First published issue of New-York Daily Times
, on September 18, 1851
The New York Times was founded as the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851.
[a] Founded by journalist and politician
Henry Jarvis Raymond (1820–1869), and former banker
George Jones, the Times was published by Raymond, Jones & Company (which raised about $70,000 initially).
 Early investors in the company were
Edwin B. Morgan,
 and Edward B. Wesley.
 Sold for a penny (equivalent to 29 cents today), the inaugural edition attempted to address various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release:
We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.
In 1852, the newspaper started a western division, The Times of California, which arrived whenever a mail boat got to California. However, when local California newspapers came into prominence, the effort failed.
The newspaper shortened its name to The New-York Times on September 14, 1857. It dropped the hyphen in the city name on December 1, 1896.
 On April 21, 1861, The New York Times began publishing a Sunday edition to offer daily coverage of the
Civil War. One of the earliest
public controversies it was involved with was the
Mortara Affair, the subject of twenty editorials it published alone.
The main office of The New York Times was attacked during the
New York Draft Riots. The riots, sparked by the beginning of drafting for the
Union Army, beginning on July 13, 1863. On "
Newspaper Row", across from
City Hall, Henry Raymond stopped the rioters with
Gatling guns (early machine guns), one of which he manned himself. The mob diverted, and attacked the headquarters of abolitionist publisher
New York Tribune until forced to flee by the
Brooklyn City Police, who had crossed the
East River to help the Manhattan authorities.
In 1869, Raymond died, and George Jones took over as publisher.
The newspaper's influence grew during 1870–1871 when it published a series of exposés on
William Tweed, leader of the city's Democratic Party—popularly known as "
Tammany Hall" (from its early 19th century meeting headquarters)—that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall.
 Tweed offered The New York Times five million dollars (equivalent to more than 100 million dollars today) to not publish the story.
In the 1880s, The New York Times transitioned gradually from editorially supporting
Republican Party candidates to becoming more politically independent and analytical.
 In 1884, the paper supported
Grover Cleveland (former Mayor of
Governor of New York State) in his
first presidential campaign.
 While this move cost The New York Times a portion of its readership among its more progressive and Republican readers (the revenue declined from $188,000 to $56,000 from 1883-1884), the paper eventually regained most of its lost ground within a few years.
After George Jones died in 1891,
Charles Ransom Miller and other New York Times editors raised $1 million dollars to buy the Times printing it under the New York Times Publishing Company.
 However, the newspaper was financially crippled by the
Panic of 1893,
 and by 1896, the newspaper had a circulation of less than 9,000, and was losing $1,000 a day. That year, controlling interest in it was gained by
Adolph Ochs, publisher of the
Chattanooga Times for $75,000.
Shortly after assuming control of the paper, Ochs coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print". The slogan has appeared in the paper since September 1896,
 and has been printed in a box in the upper left hand corner of the front page since early 1897.
 It was a jab at competing papers such as
New York World and
William Randolph Hearst's
New York Journal which were now being known for a lurid, sensationalist and often inaccurate reporting of facts and opinions known by the end of the century as "
 Under Ochs' guidance, The New York Times achieved international scope, circulation, and reputation (the Sunday circulation went from under 9,000 in 1896 to 780,000 in 1934).
 In 1904, The New York Times, along with
The Times received the first on-the-spot
telegraph transmission from a naval battle, a report of the destruction of the
Imperial Russian Navy's
Baltic Fleet at the
Battle of Port Arthur in the
Straits of Tsushima off the eastern coast of Korea in the
Yellow Sea in the western
Pacific Ocean after just sailing across the globe from Europe from the press-boat
Haimun during the
 In 1910, the first air delivery of The New York Times to
 The New York Times' first trans-Atlantic delivery by air to London occurred in 1919 by dirigible. In 1920, a "4 A.M. Airplane Edition" was sent by plane to Chicago so it could be in the hands of Republican convention delegates by evening.
In the 1940s, the paper extended its breadth and reach. The
crossword began appearing regularly in 1942, and the fashion section in 1946. The New York Times began an international edition in 1946. The international edition stopped publishing in 1967, when The New York Times joined the owners of the
New York Herald Tribune and
The Washington Post to publish the
International Herald Tribune in Paris.
New York Times v. Sullivan
The paper's involvement in a 1964 libel case helped bring one of the key
United States Supreme Court decisions supporting
freedom of the press,
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In it, the United States Supreme Court established the "
actual malice" standard for press reports about public officials or
public figures to be considered
libelous. The malice standard requires the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove the publisher of the statement knew the statement was false or acted in
reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the high
burden of proof on the plaintiff, and difficulty in proving malicious intent, such cases by public figures rarely succeed.
