JULY 17, 1969 -- An editorial-page feature of The New York Times dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows:
"That Professor Goddard, with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react -- to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century, and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.
from Kill Duck Before Serving: Red Faces at the New York Times