A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 14, 2013
“Don’t believe everything you read in the papers”

"Don’t believe everything you read in the papers” means that one should evaluate something by one’s self and not just accept what is written. “And do you believe everything you read in the papers?” was cited in print in 1883, “Don’t you believe everything you read in the papers” was cited in 1893 and “Moral—Don’t believe everything you read in the papers” was cited in 1899.

“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet” has been cited in print since at least 1997.


24 November 1883, Rockford (IL) Register, “Justice Eustace as a Wit,” pg. 3, col. 7:
“And do you believe everything you read in the papers?” continued his honor.

27 June 1893, Cleveland (OH) Leader, “Taken by Surprise,” pg. 6, col. 4:
“On the day following that publication I was in Mr. McKinnie’s office, and I was about to leave, not having mentioned the newspaper article at all, Director McKinnie stopped me at the door and said, ‘Don’t you believe everything you read in the papers.’”

Chronicling America
13 August 1899, Saint Paul (MN) Globe, “A Short Frontier Story,” pg. 10, col. 5:
Moral—Don’t believe everything you read in the papers.
-- Charles E. Flandrau.

15 April 1905, Lima (OH) Daily News, pg. 5, col. 3 ad:
Don’t Believe Everything You Read In the Papers, and Don’t Take Our Word for It. Be Your Own Judge of the
El Caudillo
5c STRAIGHT

Google News Archive
23 August 1937, The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario), “Farr Eager For Fight With Baer” by Gayle Talbot (Associated Press Sports Writer), pg. 12, col. 6:
“Don’t believe everything you read in the papers, little boy,” Max (Max Baer, a boxer—ed.) rejoined. “When they quit writing about you, that will be the time to worry.”

18 Deember 1941, New York (NY) Times, “Official Text of President’s Plea for Management Labor Accord” by the Associated Press, pg. 14:
Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. They have to print things, they have to keep an interest going.

Google News Archive
13 June 1967, St. Petersburg (FL) Independent, “Dear Abby” advice column by Abigail Van Buren, pg. 2-B, cols. 6-7:
CONFIDENTIAL TO “WANTS TO ‘KNOW” IN LONG BEACH; Don’t believe everything you read. Just because it appeared in print doesn’t necessarily make it true.

21 April 1997, The State (Columbia, SC), Moneywise, pg. 8:
Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Thursday, March 14, 2013 • Permalink