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Chiefs cover the bases; Time turns 90

— The Chiefs open the 2014 season at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3, against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the top farm club of the locally beloved New York Yankees.

Time marches on

While we shovel and scrape our way through the dead of winter, we can revel in baseball glory vicariously by reading about it. Here’s an excerpt from an excellent baseball book, “Memories of Summer” by Roger Kahn. Not only does the super scribe recall the days of Mickey, Willie and the Duke, he also ruminates over the history of American magazines in the 20th century:

“Henry Robinson Luce, America’s last titanic press lord, was a severe humorless Presbyterian, passionately opposed to “atheistic communism” and dedicated to what he called The American Century…

“Luce was a calculating, brilliant, fervid character who, since his death in 1967, has been the subject of half a dozen biographies. Only in books authorized by his family or by his huge company, Time Inc., does Luce appear likable…He was an intimidating, contradictory, formal man who liked to be called Harry…

“Although he was a hard-drinker, a heavy smoker and a devout pursuer of women, Luce regarded himself as a moralist. He was a missionary’s son... But he was one abrasive Christian.

“Luce preached rugged individualism and developed, in Time magazine, journalism’s first collective farm. He spoke for truth in reporting and published some of the most viciously slanted stories in American history…

“With a Yale classmate, Briton Hadden, Luce founded Time when he was 24 years old. The first issue dated March 3, 1923, sold 9,000 copies. Covering a big week — American quarrels over prohibition, a famine in Russia, French troops occupying the Ruhr — Time’s account could be read in half an hour. From the beginning, the news, according to Luce, had to be compressed and interpreted.”

“When Hadden died at age 31 in 1929, Luce took over sole command of his growing and wildly successful ‘newsmagazine.’ Seven years later, proclaiming ‘a new era of photojournalism,’ he founded his picture magazine. Offering vivid photos of a woman in childbirth, Life sold out its entire initial press run, 466,000 copies.”

RT note: The image adorning the cover of Time, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 3, 1923, was a drawing of the now-forgotten Joseph Gurney Cannon, a politician from Illinois who became a leader of the Republican Party.

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