Today’s journey took me to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated December 16, 1966. There on the front page I found the headline “Walt Disney, 65, Dies on Coast; Founded an Empire on a Mouse.” “Walt Disney, who built his whimsical cartoon world of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into a $100-million-a-year entertainment empire; died in St. Joseph’s Hospital here this morning. He was 65 years old… Just before his last illness, Mr. Disney was supervising the construction of a new Disneyland in Florida…”
Oddly enough, Mr. Disney did not do any of the drawings of his famous Mickey Mouse.
Today I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated August 2, 1966. There I found tragedy had stuck the campus of University of Texas. “An architectural honor student who had been undergoing psychiatric care carried an arsenal of rifles and pistols to the top of the 27-story University of Texas tower today and shot 12 persons to death before the police killed him. The student’s wife and mother were later found dead in their homes… The police identified the man as Charles J. Whitman…”. In all, he had shot an additional 34 people.
Over the past few years we have listed a series of posts titled: “Great Headlines Speak For Themselves,” with the first line being: “The best headlines need no commentary.” However, in some instances history would prove other headlines to be grossly understated. Such is the case of the headline on one of the most desirable newspapers reporting the horrific murders which would eventually be attributed to Charles Manson and some of his followers. While still dramatic, the initial (false) implication of the house pool boy, relative to the actual truth regarding the murders, deflates the historical impact of many “1st-report” headlines as illustrated in The Herald Examiner, Los Angeles, August 10, 1969.
Today I traveled to New York City by the means of The New York Times, February 15, 1966. There I found that Wilt Chamberlain, playing for the 76’ers, had scored his 20,884th point to surpassed the record previously set by Bob Pettit.
The front page also has the reporting of “2-SOVIET AUTHORS ARE CONVICTED” with subheads “Court Finds Works Published Abroad Harmed Regime” and “Sinyavsky Is Given 7 Years, Daniel 5 at Hard Labor”. Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel were convicted of writing under pseudonym names and sending the books out of Russia for publication. “…The judgment, considered unprecedented in modern Soviet history, called it a criminal act to put into print beliefs and ideas that could be used profitably by ‘enemies of communism’…”
As historian Fred Coleman writes, “Historians now have no difficulty pinpointing the birth of the modern Soviet dissident movement. It began in February 1966 with the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, two Russian writers who ridiculed the Communist regime in satires smuggled abroad and published under pen names… Little did they realize at the time that they were starting a movement that would help end Communist rule.” [source: Wikipedia]