The winter of 1990
A look back at McMurdo 20 years ago through The Antarctic Nite Times
Posted March 12, 2010
The online version of The Antarctic Sun — the U.S. Antarctic Program’s official news source for everything you wanted to know about National Science Foundation-funded research and the people who make it happen — is only the latest incarnation of the newspaper whose roots go back to the 1950s.
It began with the McMurdo News published during the International Geophysical Year . The McMurdo Sometimez — so named because of its irregular publication schedule — ran from at least 1960 until 1980.
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy/Antarctic Photo Library
McMurdo Station during the 1956 winter.
Along the way, sometime in the early 1970s, professional Navy journalists took over the operation from Navy volunteers. In 1980, the name morphed into the more professional-sounding Antarctica Sun Times.
The Navy would continue to operate the paper until the 1997-98 austral summer, when civilian contractors took over the publication as part of the de-commissioning of Operation Deep Freeze.
Nearly two years ago, Warren Ross contacted us about a stash of newspapers that he edited during the 1990 winter while he was assigned to McMurdo Station with the U.S. Navy. Called The Antarctic Nite Times, the paper provided local features along with wire news.
On the 20th anniversary of The Antarctic Nite Times, we will publish reprints of some of the more interesting bits every couple of weeks through the austral winter. Keep in mind that much has changed in 20 years with the transition of the Navy culture to a civilian workforce. Some events and attitudes have naturally gentrified over the years.
Then again, some things never change — the sense of community and wonder of spending a winter in Antarctica.
Enjoy, and check this page often for updates.