The Pentagon Papers
In 1971, the Pentagon Papers, a secret
United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in the
Vietnam War from 1945 to 1967, were given ("leaked") to
Neil Sheehan of The New York Times by former
State Department official
Daniel Ellsberg, with his friend
Anthony Russo assisting in copying them. The New York Times began publishing excerpts as a series of articles on June 13. Controversy and lawsuits followed. The papers revealed, among other things, that the government had deliberately expanded its role in the war by conducting air strikes over
Laos, raids along the coast of
North Vietnam, and offensive actions taken by
U.S. Marines well before the public was told about the actions, all while President
Lyndon B. Johnson had been promising not to expand the war. The document increased the
credibility gap for the U.S. government, and hurt efforts by the
Nixon administration to fight the ongoing war.
When The New York Times began publishing its series, President
Richard Nixon became incensed. His words to National Security Advisor
Henry Kissinger included "People have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing..." and "Let's get the son-of-a-bitch in jail."
 After failing to get The New York Times to stop publishing,
John Mitchell and President Nixon obtained a federal court injunction that The New York Times cease publication of excerpts. The newspaper appealed and the case began working through the court system. On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series.
Ben Bagdikian, a Post editor, had obtained portions of the papers from Ellsberg. That day the Post received a call from the Assistant Attorney General,
William Rehnquist, asking them to stop publishing. When the Post refused, the
U.S. Justice Department sought another injunction. The
U.S. District court judge refused, and the government appealed. On June 26, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take both cases, merging them into
New York Times Co. v. United States 403 US 713. On June 30, 1971, the Supreme Court held in a 6–3 decision that the injunctions were unconstitutional prior restraints and that the government had not met the burden of proof required. The justices wrote nine separate opinions, disagreeing on significant substantive issues. While it was generally seen as a victory for those who claim the
First Amendment enshrines an absolute
right to free speech, many felt it a lukewarm victory, offering little protection for future publishers when claims of
national security were at stake.
1970s and 1980s
In the 1970s, the paper introduced a number of new lifestyle sections including Weekend and Home, with the aim of attracting more advertisers and readers. Many criticized the move for betraying the paper's mission.
On September 7, 1976, the paper switched from an eight-column format to a six-column format. The overall page width stayed the same, with each column becoming wider.
The New York Times
On September 14, 1987, the Times printed the heaviest ever newspaper, at over 12 pounds (5.4 kg) and 1,612 pages.
1990s and 2000s
The Times was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography, with the first color photograph on the front page appearing on October 16, 1997.
A speech in the newsroom after announcement of
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The New York Times switched to a digital production process sometime before 1980, but only began preserving the resulting digital text that year.
In September 2008, The New York Times announced that it would be combining certain sections effective October 6, 2008, in editions printed in the New York metropolitan area. The changes folded the Metro Section into the main International / National news section and combined Sports and Business (except Saturday through Monday, when Sports is still printed as a standalone section). This change also included having the name of the Metro section be called New York outside of the Tri-State Area. The presses used by The New York Times allow four sections to be printed simultaneously; as the paper had included more than four sections all days except Saturday, the sections had to be printed separately in an early press run and collated together. The changes will allow The New York Times to print in four sections Monday through Wednesday, in addition to Saturday. The New York Times' announcement stated that the number of news pages and employee positions will remain unchanged, with the paper realizing cost savings by cutting overtime expenses.
In 2009, the newspaper began production of local inserts in regions outside of the New York area. Beginning October 16, 2009, a two-page "Bay Area" insert was added to copies of the
Northern California edition on Fridays and Sundays. The newspaper commenced production of a similar Friday and Sunday insert to the Chicago edition on November 20, 2009. The inserts consist of local news, policy, sports, and culture pieces, usually supported by local advertisements.
Following industry trends, its weekday circulation had fallen in 2009 to fewer than one million.
In August 2007, the paper reduced the physical size of its print edition, cutting the page width from 13.5 inches (0.34 m) to a 12 inches (0.30 m). This followed similar moves by a roster of other newspapers in the previous ten years, including
The Wall Street Journal, and
The Washington Post. The move resulted in a 5% reduction in news space, but (in an era of dwindling circulation and significant advertising revenue losses) also saved about $12 million a year.
Because of its steadily declining sales attributed to the rise of online
alternative media and
social media, the newspaper has been going through a downsizing for several years, offering buyouts to workers and cutting expenses,
 in common with a general trend among print news media.
