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The Rivalry of Dear Abby and Ann Landers

Back when newspapers were a thing that the majority of people read physical copies of, advice columns were a mainstay and a regular feature in major newspapers and magazines around the world. They provided answers to all manners of questions from anonymous advice seekers, hoping for an unbiased look at whatever problem was at hand.

Advice columns began in the 1890s — although some reports say as early as the 1690s — as precursors to today’s forums and online communities. Before people could post their questions to the masses and receive advice from anyone willing to give it (whether you like it or not), people wrote in to advice columnists.

In the United States, more specifically, people wrote to columnists like Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers.


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