An Ad Club luncheon today will take note of the fact that the first edition of The Washington Post was published on Dec. 6, 1877 - precisely 100 years ago.

When Francis E. Johnston of Rockville was reminiscing about the birth of The Post a few days ago, he told me that he first began reading the paper in 1902, when he was 5 years old. Even without an abacus, one can figure out that Francis has been a reader for 75 years.

"There may not be many who exceed that span," he says with nice understatement. I wonder if anybody will be able to top his record.

Incidaentally, Francis says The Post didn't print comics in those days, so he turned first to the sports news and articles about the Nationals, "who were usually in last place. The team played where the old wooden stands were at National Park, which was at Seventh Street and Florida Avenue. (Georgia Avenue was then a street in southeast, and was later renamed Potomac Avenue.)

"In those days, we took the ferry from Alexandria to the foot of Seventh Street, and then the trolley to Seventh and Florida. But I seldom had any victories to watch or read about until Walter Johnson came along."

Well, maybe we'll have a better team to watch some day. Meantime: Happy birthday, Washington Post, and many happy returns of the day.