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The Fascinating History Of The 5 Greatest Magazines Ever
Magazines. Why does anybody read them anymore? After all, we have the internet and so many nifty electronic devices at our fingertips-- we can look up anything we need with just one click.
My thought on the subject is that there still is nothing like holding a magazine in our hands, flipping through the pages and even hearing the sound of them as they turn. America loves her magazines! The glossier, the better! Small ones. Big ones. We love them all.
Magazines have quite a legacy and many have been intricately involved in history itself. If you are a boomer, you'll remember Life Magazine's rivoting covers when President John F. Kennedy was shot and the weeks following with funerals, captures, arrests and murder. The photos were larger-than-life. Life got the moon landing, too. You'd think their photographers were right there on the moon with them!
How about when mom and dad--or grandma and grandpa--asked if the Reader's Digest had come yet? That magazine has been a great institution that it was almost as popular as watching Lawrence Welk and the Ed Sullivan on Sunday night! We are still saying "I'll give you the Reader's Digest version" of something or other. That magazine has made its impact.
The Saturday Evening Post may predate our readership's memories but it's covers are so famous that we still see them framed as works of art. Norman Rockwell's paintings were so real that you felt like you were in them yourself. Every detail precise, full of warmth and often humor. There even is a museum in Stockbridge Massachusetts dedicated to his many works, many of them first seen on the cover of this great magazine of years gone by.
And then there is the elegant one--downright elegant in its depth of impact both visually and in richness of content: National Geographic. Though its beauty can be well-captured on screen, I cannot imagine NOT holding this magazine in hand at some time or other. Its photos in glossy print can take your breath away.
Lastly, we have Time Magazine. Time gave us the Man of the Year and, once in a while, more than one of them! Their cutting edge reporting of the news is quoted with authority over and over again throughout the world! Time's voice has impact.
Life Magazine was born in 1883 as a joint venture between two partners: John Ames Mitchell and Andrew Miller. Life was originally designed to be lighter in humor with an attempt to brighten up everyday life. It became popular from the start.
The height of the magazine's popularity lasted from 1936 through the 1960's. It's approach to journalism took a more serious turn as World War II began and leading straight through the Vietnam War. Pictures with deep emotional impact graced it's pages, gripping in content. Excellence in photojournalism and "Life" became synonymous terms. Often you would hear it said "that picture could make Life magazine!" Only the best of the best could make Life.
The final regularly printed issue of Life went on the stands in March of 2007. Since then, Life has developed a stellar online presence at Life.com featuring the same cutting-edge photography and content that we've grown to love.
Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post was first published by Samuel Keimer in 1726 under the title "The Pennsylvania Gazette". It has been said the Benjamin Franklin was intimately involved in the cultivation of the post into a publication of substantial readership.
The Saturday Evening Post's fictional stories were endearing to many people and some written in serial format. The magazine closed its doors in 1969, due to a steady decline in readership. Much later, in 1982, The Benjamin Franklin Literacy and Medical Society purchased rights to the magazine and restarted it as a periodical concentrating on health and medicine. More recently, they've broadened their content to appeal to a wide range of reader interests.
Above all, though, it's greatest claim to fame remains the marvelous covers--all inspiring, many by artist Norman Rockwell. Check out these PRESIDENTIAL COVERS for a little trip through US history.
Free Background Images from National Geographic
National Geographic, whose motto is "Inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888", is easily recognized by its trademark yellow border edging the front cover. Adorned with amazing photography of nature and the most unique people and architecture of the world, National Geographic is a treasure chest of learning and imagery. School teachers over the years have readily accepted donations of National Geographic's to keep as reference materials for their classrooms.
In addition to the print edition, National Geographic has a strong online presence where they generously share their breathtaking images as desktop backgrounds --free for your use with a click of the mouse.
The Reader's Digest was founded in 1922 by a veteran of World War I, DeWitt Wallace. While recovering from wounds sustained in battle, he conceived the idea of collecting a variety of stories, condensing some, and printing them with other items of interest and humor appealing to the average American family. The magazine has grown and gained in popularity over the years to now reaching over 40 million readers over the world. Also known for it's cutting edge, contest-marketing-strategy "The Reader's Digest Giveaway", the Reader's Digest is a household word and still going strong today.
Time Magazine: Man of the Year
Time Magazine is the largest news magazine in the world, boasting a readership of over 25 million. It's first issue came out on March 3, 1923. It's creators were Briton Hadden and Henry Luce. Time Magazine is perhaps best known for the Man of the Year depicted on their covers.
The first Man of the Year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927. The Man (or person) of the Year does not necessarily have the distinction of being a hero. They do have the claim to fame of having impacted the world in some great way. Adolph Hitler, John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II all have had the honor, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King. Who has had the honor not just once, not just twice but three times? George W. Bush! He was named along with his father as co-Men of the Year in 1990 and again by himself in 2000 and 2004.