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The First Time News Was Fit to Print: Disneyland, Search Engines & Texlahoma

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Welcome to another edition of The First Time News Was Fit To Print, the semi-regular feature where we travel into the archives of The New York Times and find the first time the paper covered various subjects. If you have a suggestion for a future installment, leave a comment.

Disneyland

May 2, 1954

Land of Fantasia Is Rising on Coast
A cost estimate of $9,000,000 for the building of Disneyland was made today with the announcement that a 160-acre site had been selected for the ambitious amusement center and living museum of Americana conceived by Walt Disney.
* * *
disney-bwDisneyland, which will resemble a giant motion-picture set, is described by Mr. Disney as a "combination of a world's fair, a playground, a community center, a museum of living facts and a show place of beauty and magic. Once you walk through its portals you leave today behind and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow and Fantasy."
* * *
"Disneyland," he added, "will be based upon and dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and hard facts that created America. And it will be uniquely equipped to dramatize these dreams and facts and send them forth as a sort of courage and inspiration to all the world."

Continue reading for the first mentions of Bobby Bowden, search engines and something called "Texlahoma."

Texlahoma

May 26, 1935

Texlahoma Urged as 49th State
Texlahoma, a forty-ninth State in the Union, comprised of counties in Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, with a combined population exceeding a million, would be created if a proposal being placed before citizens of both States were approved.
* * *
The most curious aspect of the incident, however, arises from the manner in which it is reviving that fallacious notion, always widely held, that under terms of its annexation ninety years ago Texas has peculiar rights to divide itself into new States. This idea arose from a misinterpretation of the clause in the joint resolution of Congress annexing Texas by which the Missouri compromise line was carried to the west boundary of Texas. At that time Texas claimed territory far north, and provision was merely being made that States subsequently carved from Teas should be slave below the compromise line and free above.

Bobby Bowden

January 3, 1970

bowden-wvu
Carlen Is Hired by Texas Tech; Bowden Replaces Him at West Virginia
Robert C. (Bobby) Bowden moved up to head coach at West Virginia today succeeding Jim Carlen. Bowden, 40 years old, had been the offensive coach for the Mountaineers since February, 1966.
* * *
He started his coaching career at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where he was assistant football coach and head track coach. He left Samford in 1955 to become head football and baseball coach at South Georgia Junior College.

Search Engine

August 30, 1992

The Executive Computer: A Fast Way to Discover Patterns in Vast Amounts of Data
magnifying-glassIn the financial markets particularly, all the data needed for research are generally publicly available, but few traders have the luxury of enough time to spend researching data, poring over charts and reading reams of analysis. And often they are not willing to commit the time or money needed to have a researcher check out a convoluted hunch -- especially if the hunch requires going back through 70 years of stock market data and economic indicators.

Mr. Li of Duich Investment said he was impressed with how quickly the Market Information Machine (MIM), created by Logical Information Machines Inc. of Austin, Tex., can sift through years of data and display the results as graphs. His system is loaded with about 1,500 megabytes of market data -- about 1.5 billion characters. "It retrieves data almost instantaneously," Mr. Li said. And, of course, "as traders, we really, really like speed," he said.

Duich Investment leases the MIM software, which includes the data base search engine and the historic market data, and runs it on a Unix work station. The software costs the company about $2,500 a month, depending on options.

Gerrymandering

October 3, 1851

Ohio Politics
The Whig journals in Ohio say that the election which comes off in that State in a few days will be one of the most important in its results ever had in that action...[Those elected] will also have the dividing of the State into Congressional Districts—and past experience justifies the fear that if the Opposition get the power in their hands they will Gerrymander the State unscrupulously for their own benefit.

Here are a few topics covered in previous editions...

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

November 26, 1924

macy-parade.jpgSanta 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.
* * *
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."

Paternity Leave

September 8, 1968

Paternity Leave Urged
Mother should not be the only one coddled a bit after baby's birth, according to RN, the nurses' magazine, UPI reports. It suggested that the father "merits a two-week paternity leave from his work so he can be with his wife during childbirth and help later with the housework."

George Clooney

July 1, 1990

Popular Films Are Feeding The Series Maw
clooney.jpg This season's spinoffs...are likely to have a certain familiarity about them, especially after the producers and the networks get through tinkering with the movie premises. In ABC's Baby Talk, for example, the father substitute, a cab driver played in the film by John Travolta, becomes a handyman, played by George Clooney. This gives him a reason to hang around the house "“ and pursue a romance "“ with the single mother, played by Kirstie Alley in the movie and Connie Sellecca in the series. Ms. Sellecca's character also gets a time-honored foil, another single mom who lives next door.

Tommy John Surgery

October 29, 1988

tommy-john.jpgSurgery for Tudor
John Tudor, the Los Angeles Dodger left-hander who suffered a torn ligament in his pitching elbow after only one and a third innings in the World Series, underwent reconstructive elbow surgery Thursday. Dr. Frank Jobe, the team physician, said the surgery should enable Tudor to return by the middle of next season.

