The New York Times, September 12, 2001…

January 7, 2010 by · 19 Comments 

Tragic events in world history have been a part of the hobby of collecting newspapers since it began and likely will be for as long as newspapers exists.  Unfortunately most tragic events are history and are well documented in newspapers of the day, hence their appeal to newspaper collectors. Reports of the Titanic, the Hindenberg, stock market crash, Pearl Harbor and so many more remain among the more desired headlines.

NYT_9_12_2001The tragedy of September 11, 2001 is still raw to many, and may seem an insensitive “collectible” to be desired. Ebay was quick to prohibit the sale of any items relating to September 11 for several months, which I thought very appropriate. But as time passes and the event becomes more a part of past history than current memory newspapers on the event will be deemed as collectible.

Given that the event happened around 9:00 a.m. Eastern time virtually all morning newspapers were already on the newsstands, and unless they produced an “Extra” edition–which many did–first reports were in the next day’s edition of September 12. Afternoon papers had the report in their September 11 edition.

The “New York Times” is a morning paper and its bold “U.S. ATTACKED” banner headline read like many headlines across the country, and given the popularity of this well-known title it may become a desired issue. But let me offer a note of caution: this edition was reprinted by the “Times”. I recall reading in the “Times” a day or two later that given the great demand for the newspaper extra copies were available from the publisher, and if memory serves me correctly the extra editions produced were in the millions, and were identical to the issue which sold on the street the morning of Sept. 12 with no notations of it being a reprint.

So as collectors, be aware that this newspaper will likely never be “rare” in terms of having a limited or even normal press run. And it is likely one will never know whether their issue was printed the morning of Sept. 12 or a few days later. All of this may be perfectly fine for many collectors but I thought it appropriate to mention the situation of this “historic” newspaper.