September 25: America’s First Newspaper

1690_Publick_Occurrences_Sept25On this day in 1690, America’s first newspaper,  Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, was published in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The paper was unusual for its time, as most  newspapers at that point were one page broadsheets. Publick Occurences on the other hand was a full four pages in length!

Publisher Richard Pierce, and editor Benjamin Harris intended to make Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick a monthly “or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener” newspaper primarily focusing on events happening in the American colonies. Unfortunately, this first issue would also be Publick Occurences‘ only issue. Publick Occurences ran a report that French prisoners were being abused by Indians who were allied with British troops. Unsurprisingly, the British authorities did not take too kindly to this story and ordered the paper shut down. It would be another 14 years until America’s second newspaper, the Boston News-Letter, was published. Only one copy of Publick Occurences remains in existence, and its currently in the possession of the National Archives of the United Kingdom in London.

So, as we sit here, 323 years later, in the middle of the decline of the newspaper industry, let’s pay tribute to the dawn of American journalism with a Journalist cocktail. This recipe comes to us form the classic Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s a crisp twist on the Perfect Martini (gin with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth) with a few citrusy notes.


  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Curacao
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tomorrow: “Lord, there goes Johnny Appleseed/He might pass by in the hour of need.”



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