The First Time News Was Fit To Print
It's time for another edition of The First Time News Was Fit To Print, where we head into the archives of The New York Times and find the first time the paper covered a particular subject. If you have a suggestion for a future installment, leave a comment. Here's what we dug up this week:
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Santa to Lead a Parade: Will Be Accompanied by Toyland Notables
Santa Claus, accompanied by several bands and a circus contingent made up of professionals and employees of R.H. Macy & Co., will parade six miles through the city Thanksgiving morning.
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Santa, with his retinue of clowns, and prominent personages in toyland, such as Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffet and the Three Men in the Tub, then will be escorted to the ground floor [of Macy's], where he will be crowned. Thereupon he will unveil Macy's Christmas spectacle, "Fairyfolk Frolics in Wondertown."
Andy Pratt Is Heard At Max's Kansas City
Andy Pratt came in from New England to Max's Kansas City, Park Avenue South, on Wednesday with a strong reputation as singer-songwriter. The unknown-genius-of-the-week spot is always a rough one, but by the end of Pratt's first set that reputation of his had taken some bruising.
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By contrast, the imagery of the country singer (and writer) Jimmy Buffett was clear and clean, rooted firmly in Buffett's own existence. Buffett, who was backed up by a good harmonica player and a low-phosphate washboard scrubber, also dropped in some humor. Buffett looks outside and takes notes—Pratt takes the inner view and long way around.
Keep reading for Trivial Pursuit, Kwanzaa, the Dustbuster and more.
The Newest Game in Town
Will Trivial Pursuit beat Pac-Man? Can an old-fashioned board game compete with the marvels of electronic games? Selchow & Righter, who gave the world Scrabble, think so. And with a certain amount of cause. Trivial Pursuit is a runaway best seller in Canada, where it was introduced last May. So far, 100,000 games have been sold there, in a market where sales of 10,000 would be considered successful. And the 4,000 or so games that have trickled into the United States in the last couple of months have been selling as fast as stores can stock them. Brentano's sold out its original order of 400 and, in New York, F.A.O. Schwarz sold all its 200 games.
The stores attribute the game's popularity to the fact that it is geared to adults, who have been somewhat overlooked in the video game craze of the last two years.
Toolmaker Introduces a Vacuum
Black & Decker, well known to the handy man as the world's largest maker of power tools, is setting its sights on women consumers for the first time in its 68 years. It is introducing the first product from its new household products division—the Dustbuster—with its biggest introductory promotion budget ever.
The product, on which the curtain was raised at a press breakfast here yesterday, is a cordless, hand-held vacuum cleaner with suggested retail price of $29.95. It is not supposed to take the place of the regular vacuum, but rather augment it with the "little messes," as the advertising agency will characterize them.
The Evening Hours
The event is the first citywide celebration of Kwanzaa, a seven-day holiday that pays tribute to the cultural roots of Americans of African ancestry. Locally, this is the fifth year the New York Urban Coalition has celebrated Kwanzaa; nationwide the holiday has been celebrated since 1966. According to its originator, Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, although the holiday has some historical roots in Africa, it is ''nonpolitical, nonreligious, nonheroic.''
On Tuesday night at the Club Serene in Brooklyn, Mayor Koch proclaimed Kwanzaa Week in New York. Then he told the crowd of about 400 that he had practiced his Swahili in order to pronounce correctly such exotic-sounding words as kujichagulia (self-determination), ujamaa (cooperative economics) and imani (faith), the theme of Kwanzaa '83.
''Did I do it good?'' he asked. The crowd applauded encouragingly.
[Note: This was actually the third time Kwanzaa appeared in The Times. But the first two—both in December of 1982—weren't very memorable.]
Now Playing: Your Home Video
The entrepreneurs who have started companies like ClipShack, Vimeo, YouTube and Blip.tv are betting that as consumers discover the video abilities built into their cellphones and digital still cameras, and get better at editing the often-lengthy video from their camcorders, they will be eager to share video on the Web. While most of the services are free today, the entrepreneurs eventually hope to make money by selling ads or charging fees for premium levels of service.
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None of the sites should be considered a reliable sole archive for personal video, however, since many do not allow users to download their original file once it has been uploaded. And there is always the possibility that a site may vanish overnight.
Campaign Finance Reform
Senate Approves Curbs on Political TV Spending
The Senate, over token Republican opposition, completed Congressional action today on legislation designed to restrict the growing political cost of campaign advertising on television and radio.
The legislation, regarded by many in Congress as the most significant campaign finance reform since the Corrupt Pratices Act was passed 45 years ago, was approved by a 60-to-19 vote.
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Based on the number of votes cast in the 1968 Presidential election, it was believed that the bill would limit each major party to less than $6-million in broadcast spending for its Presidential ticket in 1972. Two years ago, the Republicans spent more than $12-million for radio and TV advertising to elect Mr. Nixon, while the Democrats spent $7.1-million in their unsuccessful effort to elect former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
From Previous Installments...
"¢ The Presidential Candidates (Obama, Clinton, McCain, Huckabee, Paul, Bloomberg)
"¢ Greatest Hits (Walkman, Email, Jerry Seinfeld, Donald Trump and more)
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday
See all the previous installments of The First Time News Was Fit To Print.
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