When did Slashdot begin? The FAQ says September 1997, but the earliest story I could find in the archives is from December 31st, 1997. There also don't seem to be any comments archived before 1999. Where's the really old stuff? (Note that stories posted in 1969 do not count
Where are the really old archives? Gone forever? If so, quite understandable, but regretable.
If you want to peruse some of the oldest archived stories, you can start here. As of July 10th, 2003, that link points to the oldest stuff, but the link will soon become outdated.