About Us

 

New Year New Whirl

For 80 years The Evening Whirl has been a stalwart of print journalism in the city of St. Louis, and the surrounding regions of Missouri and Illinois. For almost eight decades the ’s popularity and readership can be found from California to Main and around the world.  

Some have said what separates The Whirl from other publications is our steadfast commitment to being the voice of and for the people. Many of our readers have thanked us for years for sharing stories that other news organizations looked over or did not even deem important enough to report.  

 

The founder and publisher Benjamin Thomas was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1910 after the death of his mother and being raised by his grandmother a former slave he moved to St. Louis as a teen.

He lived with his sister Addie and attended both Sumner and Vashon High Schools, at that time he and his friends would visit the home of Josephine Baker, who exhausted after her trips to Europe, and while amongst family and friends would ask him to rub her aching feet. She was only one of the many celebrities whom he befriended

and with whom true friendships grew. The Ohio State Alumni landed his first journalism job as a copy boy and writer for the Pittsburgh Courier. Later he moved to St Louis in the mid-thirties and was hired by the late Joseph E. Mitchell the owner and publisher of the St. Louis Argus

The Night Whirl

During the Jim Crow Era African American social life was limited by segregation while Jazz stars and performers could play big venues like the Kiel Auditorium and white-owned nightclubs like the Cotton or the Savoy in Harlem, this very artist could not eat or drink in these clubs. 

 The acts would always come to St Louis and perform at the black-owned night spots and socialize with the community, Thomas was well liked and respect as an entertainment reporter and under J.E Mitchells directives he would go where the action was.

He encountered such notable stars as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and the incomparable Billie Holiday just to name a few. Thomas even befriended the big stars he interviewed and even dated briefly a young Billie Holiday.   

As Thomas’ popularity increased he picked up a nickname The Baron and that stuck with him until his passing in 2005, it was either Mitchell or Duke Ellington who came up with the title because of his suave and sophisticated manner which he used to promote social events from concerts with the stars to beauty pageants for the locals.

In the summer months of 1938, Benjamin Thomas launched his first publication titled The Night Whirl a small green sheet that was predominantly geared towards the entertainment venue and social beat of St Louis.  Thomas launching out on his own was daunting but the contacts he made at the Argus enabled him to continue printing this publication.

The Evening Whirl Is Born

In 1938 Thomas received “a tip” from a close friend at the Argus “Howard Woods” who was the future St Louis’ rep for Jet Magazine and Ebony and was chosen by President Lyndon B Johnson to sit on his cabinet and Woods is best known as the Publisher of the St. Louis Sentinel.

The information Woods offered was a story regarding possible pedophilia in which two well-liked male teachers from Sumner High took advantage of different young boys while on a hayride, the subject matter was scandalous and was not going to be covered by any other publication.

Thomas chose not to print the story but after being approached by Woods for the third time, he decided he would run the story only if the facts supported the gossip, after examining the court documents and other credible sources, it sold over fifty- thousand copies and had to be reprinted.

Crime and News

Over the years it was Thomas single-minded approach to combating crime and being a defender of those who needed a voice, which led to encounters with notable gangsters and hoods alike, but their mutual respect for each other prevented any serious confrontations. Thomas knew vices were offered to the public, by these so-called

gangsters: girls, drugs, booze, gambling they understood he had a job to do and as long as he spelled their name right they were fine with becoming infamous. 

Benjamin Thomas officially retired in 2006 and the publication was changed management and ownership to his two son's Barry R. Thomas, Kevin G Thomas and the Managing Editor Anthony L. Sanders the three created a  corporation under the Thomas Publishing Co, Kevin G Thomas took a minor role while Barry and Anthony Sanders managed the print publication.  The publication increased in circulation and was able to build a staff of photographers, writers such as head writer Brian Irland and with the assistance of Gentry Trotter former editor of the NAACP Crisis Magazine, The Whirl began its social media presence from  My Space, now FaceBook and Twitter.  

Since the recent passing of our former president Barry R Thomas the management of the St. Louis Evening Whirl has undergone internal and external changes and picked up new readers and vendors as a result of new team member Ronald Wilkerson Jr,  Circulation Manager. As a way to pay homage to Benjamin Thomas pioneer spirit, it was decided to rebrand the publication that reaches beyond the borders of Missouri and instead of the St. Louis Evening Whirl the name will be The New Evening Whirl.

Social Media

The staff of the New Evening Whirl recognizes that technology and social media is a major part of our future, as we continue to find fans and readers of our  Facebook and Twitter page we launched this website so that you, our reader can access news and information anytime and anyplace. 

 Even though crime fighting has been our motto the New Evening Whirl will print and promote news stories that will motivate positive behavior and respect for all citizens from all walks of life and vow to educate the public on all issues from Politics, Crime, Safety, Entertainment, and Human Interest.      

As we embark on our eighty years in business the New Evening Whirl continues to receive national notoriety, from other media entities across the world, even the film industry has expressed a curiosity about our historical publication.

The New Evening Whirl wants to thank all of our readers and fan base for your continued support for your publication, we especially want to say thank you to our present and future advertisers who trust the New Evening Whirl to expose their business to our thousands of readers locally and nationally. 

Sincerely 

Kevin G. Thomas

President 

The New Evening Whirl 

Thomas Publication LLC

The New Evening Whirl

25343 Silver Aspen Way
Valencia CA 91381
thewhirlonline.com

Copyright © 2018 New Evening Whirl / Thomas Publishing LLC
All Rights Reserved
80 Years of Uninterrupted Publishing