The First Time News Was Fit To Print, XXVI

Image credit: 

In case you missed our first twenty-five volumes or the greatest hits edition, let me explain. Every Monday, we go into the archives of The New York Times to find the first time The Paper of Record covered selected topics. If you have a suggestion for next week, leave us a comment.

Yoko Ono

November 25, 1961

Far-Out Music Is Played at Carnegie
yoko.jpgOne thing you can surely say about today's new music: the farther out it gets, the harder it is to describe. It wasn't always so; thirty years ago inner anatomical detail and structural exactitude were the rage. But now "“

Here are some of the things that happened in almost total darkness at Carnegie Recital Hall late yesterday afternoon, all in the name of music:

Against a taped background of mumbled words and wild laughter a girl spoke earnestly about peeling a grapefruit, squeezing lemons and counting the hairs on a dead child. Musicians in the corner made their instruments go squeep and squak.
* * * * *
The occasion was a concert of works by Yoko Ono, and the hall was packed. The works were titled, respectively, "A Grapefruit in the World of Park," "Piece for Strawberries and Violin" and "AOS"“To David Tudor."

Whether or not time will prove Miss Ono a master of musical expressiveness, there can be no denying her skill at concocting titles. Especially since neither strawberries nor violin were anywhere in evidence.

[This was actually Yoko's second appearance. She was briefly mentioned the previous day in an article titled "Musical Notes."]

Universal Health Care

May 1, 1949

Truman's Health Plan Compared With British
hospital_sign.jpg There are fundamental differences between the popular national health service of Great Britain and the compulsory health insurance program of President Truman. However, the objectives are virtually identical. Many details are similar. And it is easy to get into an argument over whether either constitutes "socialized medicine."
* * * * *
There are important differences as well in the historical background for a national health system. For thirty-six years before the British National Health Service became operative, about half of the population had been covered under a national insurance system confined to low-income individuals.

As a consequence, the British Medical Association was psychologically prepared for universal health care when it was first made official Government policy in 1944 by the Conservative Government....In contrast, the American Medical Association is raising a $1,500,000 fund to fight adoption of compulsory health insurance in this country.

Keep reading for Tom Coughlin, Super Tuesday and Tabitha Soren...

Tom Coughlin

May 8, 1966

Syracuse Football Varsity Trounces Alumni by 32-7
tom-coughlin.jpg The Syracuse varsity football team trounced an alumni squad today, 32-7. Jim Del Gaizo passed for two touchdowns and Larry Csonka and Tom Coughlin plunged over for scores.

[This is Tom's first flirtation with the New York media, unless he is the same Tom Coughlin who dominated the junior swimming scene in the mid-1950s.]

Super Tuesday

May 9, 1976

The Jackson Campaign: An Exercise in How to Undo It
vote-button.jpg In the political handicappers' early line, Senator Harry M. Jackson of Washington, though hardly an odds-on favorite, was almost a sure thing to make it through all the primaries and show up at the finish line, the July 12th Democratic convention in New York. He was a rock, colorless but stubborn and well-financed.

When the end came recently with his withdrawal from "active pursuit" of the nomination, Scoop Jackson was still a rock. He sank fast in the unpredictable political waters of 1976 and scarcely left a ripple.
* * * * *
The Jackson people had not paid a lot of attention to Jimmy Carter, even after others began doing so when he won in early caucuses, such as the one in Iowa. When he won New Hampshire, they still didn't worry too much. They would get him in Massachusetts and presumably, George Wallace would destroy him in the South. They did, but Governor Wallace didn't.

There was, after all, always the big-state strategy. New York, Scoop Jackson's trump card, would open up a string of victories, in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and finally, on super-Tuesday, June 8, in California, Ohio and New Jersey.

Tabitha Soren

December 20, 1991

TV Weekend: Making the Best of Slim Pickings
tabitha-soren.jpgTHE YEAR IN ROCK: 1991 (MTV): The predictable blitz of fleeting images, overseen by the hosts Tabitha Soren and Kurt Loder, is used to catalogue a year that, on the whole, was troubling. With the recession trickling down to the music industry, sales of recordings and concert tickets were off considerably, leaving a good many top names playing before embarrassingly empty halls and stadiums. MTV was clearly less impressed than George Bush with the Persian Gulf War, obviously preferring the "Give Peace a Chance" protesters. Performers from Paula Abdul to Rick James got entangled in unseemly legal situations. But, gamely optimistic, MTV also looks at some brighter sides. Hot new artists: Nirvana, Marky Mark, Seal, Color Me Badd, Naughty by Nature. Breakthroughs: Metallica, the Black Crowes, Extreme, Chris Isaak. Most encouraging pop-culture development: more film releases by black film makers than in the previous five years combined. Short on analysis, this MTV image collection, punctuated with brief blasts of music, is almost dizzyingly comprehensive.

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
"¢ Volume XXII: John McCain, American Gladiators, Dianetics
"¢ Volume XXIII: Barbara Bush, Sports Illustrated, The Daily Show
"¢ Volume XXIV: "I Have A Dream" speech, Mitt Romney, Game Boy
"¢ Volume XXV: 'Politics of Fear,' Regis Philbin, Randy Moss
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

T.jpgWant to play along at home? Get complete access to the The New York Times archives by becoming an NYT subscriber.

More from mental_floss...

February 4, 2008 - 11:28am
submit to reddit