nascent immigrant community. In fact, despite its reputation as a Catholic paper, Draugas was widely known for its commitment to moral uplift, support for immigrant minority communities, and engagement with labor issues. In continuous publication since 1917, Draugas has the distinction of being the longest-running Lithuanian daily newspaper in the world.