As some of you may know, the New York Times has dropped its TimesSelect subscription program, making large parts of its online archive available for freemaking large parts of its online archive available for free. This means that you no longer have to pay to read some of its editorials (many of which I have linked to in the past, despite the subscription firewall).
But it also means you have free access to little historical gems:
First mention of Harry Potter. Before it became a phenomenon, it was just another children’s book on the fiction best-seller list.
The first mention of television (as a concept) in the Times, from February 1907. "The new ‘telephotograph’ invention of Dr. Arthur Korn, Professor of Physics in Munich University, is a distinct step nearer the realization of all this, and he assures us that ‘television,’ or seeing by telegraph, is merely a question of a year or two with certain improvements in apparatus."
A front page report on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, including a seismograph of the quake which the Times labeled "EARTHQUAKE’S AUTOGRAPH AS IT WROTE IT 3,000 MILES AWAY".
An article about the confirmation of Einstein’s theory of gravity by a 1919 expedition led by Arthur Eddington to measure the bending of starlight by the sun during an eclipse.
Early report of Lincoln’s assassination…"The President Still Alive at Last Accounts".
A report on Custer’s Last Stand a couple of weeks after the occurance
The first mention of the World Wide Web in the Times in February 1993