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Anniversary issue marks 9 decades

Monitor, begun in 1908, was non-sensational alternative to 'yellow' newspapers.

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Nov. 24 - Welcome to the 90th anniversary issue of The Christian Science Monitor. We hope you'll enjoy it.

To mark the occasion, the section of the paper you are reading is printed in the style of the first issue 90 years ago today. (See box, column six on this page.)

The first Monitor came off the presses in 1908, a day before Thanksgiving. The paper was launched at a time of remarkable changes in the world.

In the United States, Henry Ford had just introduced the Model T -a car that revolutionized travel. Wilbur Wright was touring Europe, setting new altitude records in his "aeroplane." America's "Great White Fleet," 16 battleships, was on a 15-month world tour. And World War I was only six years away.

The atmosphere was dynamic. New devices like hair driers, electric toasters, and electric washing machines were coming out of inventors' workshops. People felt great promise.

Yet it was also a time of "yellow journalism." The clatter of a sensationalistic press helped to propel the United States into the Spanish-American War. The need for better journalism was obvious. Perhaps it was no coincidence that the same year the Monitor was founded to provide a different kind of newspaper, the first journalism school was launched at the University of Missouri.

What is Monitor journalism? Our editor, David T. Cook, addresses that point in an editorial on page 14 of this section. Readers will find on the same page other clear-cut descriptions of the Monitor's goals, including Mary Baker Eddy's first-day editorial and a speech by former editor Erwin D. Canham.


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