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Today in Media History: The big computer story of 1981 was about a little mouse

We mentioned in an earlier "Today in Media History" that computer mouse technology can be traced back to the 1960s. But it wasn't until April 27, 1981 that the mouse was introduced commercially as part of the innovative, yet very expensive, Xerox 8010 Star Information System. The Xerox Star workstation was a commercial failure, but the mouse lived … Read More
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Today in Media History: The U.S. aborted a rescue mission to free the hostages in Iran

Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. aborted a Delta Force operation to rescue the U.S. hostages in Iran. Here's a story excerpt from The Washington Post: "The United States tried and failed to rescue the American hostages in Iran with a commando-style raid in which eight U.S. crewmen were killed, the White House announced today. The military … Read More
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Today in Media History: The future was introduced at the 1964 World's Fair

On April 23, 1964, the media described the opening of the World's Fair in New York City's Flushing Meadows Park. The fair, which had opened the day before, even received a detailed review from Edwin Newman and NBC News. The 1964 World's Fair was not a financial success, but as this AP/CBS story reminds us, … Read More
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Today in Media History: The seizure of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez

Fifteen years ago today the news media reported on the seizure of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez by armed U.S. federal agents. The story had begun a few months earlier: "On Thanksgiving Day 1999, 5-year old Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez is discovered floating in an inner tube by fishermen off the coast of Florida. Two days prior, a small boat … Read More
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Today in Media History: World War I news stories described the end of the Red Baron

It didn't take long for newspapers to print the news that German World War I fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen (aka the Red Baron) was shot down and killed in France on April 21, 1918. The April 22, 1918 edition of The (New York) Evening World published a short article and front page image of Richthofen. More information came … Read More
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Today in Media History: 2006 Pulitzers honored Hurricane Katrina coverage

On April 17, 2006, the Sun Herald and the Times-Picayune were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Their award-winning work, along with other great journalism honored that year, is posted on the Pulitzer website and linked to below. Public Service The Times-Picayune, New Orleans and Sun Herald, Biloxi-Gulfport Breaking News Reporting … Read More
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Today in Media History: And the winners of the 2001 Pulitzers in journalism are...

The 2001 Pulitzer Prizes for journalism were awarded on this date 14 years ago today. The award-winning work is posted on the Pulitzer website and linked to below. Take a look at the remarkable journalism honored that year: Public Service The Oregonian, Portland "Awarded to The Oregonian, Portland, for its detailed and unflinching examination of systematic problems … Read More
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Today in Media History: Wireless telegraph reported the sinking of the Titanic

On April 15, 1912, the news media reported that the British steamship Titanic sank after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Information about the disaster came fast, but it was often inaccurate, leading to numerous incorrect headlines and stories. Two days after the sinking, The Detroit News published a story titled, "1,241 missing, 868 saved from … Read More
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Today in Media History: 150 years ago news bulletins reported that President Lincoln had been shot

Late in the evening of April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. Telegraph bulletins soon reported the news. Lawrence Gobright was in his Associated Press office when someone ran in with the news about President Lincoln. Gobright sent out the first brief telegraph bulletin about the … Read More
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Today in Media History: Apollo 13 explosion placed crew in danger

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13's oxygen tank exploded damaging the spacecraft. Media coverage changed from a story about a mission to the moon, to a mission to save the crew of Apollo 13. Page one from the Logansport (Indiana) Press: "At the time of the oxygen-tank explosion two days into the mission, Lovell, Haise … Read More
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Today in Media History: The press reports that the Beatles are breaking up

"I read the news today oh boy..." --- "A Day In The Life" by The Beatles The 1970s began with the end of The Beatles. Here is an Associated Press story excerpt published in the April 10, 1970 Santa Cruz Sentinel: "Paul McCartney announced today that he's split from the Beatles but said … Read More
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Today in Media History: Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's home run record

It was one of the biggest sports stories of the century. On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run breaking the record set by Babe Ruth back in 1935. "A full house of 53,775 was on hand, along with the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, who sent veteran left-hander Al Downing … Read More
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Today in Media History: In 1927 newspapers introduced television

On April 7, 1927, AT&T (Bell Telephone Company) held the first public demonstration of long-distance television transmission. Reporters watched as a TV image of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was sent from Washington, D.C. to New York by phone lines. Here is a story excerpt from the United Press wire service: Television Latest Triumph Science Reports To Public … Read More
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