I have a collection, from my newspaper days, of bad headlines and unfortunate front pages.
When new Mississippi Governor Bill Waller decided to hold inaugural balls for both his staff of “Colonels” and the general public, the Jackson (Miss.) Daily News ran a banner headline across its front page: “Governor has two balls.”
The Hattiesburg (Miss.) American ran this jewel: “Iran to lose trade; Shah to lose spleen.”
Imagine the horror this one produced, “Governor arrives just in time as 100,000 lose lives.” The 100,000 were chickens as tornadoes destroyed rural chicken houses.
In what might have been my most embarrassing newsroom moment, I put together a half page of photos of starving Ethiopian children, which had to be pulled - on deadline - when I discovered the ad beneath it was for a Mexican restaurant and exclaimed, “Step right up, hombres, all you can eat for $5.95.”
My University of Southern Mississippi political science prof, Ed Wheat, had a framed front page on his office wall, which he liked to point to as “the day I stopped reading newspapers.” As a dual major in journalism and political science I should have been offended, but I had to agree with him. The Halloween edition featured a photo of a skeleton surrounded by news stories of murder and mayhem.
But, my all-time favorite was a 1974 front page featuring a full-color, beautifully feathered wild turkey. The headline flanking the photo to the right: “Turkey invades Greece.”
Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! And to all: count your blessings!
Next post: ‘What Happened’