Tribune's lowest moment: Ideal gift for Trump?

It's arguably this august institution's lowest moment — a cringe-inducing howler taught at journalism schools around the world.

But now a copy of the Chicago Tribune's spectacularly wrong "Dewey Defeats Truman" edition from Nov. 3, 1948, could be yours, if you've got around $4,000 to burn.

An auction of presidential memorabilia by auction house Goldin Auctions includes the mint condition paper, originally sold for 4 cents alongside a stern Page 1 instruction that readers "pay no more."

Tribune editors took a flier on the result after delaying the morning edition as long as possible, correcting the result in later editions when their error became clear, but not soon enough to prevent a victorious Truman from posing for an iconic photo of himself beaming as he holds aloft a copy of the earlier, incorrect version.

Reporter Arthur Sears Henning's byline appears on the main story, boldly proclaiming in his immortal first line that "Dewey and Warren won a sweeping victory in the Presidential election yesterday."

It was evidently a bad day to be working at the Tribune Tower in more ways than one — a typesetters strike meant that most of the paper was amateurishly banged out on a typewriter, and that a part of Henning's story was printed upside down.

The most that could be said for the horribly bungled splash was that it was, apparently, an honest mistake, unlike the fictional scene in Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" in which newspaper baron Charles Foster Kane has two headlines prepared on the eve of his doomed run for governor of New York: "Kane Elected" and "Fraud at Polls!"

A day after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump indicated he might not accept defeat at the polls, it is interesting to note that he allegedly told a Bloomberg reporter a decade ago that "Citizen Kane" was his favorite movie, and that he loved Welles because, "He thought everybody was a moron, everybody was this, everybody was that; if he had a budget he'd exceed it by 20 times and destroy everything. He became impossible."

kjanssen@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kimjnews

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