Human Events

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Human Events
File:Human Events cover.png
Editor-in-chief David Harsanyi
Founder Felix Morley
Frank Hanighen
Henry Regnery
Year founded 1944
First issue 1944
Final issue February 18, 2013 (print)
Company Salem Communications
Language English
ISSN 0018-7194
OCLC number 818923121

Human Events is a conservative American political news and analysis website.

On February 27, 2013, Human Events announced that, after sixty-nine years, it will halt publication of the print edition but will continue to maintain on-line websites, and, with original reporting. Eagle Publishing, which acquired the magazine in 1993, said that it had been subsidizing the publication for several years but could no longer afford to do so: "the realities of the 24-hour news cycle and the brutal economics of a weekly print publication have become insurmountable".[1][1]

Human Events printed 40,000 copies per week and had a staff of fifteen full-time employees. A "restructuring" plan that involved layoffs had already been attempted but was insufficient to allow continuation of the print edition.[1]


Human Events takes its name from the first sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence: "When in the course of human events...".[1]

The magazine was published in Washington, D.C., most recently by Eagle Publishing, the owner of Regnery Publishing, a subsidiary of Phillips Publishing. Thomas S. Winter was editor-in-chief and Cathy Taylor was editorial director of the print edition.[2]

Regular writers included Robert Novak, Ann Coulter, Terence P. Jeffrey, Pat Buchanan, and John Gizzi, its chief political editor. Occasional contributors have included Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Paul Craig Roberts.


Human Events was founded in 1944 by Felix Morley, who was from 1933 to 1940 the editor of The Washington Post; Frank Hanighen, and former New Dealer[3] Henry Regnery.[4] In 1951, Frank Chodorov, former director of the Henry George School of Social Science[5] in New York, replaced Morley as editor, merging his newsletter, analysis, into Human Events.[6] In June 1953 Freda Utley wrote an article for the publication where she criticized the awarding of the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia, stating: "all that much-abused Neville Chamberlain did was agree to the self-determination of the people of the Sudentenland...which never would have been awarded to the Czechs if Wilson's Fourteen Points had been adhered to".[7]

By the early 1960s, Allan Ryskind (son of Morrie Ryskind) and Winter had acquired the publication.[8] Contributors to Human Events in the 1960s and 1970s included Spiro Agnew, James L. Buckley, Ralph de Toledano, Russell Kirk, Phyllis Schlafly, Murray Rothbard and Henry Hazlitt.[9] Newsweek noted although Human Events did not have a large readership outside the Washington D.C. area, "the tough little tabloid enjoys an impact out of all proportion to its circulation".[10]

Human Events backed US military intervention in the Vietnam War, after the war ended, the publication blamed American liberals for the collapse of South Vietnam.[11]

Human Events supported Apartheid South Africa, describing the country as "a pro-Western bulwark that provides more in the way of freedom and wealth to its blacks than the vast majority of black African states".[12][13] Human Events also described Nelson Mandela as the main obstacle to peace in South Africa: "While President Botha is moving at a fast and furious pace to end the apartheid system, Mandela remains as adamant a revolutionary as ever. He's still a Marxist, still a man of violence, still a supporter of the Communist-run ANC".[14]

Eagle Publishing placed the magazine up for sale in February 2013, when it announced that it would close the publication if no buyer could be found.[15]

In January 2014, Eagle Publishing was acquired by Salem Communications.[16]

Influence on Ronald Reagan

Human Events was former U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan's "favorite reading for years," writes biographer Richard Reeves.[17] A loyal subscriber since 1961,[8] Reagan said it “helped me stop being a liberal Democrat,”[18] calling it "must reading for conservatives who want to know what is really going on in Washington, D.C."[19] Reagan contributed some articles to Human Events in the 1970s.[9] During the 1980 presidential campaign, Democrats released a document entitled "Ronald Reagan, Extremist Collaborator—An Exposé," in which, according to biographer Lee Edwards, "[a]mong the proofs of Reagan's extremism was that he read the conservative weekly Human Events."[20] After being elected President, Reagan would occasionally write or call Winter or Ryskind.[8]

"Human Events, however, was no favorite of the new men around Reagan," writes Reeves. "Baker and Darman, and Deaver too, did their best each week to keep it out of the reading material they gave the President."[21] "When he discovered White House aides were blocking its delivery, President Reagan arranged for multiple copies to be sent to the White House residence every weekend," writes Edwards, who adds that Reagan took care "marking and clipping articles and passing them along to his assistants."[22]

Just before his 1982 tax hike, Reagan met with what he called "some of my old friends from Human Events" (he mentioned Ryskind and M. Stanton Evans),[23] who warned him about "disloyal" White House staff (in particular James Baker) who favored making a deal on taxes with the Democratic Congress. (Reagan subsequently made such a deal, in which for each $1 in higher taxes Congress promised $3 in spending cuts. Ultimately, both taxes and spending increased.)[24]

At the 1986 Reykjavík Summit, Reagan told Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev that he could not give up the Strategic Defense Initiative because "'...the people who were the most outspoken critics of the Soviet Union over the years’—he mentioned his favorite paper, Human Events," according to Reeves, "‘They’re kicking my brains out’."[25]

"Most Harmful Books" list

In 2005, Human Events published a list of "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries":[26]

  1. The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  2. Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler
  3. Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong, by Mao Zedong
  4. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, by Alfred Kinsey
  5. Democracy and Education, by John Dewey
  6. Das Kapital, by Karl Marx
  7. The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan
  8. The Course in Positive Philosophy, by Auguste Comte
  9. Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche
  10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, by John Maynard Keynes

Being voted on by two or more of their judges, twenty additional books received "honorable mention", including The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin; Unsafe at Any Speed, by Ralph Nader; and Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson.

