The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XII

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Every Monday, mental_floss ventures into the The New York Times archives to find first mentions worth mentioning. Leave your Volume XIII suggestions in the comments.

ARPANET

June 24, 1975

Aide Says Pentagon Computers Aren't Used To Check Citizens
departmentofdefense.jpgDefense Department officials acknowledged today that they operated a number of computers but they said that none of them were used to hold files on American citizens.

One of the biggest Pentagon computer networks is called ARPANET and D.O. Cooke, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, told a hearing of two Senate subcommittees:

"Let me emphasize that it is not a 'secret' network, that it is used for scientific research purposes, that it contains no sociological or intelligence data on personalities, and that it is a marvel in many ways. But it simply does not fit the Orwellian mold attributed to it."

Lee Harvey Oswald

November 3, 1959

oswald.jpgAmerican Awaits Soviet Word
Lee Harvey Oswald shut himself in his hotel room today to await a decision on his request for Soviet citizenship. Mr. Oswald, a former Marine from Fort Worth, Texas, turned in his American passport to the United States Embassy here [in Moscow] last week-end. "I am awaiting a reply from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on my application for citizenship and have nothing to say meanwhile," he said over the telephone.

Jerry Seinfeld

March 30, 1979

Funny Finalists Stand Up For Laughs
seinfeld.jpg"The Big Laff Off," 40 stand-up comedians, some of them professionals only in the sense that they had had a few small club dates, most of them amateurs, some of them walk-on novices, performing over six nights in the last two weeks at the city's comedy cabarets, the Comic Strip, Catch a Rising Star, and the Improvisation.
* * * * *
The Comic Strip's regular master of ceremonies, Jerry Seinfeld, will be there Monday discussing the complexities of "those little hangers they have for socks" and how embarrassed he is when he has to go to Disneyland, "because all those movable dolls know more than me."

Keep reading for Seinfeld (the show), the iPhone (not the one you waited in line for), Labrador retriever, Don Mattingly, Lorne Michaels and more.

The Seinfeld Chronicles

June 28, 1989

Stand-Up Comics Bloster Sitcoms
jerry.jpgNext week, on Wednesday at 9:30, NBC is presenting The Seinfeld Chronicles, starring Jerry Seinfeld, another rising star in the stand-up arena. Clean-cut and boyish, Mr. Seinfeld takes an offbeat approach to the common functions of everyday life "“ a shower or doing the laundry. In this half-hour special, written by Larry David and directed by Art Wolff (The Tracey Ullman Show), he plays himself, coping with little crises in his private life and transforming them into material for his stand-up routines. The jokes will be familiar to anyone who has seen his cable comedy specials. NBC will be closely monitoring reaction to next week's broadcast.

Labrador Retriever

May 3, 1914

Dog As Caddy: Scarcity Of Boys Causes Innovation
On English Golf Links

remote.jpg An innovation has lately been made by a player on the Tyneside golf course at Rytown, which is likely to be adopted on other courses, particularly where engaged couples like to indulge in the game without human observers. At Rytown, in order to overcome difficulties created by a scarcity of caddies, the player in question trained his dog, a Labrador retriever, to carry his clubs and hunt for lost balls.
* * * * *
"From every point of view the dog is so much the superior of the boy as a caddy that I expect to see dogs used universally in the future. With a dog as your caddy there is no one to hear you swear and no one to make fun of your play."

[Note: The phrase "Labrador Retrievers" (plural) was used once before, in March of 1914. This was funnier.]

iPhone

December 15, 1997

Cyberspace Cutting Edge Seems Pretty Dull
iPhone-Cidco.jpgIt sure was big, whatever it was. More than 65,000 people last week jammed into the Javits Center to attend Internet World, which has become one of the nation's largest trade shows.

But unlike other huge industry events, most notably Comdex, there was less sense that any particular development was revolutionary than that it was time to pay attention to make the reality of switches and networks live up to the dreamy prognostications of techno-utopians.
* * * * *
Many of the 600 exhibitors focused on hardware, software and services of use to those putting together Web sites. Hot categories included programs to serve as hosts for catalogs and take payments for goods and services on line.

Several specialized hardware devices were introduced. For example, Cidco, a telephone accessory maker introduced the iPhone, a $500 telephone with a black-and-white screen that can be used for surfing the World Wide Web. And Encanto began selling a $1,000 all-inclusive device that small business can use to be host of their own Web sites.

Don Mattingly

September 2, 1980

Yankee Hopefuls Face Crossroad At Greensboro
mattingly1.jpgDon Mattingly, a 19-year-old outfielder from Evansville, Ind., hit in the vicinity of .370. He has a knack for turning fastballs into line drives. Mattingly's fielding has been questionable, but he improved after working with Ken Berry, the two-time Gold Glove winner who is now a Hornet coach.
* * * * *
Kim Mattingly, 17, left high school to marry Don....Being married to a minor league player is lonely, Kim says. There are so many bus trips and so many days with nothing to do. Some of the wives look forward to the games as much as the players do. Kim Mattingly likes to get out and walk around the stadium and talk to fans and the wives and girlfriends of other players. She says she realizes that hers is strictly a supporting role to her husband. "When he's happy, I'm happy," she says. "When he goes 0 for 8, then he gets grumpy and he's grumpy to me too."

"Vote With Your Feet"

January 17, 1976

Reagan.jpgReagan Says Plan Could Harm Needy
Ronald Reagan said today that the poor and minorities living in states resistant to social action might have to migrate elsewhere if these states failed to substitute adequate welfare programs for the Federal ones he would like to eliminate.

"You can vote with your feet in this country," he declared in a campaign swing through the countryside of southern New Hampshire. "If a state is mismanaged, you can move elsewhere."

Lorne Michaels

April 23, 1975

New Comedy Series Due Oct. 11 On NBC
A new 90-minute series designed as an outlet for young comedians was announced by NBC-TV yesterday for Saturday nights at 11:30. Entitled Saturday Night, the program is scheduled to premier Oct. 11, replacing the Saturday reruns of Tonight....An NBC spokesman said the time had been chosen because the routines of many of the new comics were too sophisticated for general audiences.

Saturday Night will be produced by Lorne Michaels, who has been a comedy writer for the Monty Python and Laugh-In series and a producer of the Lily Tomlin and Flip Wilson specials.

Previously on The First Time News Was Fit To Print:

"¢ Volume I: Barack Obama, Jon Stewart and the iPod
"¢ Volume II: Hillary Clinton, Starbucks, McDonald's
"¢ 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

T.jpgYou need not rely on us to find The First Time News Was Fit To Print. Get complete access to the The New York Times archives when you become an NYT subscriber.

October 22, 2007 - 1:32am
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