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Posted: August 01, 2009

Colorado Cool Stuff: Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters

Oversized, 192-page softcover book chronicles the Rocky Mountain News' historic front pages

As the Rocky Mountain News entered its final months, Michael Madigan, a retired longtime editor at the paper, began contributing a 150-issue series of historic front pages from the Rocky over its century and a half in print. But the February shutdown of the paper quashed the series 50 installments short of the paper’s 150th birthday, so Madigan set out to publish the collection in one oversized, 192-page softcover book.


“Choosing the first 75 covers was pretty easy,” Madigan says. After that, he turned to colleagues for advice and made sure to include iconic Colorado characters like Alferd Packer and Baby Doe Tabor.

Madigan says his favorite spreads in the book showcase the Rocky’s front pages during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (“It was the first moment in history that resonated with me personally”) and that of the April 13, 1942 edition, the first to feature a tabloid format. Bookending the tome are “the very first and the very last” front pages from the paper in 1859 and 2009, respectively. $29.95 retail. By Michael Madigan (published by Mad Ideas LLC), Arvada, Available at Tattered Cover stores,, and most chain bookstores in metro Denver.

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