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DIRVA

DIRVA (The Field) appeared on 26 Aug. 1916 and became Cleveland's major Lithuanian-language newspaper. Organized by Apolonas B. Bartusevicius, it succeeded a short-lived predecessor named Santaika (Peace). Vincas K. Jokubynas was Dirva's original editor, but Kazys S. Karpius took over by 1918 for what became a 30-year tenure, acquiring a controlling interest in the paper in 1925. Through the WORLD WAR II era, he attempted to maintain an even-handed policy between anti-fascism and anti-communism. Several editors followed Karpius from 1948 until 1964, when Vytautas Gedgaudas began an editorship of more than 20 years' duration. Reorganized under the direction of Viltis, Inc., Dirva became the organ of the Lithuanian Natl. Alliance of America. In response to increased postwar immigration, its publication schedule expanded to thrice weekly during the 1960s, but eventually returned to its original weekly frequency. Located at 19807 Cherokee Ave. in 1995, the tabloid-sized newspaper claimed an international circulation of 3,000, 400 of whom lived in the Cleveland area.