After 130 years, Ladies’ Home Journal will cease monthly print publication. The magazine still has a circulation of 3.2 million. Yet its aging reader base and the generally disastrous magazine financial ecosystem has undermined this flagship publication, a leader among the “seven sisters” that once dominated this segment of the business.
Every type of journalism has a craft to it, offering opportunities for excellence and contribution the outsider easily overlooks. That is certainly true of Ladies’ Home Journal and other women’s magazines.
It’s tempting to overlook some terrific journalism millions of readers found in these pages. When the moment is right, women’s magazines could ratify—and thus propel—larger social changes, too.
One such moment occurred on May 1, 1950, when Ladies Home Journal printed a taboo-breaking article by Pearl Buck called “The child who never grew.” Buck recounted her gradual discovery of her daughter Caroline’s intellectual disability, and describes her painful decision to institutionalize Caroline at the age of nine within the Training School at Vineland, New Jersey.