In December 2012, the Times published "
Snow Fall", a six-part article about the
2012 Tunnel Creek avalanche which integrated videos, photos, and interactive graphics and was hailed as a watershed moment for online journalism.
In 2016, reporters for the newspaper were reportedly the target of cyber security breaches. The
Federal Bureau of Investigation was reportedly investigating the attacks. The cyber security breaches have been described as possibly being related to
cyberattacks that targeted other institutions, such as the
Democratic National Committee.
The newspaper's first building was located at 113
Nassau Street in New York City. In 1854, it moved to 138 Nassau Street, and in 1858 to
41 Park Row, making it the first newspaper in New York City housed in a building built specifically for its use.
The newspaper moved its headquarters to the Times Tower, located at 1475 Broadway in 1904,
 in an area called Longacre Square, that was later renamed
Times Square in honor of the newspaper.
 The top of the building – now known as
One Times Square – is the site of the
New Year's Eve tradition of lowering a
lighted ball, which was started by the paper.
 The building is also notable for its electronic
news ticker – popularly known as "The Zipper" – where headlines crawl around the outside of the building.
 It is still in use, but has been operated by
Dow Jones & Company since 1995.
 After nine years in its Times Square tower the newspaper had an annex built at
229 West 43rd Street.
 After several expansions, the 43rd Street building became the newspaper's main headquarters in 1960 and the Times Tower on Broadway was sold the following year.
 It served as the newspaper's main printing plant until 1997, when the newspaper opened a state-of-the-art printing plant in the
College Point section of the borough of
A decade later, The New York Times moved its newsroom and businesses headquarters from West 43rd Street to a new tower at 620
Eighth Avenue between West 40th and 41st Streets, in
Manhattan – directly across Eighth Avenue from the
Port Authority Bus Terminal. The new headquarters for the newspaper, known officially as
The New York Times Building but unofficially called the new "Times Tower" by many New Yorkers, is a
skyscraper designed by
Discrimination in employment
Discriminatory practices restricting women in editorial positions were previously employed by the paper. The newspaper's first general woman reporter was
Jane Grant, who described her experience afterwards. She wrote, "In the beginning I was charged not to reveal the fact that a female had been hired". Other reporters nicknamed her Fluff and she was subjected to considerable
hazing. Because of her
gender, promotions were out of the question, according to the then-managing editor. She was there for fifteen years, interrupted by World War I.
Anne McCormick wrote to
Arthur Hays Sulzberger, "I hope you won't expect me to revert to 'woman's-point-of-view' stuff."
 Later, she interviewed major political leaders and appears to have had easier access than her colleagues did. Even those who witnessed her in action were unable to explain how she got the interviews she did.
Clifton Daniel said, "[After World War II,] I'm sure
Adenauer called her up and invited her to lunch. She never had to grovel for an appointment."
 Covering world leaders' speeches after
World War II at the
National Press Club was limited to men by a Club rule. When women were eventually allowed in to hear the speeches, they still were not allowed to ask the speakers questions, although men were allowed and did ask, even though some of the women had won Pulitzer Prizes for prior work.
 Times reporter Maggie Hunter refused to return to the Club after covering one speech on assignment.
Nan Robertson's article on the
Union Stock Yards,
Chicago, was read aloud as anonymous by a professor, who then said, "'It will come as a surprise to you, perhaps, that the reporter is a girl,' he began... [G]asps; amazement in the ranks. 'She had used all her senses, not just her eyes, to convey the smell and feel of the stockyards. She chose a difficult subject, an offensive subject. Her imagery was strong enough to revolt you.'"
 The New York Times hired Kathleen McLaughlin after ten years at the
Chicago Tribune, where "[s]he did a series on maids, going out herself to apply for housekeeping jobs."
The New York Times has had one slogan. Since 1896, the newspaper's slogan has been "All the News That's Fit to Print." In 1896,
Adolph Ochs held a competition to attempt to find a replacement slogan, offering a $100 prize for the best one. Entries included "News, Not Nausea"; "In One Word: Adequate"; "News Without Noise"; "Out Heralds
The Herald, Informs
The World, and Extinguishes
The Sun"; "The Public Press is a Public Trust"; and the winner of the competition, "All the world's news, but not a school for scandal."
 On May 10, 1960,
Wright Patman asked the
FTC to investigate whether The New York Times's slogan was misleading or
false advertising. Within 10 days, the FTC responded that it was not.
Again in 1996, a competition was held to find a new slogan, this time for NYTimes.com. Over 8,000 entries were submitted. Again however, "All the News That's Fit to Print," was found to be the best.