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I'm trying to find the first archived message in a Google Group (brought over from Usenet, alt.games.sf2).

The default view for Google Groups is most recent first, which makes sense.

However, I can't seem to find a way to reverse that (not that I want to read all of them going forward).

I can filter by a certain date range, but I'm not sure of which range I'm looking for. I know I could whittle it down by using old date ranges and then moving forward, but it seems like there should be a way to do this with a simple sort.

I can't seem to find anything in the settings either to dictate sort order.

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Google Groups doesn't sort posts or threads by oldest first.

The topics view displays threads by the most recent first.

The search results view has two sorting options, by relevance and by date, but by date is sorted by most recent first too.

Maybe the next will help you:

According to Get started with Usenet on Google Groups - Groups Help the oldest USENET post on Google Groups is from May 11, 1981.

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