Remembering a great moment in the life of Ladies Home Journal

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.

Cover, Ladies Home Journal, May 1, 1950

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.

More here, from me, at the Washington Post Wonkblog section.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

One thought on “Remembering a great moment in the life of Ladies Home Journal”

  1. Something else I’m pretty sure Ladies Home Journal published: William Stafford’s poem “At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border”.

    “At the Un-National Monument…”
    First line: This is the field where the battle did not happen.
    Accepted for publication by: Ladies Home Journal.

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