The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XVI


Every Monday, mental_floss wanders into the archives of The New York Times "“ and wanders out with first mentions worth mentioning. In this episode, we take a look at the first time The Times discussed Woody Allen, the Titanic, and many more. If you have a suggestion for next time, leave us a comment.

Woody Allen

March 19, 1962

Young Men's Hebrew Association Presents 2nd Jazz Concert On the bill were two well-established jazz groups...and a relatively unknown comedian, Woody Allen. It was the comedian who walked off with the honors for the evening. Mr. Allen, who describes himself as "short and unloved," looks like a somewhat unkempt Wally Cox. A monologuist in the Mort Sahl style who ranges over almost every area except politics...he wandered off into what he apparently found to be more diverting topics...[for example] the problem of getting a divorce in New York ("The Ten Commandments say 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' but New York State says you have to"). Mr. Allen's quiet, underplayed style enabled him to get laughs with what might otherwise have been little more than casual remarks.

Barbara Walters

September 13, 1964

No More Girls Al Morgan, producer of Today, said he would not engage another woman to succeed Maureen O'Sullivan. The actress had succeeded a long line of so-called Today girls, although the tag had not been attached to her. The era of Today girls apparently is ended. Mr. Morgan said he would make more use of women already familiar to Today viewers "“ Aline Saarinen for discussion on art and architecture, Judith Christ for motion-picture reviews and Barbara Walters for news reporting.

Keep reading for BoingBoing, The Lincoln Tunnel, Titanic, The Beastie Boys, 'A Tale of Two Cities' and Dog Biscuits.


August 8, 1993

Seriously WiredCan cyberpunk still be cool if it's on the Billboard charts? In fact, a minor hullabaloo did erupt when Billy Idol logged onto the Well, a computer bulletin board based in Sausalito, Calif., where people exchange information. He posted a computer address so that anyone could send him electronic mail. But apparently a bunch of cyberpunks felt that a pop star didn't belong in their rebel universe and started sending him nasty messages. One particularly self-righteous computer geek even takes pleasure in stuffing Mr. Idol's Well file with junk mail. Mr. Idol has responded by saying they're elitist. Mark Frauenfelder, the former editor in chief of Boing Boing, a cyberpunk-oriented publication that calls itself "the world's greatest neurozine!" takes Mr. Idol's side. "It's stupid, because the whole cyberpunk thing is that information is supposed to be free," says Mr. Frauenfelder, who is now an editor at Wired, another computer magazine. "There are all these 16- and 17-year-old cyberpunks who are afraid that everybody's going to learn their secret handshake or something."


March 7, 1909

Giant Ships That Promise 'The Last Word' These two vessels, the Olympic and the Titanic, are by far the greatest of any that have yet been considered, and as there is no near prospect of any future expansion of piers, these two giantesses will doubtless represent for many years to come the last word in marine architecture, particular that kind of architecture which runs to a tremendous bulk. * * * * * The new liners will be as complete in their safety devices as in their cabin accommodations....The bridge is thus instantly notified of any suspicion of danger, even in the most remote parts of the ship. The bridge will be like a great keyboard, ready at the officer's hands, by which he may control the vast complicated machinery of every part of the ship.

The Beastie Boys

December 29, 1986

The Beastie Boys, Rap-Metal Group On stage Friday at the Ritz, the Beastie Boys did their best to live up to ''Licensed to Ill.'' As they shouted rhymes, danced the ''Jerry Lewis'' and shambled around the stage, the Boys - wearing red, white and blue T-shirts - poured beer on one another's heads and spewed it into the audience. Meanwhile, two disk jockeys, Hurricane and Mr. Bill, played backup tracks (including a bit of the ''Mister Ed'' theme), a woman named Eloise danced in a cage, and unnamed bouncers repulsed the audience members who repeatedly climbed onstage. * * * * * The Beastie Boys aren't exactly original - they rap in the cadences of Run-D. M. C. - and compared to such calmly amoral rappers as Schooly D, they're virtually a comedy act. Yet for the moment, the Beastie Boys' crafty backup tracks and personal bravado promise to put sheer obnoxiousness back in the rock-and-roll spotlight.

Lincoln Tunnel

April 17, 1937

39th Street Tube Gets Name Of Lincoln The new vehicular tunnel under the Hudson River between West Thirty-ninth Street, Manhattan, and Weehawken, N.J., will hereafter be known as the Lincoln Tunnel, the Port Authority announced yesterday. The tunnel, now under construction, has thus far been called the Midtown Hudson Tunnel....Use of the name Midtown Hudson Tunnel, the Port Authority explained, has now become inadvisable because of confusion arising from the fact that work is now under way on a Queens-Midtown tunnel and plans are being pushed for a Midtown Manhattan Crosstown tube.

A Tale of Two Cities

March 9, 1859

English Literature and Art Gossip The first number of Dickens' All the Year Round will be published about May 1. The title of his new story is A Tale of Two Cities and is considered felicitous. Since Little Dorrit, (which was a disappointment,) we have had only occasional interludes from Dickens' pen, and the curiosity evinced by the public in regard to the new story is an evidence that the popularity of the great novelist is at its height.

Dog Biscuits

June 3, 1883

Feeding Dogs A dog should be fed twice a day. I purposely italicize the word "twice," for, although the breakfast should be but a light one, it is a necessity of healthful existence. If it be not given the bowels become confined; the bile is ejected into the stomach; the dog seeks grass, and relieves himself in a natural way of what nature designed as an aperient. A bit of dry dog-biscuit, or a drop of milk or a basin of sheep's-head broth, is all my own dogs ever have for breakfast. A dog should have his principal meal "“ with a run to follow "“ at 4 P.M. in the Winter and 5 in Summer. Variety and change from day to day are most essential. Dog-biscuits, dry or steeped, and mixed with the liquor that fresh meat or fish has been boiled in, with now and then oat-meal porridge, make a good staple of diet.

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