When WORLD debuted in 1986, balancing federal budgets and deficit reduction schemes consumed the political arena-and print real estate-then as now. The March 17, 1986, cover story was on the now quaint Gramm-Rudman bill, a piece of then path-breaking legislation to constrain federal spending. Our own financial constraints saw WORLD move to newsprint-and 16 pages per week-for a time before again growing to the full-color biweekly editions that a quarter-century later often run more than 100 pages (plus now online and iPad versions).
"It's easy in launching a new magazine," wrote founder Joel Belz in that first issue, "to be infected with triumphalism and a sense of self-importance. Most of your neighbors, you know, have never started a new magazine." But a patient and loyal readership-plus enough famine, persecution, danger, and sword-have kept our small staff busy and our pages (and cups) overflowing.
For more on WORLD's history, read articles from our 20th anniversary issue published in 2006.
See an interactive display of all 25 years of covers.