The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XXII


In case you missed our first twenty-one volumes or the greatest hits edition, let me explain. Every Monday, we head into the archives of The New York Times to find first mentions worth mentioning. If you have a suggestion for next week, leave us a comment.


June 29, 1984

Satellite-to-Home Plan is Abandoned by CBSCBS had hoped the systems would open new markets for specialty programming and for High Definition Television. This new technology, known as HDTV, enables viewers to see extraordinarily high-resolution pictures, even on large screens. * * * * * CBS's plan called for three direct-broadcast channels. The first would transmit CBS network programming in HDTV format, although viewers would need special equipment to receive it in that form. The second would offer additional entertainment and information programming, for both cable systems and home viewers. The third channel would be used for specialized programming or to distribute movies to theaters. All three channels would be capable of broadcasting in stereo. However, it never became clear how those plans, particularly the HDTV broadcasts, would fit with Comsat's intentions. Mr. Peery suggested that there might have been resistance, by Comsat or others, to the HDTV technology. "We're talking about a year 2000 development, not one for today," he said.

John McCain

July 31, 1967

Start of Tragedy: Pilot Hears a Blast As He Checks Plane At 10:30am Saturday, Lieut. Comdr. John Sidney McCain 3d climbed aboard his A-4 Skyhawk for a mission over North Vietnam. "I closed the canopy and started the plane and then went through the normal checks of the gauges and the settings," the 30-year-old Navy pilot recalled today. "Suddenly I felt and heard an explosion. It was either my plane or the one to the right. Flames were everywhere." In the following moments aboard the aircraft carrier Forrestral, the 150-pound Annapolis graduate climbed out of the cockpit, stepped precariously onto the plane's three-foot-long refueling pipe and then leaped onto the burning flight deck and ran. * * * * * The son and grandson of two noted admirals, Commander McCain has a disarming disregard for formal military speech or style. He is wiry, prematurely gray and does not take himself too seriously.

Keep reading for Dianetics, JFK and American Gladiators.


July 2, 1950

How to Backtrack and Get Ahead On the first page of Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard states that as a result of the theories presented in this book the "hidden source of all psychosomatic ills and human aberration has been discovered and skills have been developed for their invariable cure." A book which makes such claims needs to be scrutinized carefully. If dianetics "“ the author's name for his "science of the mind" "“ justifies these claims, it should, of course, be accepted and embraced gratefully as a forward step in a field where new discoveries are of the greatest importance. If the new theory does not justify its claims, careful scrutiny should serve to minimize the harm the theory may do and help us learn from its errors how better to pursue the goals of mental health.


November 9, 1960

Times Square Fails to Get Election Night CrowdsTimes Square, which teemed with excited citizenry on election nights of the pre-television era, drew little more than the usual weekday crowd last night. The only spot of excitement was a Kennedy campaign office on the east side of Seventh Avenue, opposite the Times Tower, where several hundred persons jammed the sidewalk and cheered when bulletins showed the Democrats leading. They hooted as four young men strode by across the street, carrying printed placards reading: "Nixon Wins, JFK Out." [This was the first time The Times referred to President Kennedy by his initials. For a much earlier John Kennedy mention (1938), see Volume III.]

American Gladiators

January 23, 1991

...And in This Corner, All Kinds of 'Gladiators'Maybe it's the competition, or the hint of violence, or the skimpy costumes. Or maybe it's just the novelty for television audiences that have seen everything. Whatever the reason, American Gladiators, a syndicated program shown by 156 stations nationwide, is drawing more viewers every week who find something special in its peculiar melding of sporting event and game show. * * * * * To James Shanahan, an assistant professor of communication at Boston University, American Gladiators relies on elements that are common in many television shows, even those in prime time: violence and direct competition between two powerful forces.But Gladiators, he said, is "particularly blatant." People like such shows, he said, because of the uncertain outcome. "It's not like the war," he said, referring to the Persian Gulf. "They know there will be a manageable outcome. It represents a safe way to think about violence." But, he said, "the concern is that people will take a fantasy approach to violence and transfer it to real life."

Our Archives

"¢ Volume I: Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, iPod
"¢ Volume II: Hillary Clinton, Starbucks, Donald Trump
"¢ Volume III: JFK, Microwave Oven, the Internet
"¢ Volume IV: Larry David, Drudge Report, Digital Camera
"¢ Volume V: Walkman, Osama bin Laden, Iowa Caucuses
"¢ Volume VI: Times Square, Marijuana, Googling
"¢ Volume VII: Lance Armstrong, Aerosmith, Gatorade
"¢ Volume VIII: Bob Dylan, New York Jets, War on Terror
"¢ Volume IX: Hedge Fund, White Collar Crime, John Updike
"¢ Volume X: E-mail, Bruce Springsteen, George Steinbrenner
"¢ Volume XI: RFK, the Olsen Twins, Digg
"¢ Volume XII: Jerry Seinfeld, Lee Harvey Oswald, Don Mattingly
"¢ Volume XIII: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Taxicab, Hippies
"¢ Volume XIV: Digital Watch, Prozac, David Hasselhoff
"¢ Volume XV: George Clooney, Golden Gate Bridge, Toyota Prius
"¢ Volume XVI: Woody Allen, The Titanic, The Beastie Boys
"¢ Volume XVII: New York Edition
"¢ Volume XVIII: Sports Edition
"¢ Volume XIX: TV Edition
"¢ Volume XX: Wrestlemania, Phil Knight, My Two Dads
"¢ Volume XXI: Books on Tape, Condoleezza Rice, Tina Fey
"¢ End of 2007: Greatest Hits
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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