AP misses date of Lincoln’s death by four score and 20 years; we all miss copy editors

The typo itself – an Associated Press story reported that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1965 instead of 1865 – was just that, a typo, as even a middle-schooler knows our 16th president never lived to hear the Beatles.

However, among journalists of a certain age (mine), the distressing though not unexpected aspect of the miscue was that the erroneous date made it onto so many prestigious news sites. As a 1970s-era college friend of mine put it in an email subject line: “Copy editing was a fine profession …”

Meaning that back before the near-extinction of copy editors, it would have been unlikely that the Associated Press would have allowed such a gaffe, never mind that it would have gone unnoticed by so many AP-subscriber news organizations.

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Network World Paul McNamara