Tudor underwent "Tommy John surgery," which Jobe developed for the former Dodger and current Yankee pitcher in 1974 in which damaged ligament was replaced with a tendon from his left forearm. Jobe also removed frayed cartilage by arthroscope from Tudor's left shoulder and removed two screws from the 34-year-old's right knee, which was broken 16 months ago when Barry Lyons of the Mets crashed into him in the St. Louis Cardinal dugout while chasing a foul pop.

See Also...

Greatest Hits of 2007 (Walkman, Email, Jerry Seinfeld and more)
Greatest Hits of 2008 (Princess Diana, Personal Computer, John McCain and more)
"¢ See all the previous installments of The First Time News Was Fit To Print
"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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Old News: Very Early Media Coverage of the GOP Candidates
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Every week, I used to wander into the New York Times archives to find the first time the paper covered various topics (like The Walkman). In honor of tonight's Iowa Caucus, we're bringing back "The First Time News Was Fit to Print." Here are the first times The Times mentioned each of the remaining GOP candidates.

Mitt Romney

February 28, 1960

A Maverick Starts a New 'Crusade'
mitt-and-george.jpgGeorge Romney feels that he has pat across the compact car. Now he is turning his missionary fervor to a campaign to reshape American political institutions.


The man who made the compact car big competition for Detroit's land yachts is crusading against bigness on an even bigger scale these days. George Romney, the almost terrifyingly earnest head of the American Motors Corporation, has moved from his conquest of the gas-guzzling dinosaur into a battle to break up the concentration of economic power embodied in giant companies and giant unions.
*
He speaks with equal disrespect of the ranking politicians of both major parties when it comes to their readiness to face up to what he considers the make-or-break issues in America's survival.
*
George Romney considers talking his wife out of a movie career his greatest sales achievement. They are shown here with their children, Mitt, Jane and Scott.

[Well, not here. This picture is from two years later, when George announced he was running for President. To see the picture referenced here, you'll have to check out the original article.]

Ron Paul

April 28, 1976

Big Victory by Bentsen Called Vital to Re-election
ron-paul.jpg
John B. Connally, the popular former Democratic Governor [of Texas], was credited in 1970 with pushing Mr. [Lloyd] Bentsen to victory over Mr. [George] Bush [in the Senate race]. Mr. Connally, now a Republican, helped a politically unknown gynecologist, Dr. Ron Paul, upset a liberal Democrat, Bob Gammage, in a race last month to fill the unexpired 22d Congressional District seat vacated by Democrat Bob Casey, who has been appointed to the Federal Maritime Commission.

Rick Santorum

November 7, 1990

The 1990 Elections: State by State
In an upset, Representative Doug Walgren, a seven-term Democratic Congressman from Pittsburgh, lost to a political neophyte, Richard Santorum, a 32-year-old Republican lawyer who ran on an anti-incumbent theme.

Michele Bachmann

September 24, 2006

Campaign in Crisis Mode (by Charles Baxter)
While my assignment was to write about Minnesota’s important Senate race, I think there’s more to be learned right now from the far closer contest in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, which borders Minneapolis-St. Paul to the east, north and west. The race, between Michele Bachmann, the Republican, and Patty Wetterling, the Democrat, has revealed a Bush-era national trend now visible locally.
*
Terrorism has infected every subject and every discussion, even locally. Alarmism has become so ubiquitous in discussions of Iraq, the decline of the family and financing for Social Security and education that polarization is assured. Extremity, after all, is more newsworthy than good sense.

This outlook has the effect of trivializing most local issues — who cares about farm-price supports when radical Muslims want to make Stillwater part of the caliphate? And it ensures that the volume will always be turned up to 11 — at least until everybody begins to suffer crisis fatigue and tries to calm down.

Newt Gingrich

November 2, 1974

Divided GOP in Georgia Facing a Rout on Tuesday
In another House race, however, Republicans may be able to take some comfort. In the state's Sixth District, suburban Atlanta, the 10-term Democratic mainstay who ran unopposed in 1972, faces a strong challenge from a 31-year-old history professor, Newt Gingrich. Although Mr. Flynt is favored, he is facing some difficulty because he is now running in a redrawn district in which his strength has not yet been tested.

[Note: Gingrich narrowly lost.]

Rick Perry

November 8, 1990

Farm Chief's Foe Has the Last Laugh
The Texas Agriculture Commissioner with the Borscht Belt sense of humor is out. Jim Hightower, a two-term incumbent known as an advocate of enlightened farming as well as one of the funniest figures in American politics, was defeated Tuesday by Rick Perry, a 40-year-old rancher and farmer.
*
Katie Dickie, Mr. Perry's press secretary, said today that her candidate "took a lot of angry farmers, banded them together, raised money in places like Garden City, Sterling City, the small places all across Texas, East Texas and West Texas."

She added, "Rick wants to refocus the department on mainstream agriculture."

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.

July 22, 1998

Nova of Canada to Purchase Huntsman Styrene Business
The Nova Corporation of Canada will acquire the bulk of the styrene operations of the Huntsman Corporation for $860 million (United States) in cash and preferred stock, the companies announced yesterday.
*
For Huntsman, of Salt Lake City, the largest privately held chemical company in the United States, the deal represents a chance to pay down debt and to increase funds to homeless shelters and other charities that its ownership family has long supported.

