The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XXV

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In case you missed our first twenty-four 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.

'Politics of Fear'

September 29, 1968

LBJ.jpgJohnson Decries Politics of Fear
President Johnson called today for an end to hate and fear as vote-gathering tactics in a plea for unity in this "season of bitter debate."

Without mentioning by name any of the Presidential candidates, Mr. Johnson said, "When feelings are so deep and emotions are so high, it is tempting for some to play upon the fears and uncertainties of their countrymen."

Death of a Salesman

July 17, 1947

death-of-a-salesman.jpgMiller Rejects Hollywood's Bid
Arthur Miller has rejected a Hollywood writing offer and is hard at work on two new dramas, hopping from one to the other because "both seem equally urgent." At the moment the author of the prize-winning All My Sons is devoting himself to one of the scripts, still nameless, that tells a love story of working people in an industrial city. He thinks it may be ready for the coming season.

The other play, which Mr. Miller has left danging "in the middle," does have a working title, The Death of a Salesman, but the playwright is unwilling to commit it to a thumb-nail synopsis for fear that he may be misleading. It would take about ten pages of exposition, he says, to ensure that he isn't misunderstood.
* * * * *
Mr. Miller resisted the film offer after serious consideration. It involved a one-picture deal, and the product would have been directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Keep reading for Regis Philbin, Valentine's Day and Randy Moss.

Regis Philbin

September 24, 1964

time-for-regis.jpgSuccessor for Steve Allen
Regis Philbin, who has conducted a television variety show at a station in San Diego for the last two years, will be the host of the program replacing The Steve Allen Show. The Westinghouse Broadcasting Company said the new show would be presented in most of the cities where the Allen show is carried. Station WPIX here said it had not decided whether it would schedule the new series.

Valentine's Day

February 14, 1853

St. Valentine; His History and Mystery
cupid.gif It is one of those mysterious historical or antiquarian problems which are doomed never to be solved, as to what the unhappy Saint Valentine had to do with the 14th of February, and all its symbols and paraphernalia of Cupids, hearts and love-letters. We learn of that remote individual that he was a Presbyter of the Church, who stuck to his faith, but gave up his head, having been decapitated by command of the Emperor Claudius. Now whether the loss of the Saint's head was in any way typical of the expenditure of hearts supposed to take place on this festival, or whether in consequence of his execution having occurred on that day people set it aside as sacred to other executions, albeit more amorous than bloody, we must leave for the consideration of the Historical Society. It is a knotty point, capable of any amount of controversy, and properly managed, might, with economy, last the Association a whole season.

It is generally believed that the ceremonies observed on the 14th of February are of Roman origin, but that some jovial Christian liking the fun, ignored its heathen parentage and fathered the customs in some way or other upon poor Saint Valentine.

Randy Moss

August 2, 1995

moss-HS.jpgSchoolboy Star Pleads Guilty
Randy Moss, West Virginia's top high school football player, pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor battery stemming from a racial fight at school, then announced he will play at Florida State.

Moss was sentenced to 30 days in the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, W.Va., with three to be served beginning last night and the rest within 18 months.
* * * * *
Moss, 6 feet 5 inches and 200 pounds, led his team to state titles in 1992 and 1993. He also returned kicks, punted, kicked and played defensive back. In addition, he was the state's basketball player of the year the past two seasons and won the state 100- and 200-meter sprint titles as a sophomore in 1993, the only year he competed in track.

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