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for Laws, Romulus Don, 1868-1951
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R. Don Laws, the feisty publisher of the Moravian Falls newspaper, THE YELLOW JACKET, was known for his barbs and humor. Although the town's population was under 200, the paper had a national reputation and circulation of 250,000.
Perhaps there is no more vitally interesting and unique life story of an editor and publisher in North Carolina than that of R. Don Laws of Moravian Falls, editor and publisher of the Yellow Jacket. As a youth, the mechanically inclined Lewis made his own small wooden printing press and hand-carved wooden type with a pocket knife. The first editions of the Yellow Jacket were carried to post office by Laws himself, and for the next ten years the little paper grew in leaps and bounds. Thousands of subscriptions now go out all over North Carolina.
Moravian Falls, NC's place as a hotbed for journalism in the late 19th and early 20th century is explored. The Fool-Killer, the Lash, and the Yellow Jacket were all periodicals that appealed to a wide readership and prove that the South was anything but a static intellectual environment in the 20th century. The understanding of southern journalism these publications from Wilkes County provide is explored.