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New York Times Timeline 1971-2000


June 13

The Pentagon Papers. The Times begins a series of excerpts from the government’s classified history of the Vietnam War. Publication is interrupted after the Nixon administration goes to court to block it, and The Washington Post begins publishing the papers. On June 30 the Supreme Court, 6-3, allows the series to resume.


January 3
Daniel Ellsberg Trial

Daniel Ellsberg goes on trial, accused of theft and conspiracy in the disclosure of the Pentagon Papers. The charges are eventually dismissed when it is discovered that White House operatives had broken into his psychiatrist’s office – part of a chain of events that ends in the Watergate scandal and Richard M. Nixon’s resignation.


The Computer Age

The computer age arrives in the newsroom. Reporters and editors begin using the video terminal, described in the employee magazine as a "television screen attached to an electric typewriter keyboard."


April 17

Sydney H. Schanberg and Dith Pran of The Times remain in Cambodia when it falls to the Khmer Rouge. Their collaboration leads to a Pulitzer Prize and a film, "The Killing Fields."



The Times begins Sunday sections devoted to New Jersey and Long Island. Westchester and Connecticut weeklies follow in 1977.

April 30

With the debut of Weekend, The Times publishes its first four-section daily paper. Other free-standing feature sections follow over the next two years: SportsMonday, Science Times, Living and Home.

September 6

News and advertising columns are widened. Six now fit on a page, down from eight.


July 13
The Second Big Blackout

The second big blackout. This one hits New York at 9:34 p.m., just as the press run is starting. Pages are prepared at The Record in Hackensack, N.J., and the paper is printed at The Times’s plant in nearby Carlstadt.


May 17

The Business Day section makes its debut.

May 26

The Times begins abandoning hot metal type, set by Linotype operators, in favor of "cold type," set on computers.

July 24
M. A. Farber

M. A. Farber, a reporter for The Times, is found guilty of criminal contempt in a New Jersey court for refusing to turn over his notes in the case of a doctor suspected of murdering patients. He is jailed for 40 days.


August 18

The Times begins publishing a national edition. Pages are transmitted by satellite to printing presses in Chicago. Trucks and planes distribute it from there. Eventually The Times will be printed at plants around the country.


January 20

Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as president; 52 Americans held hostage in Iran are freed.

The Times begins converting its presses at the 43rd Street headquarters from letterpress to the offset method.


June 22

The Personal Computers column makes its debut, in Science Times.


January 29

Programs on cable are included in the television listings.


January 28

The space shuttle Challenger explodes 74 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts. The Times's subsequent coverage, which identified serious design flaws, would win the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.


September 13

The Sunday paper weighs in at 12 pounds, with 1,612 pages, a record.


February 26

Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger, daughter of Adolph S. Ochs and a guiding conscience for generations of publishers, reporters and editors, dies at 97.


January 16
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Steps Down

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, publisher since 1963, steps down at age 65. The job passes to his son, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., 40. (The elder Mr. Sulzberger remains chairman of The Times Company until October 1997.)


June 6

Full color is first used in the Book Review. Other Sunday sections – Travel, Arts and Leisure, and Real Estate – soon follow.


June 9

The Times introduces @times, an arts and entertainment service carried by America Online.


March 14

Business section redesigned and expanded.


January 19

The Times on the Web – – goes online, giving readers anywhere in the world access to the newspaper's articles and pictures on the night of publication.


June 15
College Point, Queens

With the opening of its new presses at College Point, Queens, The Times prints its last daily paper in the 84-year-old building west of Times Square.
October 16

The first color picture appears on Page 1: Tony Fernandez, whose 11th-inning home run propelled the Cleveland Indians into the World Series.


February 26

"With this first issue of Circuits The Times is expanding its coverage of the kind of technology that has already changed the lives of everyone who uses a computer or a cellular phone."


April 19

The largest weekday Times, at 174 pages.

June 25

The Times and New York Times Digital inaugurate a continuous news operation, providing updated news and analysis around the clock.

Election 2000

The presidential election battle in Florida produces a peacetime record for The Times: 20 consecutive front-page banner headlines.