Today in media history: Reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew

Three events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 25, 1835
The New York Sun reports that astronomer Sir John Herschel has discovered life on the moon. The “Great Moon Hoax” is described in the following excerpt:

The first installment of the moon hoax appeared in the August 25, 1835 edition of the New York Sun on page two, under the heading “Celestial Discoveries.” The brief passage read in part as follows: “We have just learnt (sic) from an eminent publisher in this city that Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope, has made some astronomical discoveries of the most wonderful description, by means of an immense telescope of an entirely new principle.”

….On August 25, the Sun ran four columns describing what Sir John had been able to see, looking at the moon through his telescope.

So fascinating were the descriptions of trees and vegetation, oceans and beaches, bison and goats, cranes and pelicans that the whole town was talking even before the fourth installment appeared on August 28, 1835, with the master revelation of all: the discovery of furry, winged men resembling bats.

….The Sun of September 16, 1835, admitted the hoax. When the hoax was exposed people were generally amused. It did not seem to lessen interest in the Sun, which never lost its increased circulation.

— “The Great Moon Hoax of 1835
By R.J. Brown, HistoryBuff website

August 25, 1947
One of the first TV network evening newscasts, “The Walter Compton News,” moves from Washington, DC’s WTTG to the DuMont network. From 1946 until 1956 the DuMont network was considered the fourth major television network.

August 25, 1992
The media reports on the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The day before, on August 24th, Andrew ripped through South Florida destroying parts of Homestead. Eighteen people were killed and thousands left homeless or without water and power. Reporters described the billions of dollars of damage caused by the powerful winds. In the days following the destruction, the Miami Herald investigated how lax building codes allowed much of the structural damage to happen. Herald staffers earned a 1993 Pulitzer Prize for their comprehensive reporting.

(Video: WTVJ-TV’s “Hurricane Andrew Coverage Clips”)

(Video: The Miami Herald’s “Scenes from Hurricane Andrew”)

(Video: WFOR-TV’s “Hurricane Andrew 20 Years Later”)

Media History Trivia Question
When was The Weather Channel founded? (Answer)

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.