The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. The Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the Midwestern United States, and is available and read as far west as Kansas City, Missouri, as far south as Memphis, Tennesse, and as far north as Springfield, Illinois. It is the only printed daily newspaper in St. Louis.
In 1878, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the St. Louis Westliche Post, a German newspaper, and the St. Louis Dispatch, combined the two papers. The resulting paper was called the St. Louis Post and Dispatch during its first year of operation; its first edition, 4,020 copies of four pages each, appeared on December 12, 1878. The paper's name was later changed to the Post Dispatch. On February 11, 1901, the paper introduced a front page feature called the "Weatherbird", a cartoon bird accompanying the daily weather forecast. "Weatherbird" is the oldest, continuous cartoon in the United States today. Created by Harry B. Martin, who drew it through 1903, it has since been drawn by six Weatherbird Artists. A shoe company, Peter's Weatherbird Shoes, is named after Weatherbird.
The old Post-Dispatch was characterized by a liberal editorial page and columnists, including Marquis Childs. The editorial page was noted also for political cartoons by Daniel Fitzpatrick and Bill Mauldin. The Post-Dispatch was one of the first daily newspapers to print the comics in color, on the back page of the features section, called the "Everyday Magazine." Several months prior to the anniversary edition, the newspaper published a 63rd anniversary tribute to "Our Own Oddities," a lighthearted feature that ran from 1940 to 1990.
The Post-Dispatch underwent a major redesigning in September 2005. The redesigning brought a new layout, new fonts, and localized editions for St. Charles County and Illinois.
On March 23, 2009 the paper converted to a compact style every day from the previous broadsheet Sunday through Friday and tabloid on Saturday.