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Papers Run Special Pages, Editions To Report Fall Of Coup

August 22, 1991

Undated (AP) _ American newspapers broke out their big headline type to herald the collapse of the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, and some published extra editions.

Cries of ″Extra 3/8 Extra 3/8″ rang out on the streets of Des Moines and at the midway of the Iowa State Fair after The Des Moines Register printed 8,500 copies of an eight-page extra edition Wednesday, crammed with news of the collapsed Soviet coup.

Managing Editor David Westphal said it was the first true extra edition of The Register since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Chicago Tribune published its first special edition in 10 years to cover the rapidly developing events in the Soviet Union, said newspaper spokeswoman Patty Bifulco. She said the newspaper’s last special edition was published on Jan. 20, 1981, after Iran released 52 American hostages held more than a year.

The Chicago Sun-Times added three pages of news to its Final Markets Plus edition Wednesday afternoon in order to expand its coverage of the failed coup. Managing Editor Mary Dedinsky said the paper killed advertisements to gain the extra space in the 16-page wrap-around edition, which hits the streets about 4:15 p.m. CDT.

Bob Burdick, editor of the Daily News of Los Angeles, said that newspaper, which normally publishes in the mornings, made a special 6,000-paper extra edition run Wednesday afternoon.

Among other papers that produced an extra edition was the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

″We knew we couldn’t wait another 24 hours until the next edition of the Sun-Sentinel. We felt we had to get this news out as quickly as possible,″ said Editor Gene Cryer.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune trumpeted the news with a headline reading: ″THEY CHOSE FREEDOM.″ ″Freedom″ was in letters 1 1/2 inches high. The headline was topped by a small picture of the Communist hammer and sickle symbol with a jagged break through it.

The Detroit News marked its home-delivery edition as a ″Special Report″ on Wednesday and, in an unusual move, replaced its street box papers with the later home edition, which it said contained an extra four pages of details of the coup’s collapse.

The Detroit Free Press said it planned 4 1/2 extra pages for the story in Thursday editions.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis ran eight pages on the coup collapse in Thursday’s editions, said Executive Editor Joel Kramer.

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