The First Time News Was Fit To Print: From The Archives

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Every Monday, we venture into the archives of The New York Times to find the first time the paper covered various topics. This week, in a moment of weakness/laziness, we're re-running eight first mentions from our own archives. If you have a suggestion for next week, leave us a comment.

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.

Keep reading for Books on Tape, Yoko Ono, Aerosmith, Bill Maher, Don Mattingly and more.

Books on Tape

February 20, 1977

cassette.jpgCatching Up With the Classics
Want to catch up on your reading while driving cross-country? Or dip into the classics while sunning with eyes closed on a secluded Caribbean beach? A California outfit called Books on Tape makes it happen.

Described as the "thinking man's answer to CB radio," Books on Tape was conceived in Los Angeles a few years back to aid long-haul commuters avoid "cerebral atrophy" occasioned by long traffic tie-ups on freeways.
* * * * *
Clients are able to rent the cassettes at fees ranging from $6.50 to $7.50 for a complete work, based on a one-month rental period, plus $1.75 for postage and handling. If one had to buy the tapes, the purchase price would be somewhere around $50.

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."]

Taxicab

April 9, 1899

NY1890s.jpgThe Taxicabs
One taxicab company, in spite of all the popular clamor for cheaper fares, has raised its rates, so that a ride of two miles, if the meter works properly and the chauffeur is honest, will cost $1.30. We fear it will turn out to be like advertised hotel rates, $1.30 "and up." The chauffeur's fee is still to be considered.
* * * * *
It would be better for the companies to practice economies; to secure honest chauffeurs, to guard against taximeter errors; than to raise the rate of fares. We have all been dreaming of the establishment of a cheap cab system. We still have nothing cheaper than a livery stable horse coupe.

Aerosmith

April 2, 1973

aerosmith.jpgKinks Concert Blends Artistry and Appeal
The Kinks have been a leading rock "˜n roll band for nearly 10 years now, and their appearance Friday night at the Fordham University gymnasium in the Bronx made it clear that they are still one of the finest groups around....Aerosmith, the opening act, played loud, derivative rock, distinguished only by Steve Tyler's fawning imitation of Mick Jagger.

Exxon

September 21, 1971

McCann to Promote Humble's Exxon Gas in 6 Cities
exxon1972.jpgMcCann-Erickson will soon be promoting Exxon gasoline in six cities. Exxon? Exxon?

Exxon is a new brand name that will be tested by the Humble Oil and Refining Company to find out how it is accepted by consumers.

This is an important move for Humble, the major domestic arm of Standard Oil (New Jersey), because it has long been legally prevented from using Esso, its best known brand name, in 29 of the 47 states it markets in. So it uses Humble in one state and Enco in 28.

Bill Maher

February 28, 1982

A Rising Star At Pace
maher.jpgBill Maher, a student at Cornell University who has been described as an "observation comic" will entertain at 9 P.M. Friday in the Campus Center of Pace University in Pleasantville. Mr. Maher, who has performed at Catch-a-Rising-Star, a Manhattan nightclub that showcases new comedians, will be joined by two other emerging comedians, Adrienne Tolsch and J. J. Wall.

The evening is one of two yearly showcases at Pace initiated by Dr. Nicholas Catalano, director of performing arts, who is a part-time nightclub producer in New York"¦."Bill Maher is one of the best talents I've seen in years. He will be a major comedy star one day," he predicted.

Admission is $3, no reservations are required and beer and soft drinks are provided free.

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."

Our Archives

"¢ Volume I: Barack Obama, Microsoft, 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: Randy Moss, Regis Philbin, Valentine's Day
"¢ Volume XXVI: Yoko Ono, Universal Health Care, Tom Coughlin
"¢ Volume XXVII: The U.S. Presidential Candidates
"¢ Volume XXVIII: Superdelegates, HD DVD, Spud Webb
"¢ Volume XXIX: Academy Awards Edition
"¢ Volume XXX: National Review, Wayne Gretzky, Harry Truman
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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