Time Magazine has a gigantic reputation among magazines and is perhaps the most famous weekly publication in the world. Throughout its 96 year history, it has always been at the forefront of events and its Person of the Year feature continues to make headlines throughout the world. Here are 8 historical facts about Time Magazine.
Time Magazine was created by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden and it was the first weekly magazine to be published in the United States. The magazine was originally called Facts to emphasize the straight to the point publication that they were striving for. They then adopted the title Time and then adopted the slogan ‘’Take Time-It’s Brief’’.
It has undergone a number of stylistic changes throughout its history. During its early period, it was known for its use of inverted sentences and until the 1970’s it had a section called ‘’Listings’’ which listed prominent films, theatre productions, and literary bestsellers. Its red border was introduced in 1927 and is still used today. In recent years the border has been changed to green, black and silver 3 times. This has been done to commemorate special events such as September 11th or Earth Day in 2008.
Richard Milhous Nixon is the person who has featured the most times on the cover of Time. He made 55 appearances from 1952 up to his death in 1994. Richard Nixon was the 37th president of the United States and aroused considerable controversy during the Watergate scandal.
Time is not perfect. Writer Evelyn Waugh was included in a list called ‘’100 Most Read Female Writers in College Classes’’ list. The problem with this inclusion is that Evelyn Waugh was a man (Waugh was listed in 97th place on the list). Time Magazine later apologized for the error.
On five occasions Time has published the front cover with a red X. This has been used to signify the deaths or downfall of 4 people, all of whom were enemies of the United States. Adolf Hitler received his X in 1945 which was followed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006 and Osama bin Laden in 2011. Saddam Hussein received his X 2 weeks after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the other X was printed over the Japanese flag when surrendered in 1945.
The Person of the Year feature is regarded by the magazine as just that; a feature. It is not an endorsement or an award of the person being shown and written about. Hence such people as Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Joseph Stalin in 1939 have been featured. In those days the feature was called ‘’Man of the Year’’. In 2006 the award went to ‘’You’’ and in 2017 ‘’The Silence Breakers’’ were named ‘’Person of the Year’’ for telling their stories of being sexually harassed.
The Time 100 list is now an annual listing of the most influential people during the past year. They always have photos of all 100 people on the front cover and each person has their own story within that particular edition. The list was originally intended to be a list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Time has a print readership of 26 million worldwide but in recent years this number has been dropping. Its circulation has dropped from 3.3 million in 2012 down to 2 million by 2017. This is actually in line with the rest of the industry as we move from print to online media publications.