"Conservative of the Year" award

Year Choice Lifetime Position Notes
1998 Ken Starr b. 1946 Independent Counsel
1999 Ronald Reagan 1911-2004 President Also named "Man of the Century"
2000 William Rehnquist
Clarence Thomas
Antonin Scalia
b. 1948
b. 1936
U.S. Supreme Court Justices
2001 George W. Bush b. 1946 President
2002 John Ashcroft b. 1942 Attorney General
2003 Roy Moore b. 1947 Alabama Chief Justice
2004 John O'Neill b. 1946 Swift Boat Veteran
2005 Mike Pence b. 1959 U.S. Representative Since 2013, Governor of Indiana
2006 Jim Sensenbrenner b. 1943 U.S. Representative
2007 Rush Limbaugh b. 1951 Radio Host
2008 Sarah Palin b. 1964 Alaska Governor Also the GOP nominee for Vice President that year
2009 Dick Cheney b. 1941 Vice President
2010 Jim DeMint b. 1951 U.S. Senator Since April 2013, president of The Heritage Foundation
2011 Paul Ryan b. 1970 U.S. Representative Elected Speaker of the House in October 2015
2012 Scott Walker b. 1967 Wisconsin Governor
2013 Darrell Issa b. 1953 U.S. Representative


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Valerie Richardson, "Stop the Presses! Human Events to shutter newspaper after 70 years", February 27, 2013". Washington Times. Retrieved March 2, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Human Events: Cathy Taylor
  3. Robert McC. Thomas Jr. (June 23, 1996). "Henry Regnery, 84, Ground-Breaking Conservative Publisher". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Gillian Peele, 'American Conservatism in Historical Perspective', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p.21
  5. The Henry George School of Social Science
  6. Hamowy, Ronald, ed. (2008). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Cato Institute. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024 Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Human Events. June 24, 1953. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Shirley, Craig (2005). Reagan's revolution: the untold story of the campaign that started it all. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 337. ISBN 0-7852-6049-8. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Advertisement for Human Events". The American Spectator. February 1974. p. 29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Newsweek. September 6, 1971. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "The liberal betrayal of Vietnam" Human Events editorial, reprinted in David L Bender and Gary E McCuen, The Indochina War : why our policy failed. Opposing Viewpoints series, v. 11. Greenhaven Press, 1975. ISBN 0-912616-36-9
  12. "Why Did Conservatives Join the Anti-South Africa Brigade?" Human Events, December 29, 1984. Cited in Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould, Rollback!: Right-wing Power in U.S. Foreign Policy. Boston, MA : South End Press, c1989. (p.86)
  13. "Such arch-conservative magazines as Human Events usually take the South Africa point of view in various controversies, or defend that country against criticism from American and other sources". Alfred O. Hero, Jr.,and John Barratt The American people and South Africa : publics, elites, and policymaking processes. Lexington Books, MA, .1981. ISBN 0669043206 (p. 41)
  14. Human Events July 6, 1985, Cited in Piero Gleijeses, Visions of freedom : Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991. Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, 2013. ISBN 9781469609683
  15. "Conservative magazine Human Events up for sale, could close". February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Salem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing
  17. Reeves, Richard (2005). President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 0-7432-8230-2. Retrieved 2010-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Lee Edwards (February 5, 2011). "Reagan's Newspaper". Human Events. Eagle Publishing. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "HUMAN EVENTS: The Conservative Weekly". Conservative Advertising Network. Eagle Interactive. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Edwards, Lee (2005). The essential Ronald Reagan: a profile in courage, justice, and wisdom. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 57. ISBN 0-7425-4375-7. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Reeves, Richard (2005). President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 0-7432-8230-2. Retrieved 2011-02-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Lee Edwards (February 5, 2011). "Reagan's Newspaper". Human Events. Eagle Publishing. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Cf. Reeves, Richard (2005). President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 25, fn. ISBN 0-7432-8230-2. Retrieved 2010-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Skinner, Kiron K.; Anderson, Annelise; Anderson, Martin (2004). Reagan: A Life in Letters. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 595. ISBN 0-7432-7642-6. Retrieved 2010-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Hayward, Steven F. (2009). The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution, 1980-1989. New York: Random House, Inc. pp. 210–212. ISBN 1-4000-5357-9. Retrieved 2010-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Reeves, Richard (2005). President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 351–352. ISBN 0-7432-8230-2. Retrieved 2010-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Most Harmful Books"

External links