Great post on all the gems that can no be retrieved from the archives of the NY Times. Here’s a sample:
– Early report of Lincoln’s assassination…”The President Still Alive at Last Accounts”.
– A report on Custer’s Last Stand a couple of weeks after the occurance (I couldn’t find anything sooner). The coverage of Native Americans is notable for the racism, both thinly veiled and overt, displayed in the writing, e.g. a story from September 1872 titled The Hostile Savages.
– From the first year of publication, a listing of the principle events of 1851.
– An article about the confirmation of Einstein’s theory of gravity by a 1919 expedition led by Arthur Eddington to measure the bending of starlight by the sun during an eclipse.
– A front page report on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, including a seismograph of the quake which the Times labeled “EARTHQUAKE’S AUTOGRAPH AS IT WROTE IT 3,000 MILES AWAY”.
– The first mention of television (as a concept) in the Times, from February 1907. “The new ‘telephotograph’ invention of Dr. Arthur Korn, Professor of Physics in Munich University, is a distinct step nearer the realization of all this, and he assures us that ‘television,’ or seeing by telegraph, is merely a question of a year or two with certain improvements in apparatus.”
– First mention of Harry Potter. Before it became a phenomenon, it was just another children’s book on the fiction best-seller list.
A report during the First World War of the Germans using mustard gas. Lots more reporting about WWI is available in the Times archive.
I plan to add some other events over the weekend.