In particular, it will let Huntsman funnel more than $100 million into research on genetic predispositions to cancer. Jon M. Huntsman [the candidate's father], the company's chairman, lost both his parents to cancer and has had two bouts with the disease himself.
*
Under the terms of yesterday's deal, Huntsman will receive $625 million in cash, and $235 million of nonvoting preferred shares, which can be converted to a maximum of 10 million common shares of Nova stock in two years. Nova will also assume $60 million of Huntsman's debt. After the deal, Huntsman will become Nova's largest shareholder.

Mr. Huntsman expects the two companies to combine some purchasing operations and to seek ways to combine product lines and operations. His son, Jon M. Hunstman Jr., will sit on Nova's board.

More First Mentions Worth Mentioning...

Greatest Hits of 2007 (Walkman, Email, Jerry Seinfeld and more)
*
Greatest Hits of 2008 (Princess Diana, Personal Computer, John McCain and more)
*
See all the previous installments of The First Time News Was Fit To Print
*
November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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10 Headlines from 9/11/01
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We spent the summer of 2001 chastising Gary Condit, mourning Mr. Belvedere, and pardoning Microsoft. But on the second Tuesday of September, a mere twenty months after widespread wisecracks about the world ending on Y2K, it felt like the world did. I've been reading through the online archives of The New York Times from September 11, 2001, to see what was in the news the morning of the attacks. Here are some of the headlines:

1. Taliban Suicide Bombers Target Deposed Afghan Leaders

"If the would-be assassins were indeed Arabs, as the United Front asserted, the fact would lend credibility to those who contend that foreigners, including Osama bin Laden, are playing an ever bigger decision-making role among the Taliban."

2. Washington: Rumsfeld Attacks Bureaucracy

"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that he was declaring war on bureaucracy in the Pentagon and that he wanted to combine some civilian and military staffs, cut duplication in the military services and shift some jobs to the private sector."

3. Senator Joe Biden attacks President Bush on Missile Defense

"Mr. Biden has fastened onto missile defense as the centerpiece of his critique of Bush foreign policy. In part, that is because the system is almost the sole focus of the administration's foreign policy... 'Are we willing to end four decades of arms control agreements, and go it alone, a kind of bully nation, sometimes a little wrongheaded, but ready to make unilateral decisions in what we perceive to be our self-interest?' Mr. Biden said in his speech at the National Press Club."

4. Michael Jordan to Unretire (Again)?

"Jordan is either getting ready to return to the N.B.A. at the age of 38 or he is setting up the sports world for a letdown of legendary proportion. Either way, the drama builds. Speaking with three reporters, Jordan said he was less than 10 days away from a news conference in Washington announcing his decision."

5. Grand Jury Declines Request For Inquiry into Condit Matter

"A grand jury has rejected a flight attendant's request that it investigate her complaint that Representative Gary A. Condit obstructed justice by asking her to sign an affidavit falsely stating that they did not have an affair....Anne Marie Smith, 40, said that she and Mr. Condit had a 10-month romance and that his intermediaries tried to get her to sign an affidavit denying the affair....Ms. Smith's link with Mr. Condit became public after the disappearance in Washington of Chandra Ann Levy, a 24-year-old government intern from Modesto, on May 1. Mr. Condit, 53, is not considered a suspect in the disappearance, but he acknowledged having had a relationship with Ms. Levy."

6. Mayoral Candidates Crisscross City Seeking Last Few Votes

"The six major candidates running to succeed Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani ranged across the city yesterday in the final burst of politicking before the polls open today. Dodging late summer downpours, the candidates hit neighborhoods where they thought they might be able to eek out just a few more votes. Crossing and crisscrossing the boroughs -- sometimes missing one anothers' campaigns by just minutes -- it seemed as though the six candidates were out to shake every hand in the city."

7. Broncos Win Game, Lose Receiver

"The New York Giants did not upset the festive Denver atmosphere as the Broncos christened their noisy new home with a loud and thorough 31-20 rout. The game's outcome seem to hinge on a gruesome injury to Denver's Pro Bowl wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, who broke his lower left leg early in the third quarter."

8. Disco Near Auschwitz to Close

"The owner of a building now used as a disco but once a tannery where Nazis sorted the luggage and clothes of Jews at Auschwitz said he would not renew the club's lease when it expires in November."

9. U.S. Blacklists Paramilitaries in Colombia

"Being put on the State Department list of terrorist groups means that financial support for the organization is illegal. The action also makes it easier for the United States to seize assets, an important factor because investigators here estimate that the paramilitary groups have hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts."

10. Thomas Friedman on Terror in Israel

"You drive south...and there is another long concrete wall blocking snipers from hitting Gilo, but also sealing in Gilo. There are Hebrew posters all over this wall that read: 'The New Middle East.' Some Israeli coffee shops now have security guards at the door to deter suicide bombers."

See previous installments of 'The First Time News Was Fit To Print.'

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