A note to webmaster@python.org from an astute user named Hiromi in Japan* referred us to Guido's shell archives for the 0.9.1 release from 1991. As that wasn't listed in the historical releases README file:

https://legacy.python.org/download/releases/src/README

I pulled the shar files (and a patch), then made a few tweaks to get it to build:

% ./python
>>> print 'hello world!'
hello world!
>>> import sys
>>> dir(sys)
['argv', 'exit', 'modules', 'path', 'ps1', 'ps2', 'stderr', 'stdin', 'stdout']
>>> sys.modules
{'builtin': <module 'builtin'>; 'sys': <module 'sys'>; '__main__': <module '__main__'>}
>>> sys.exit(0)

I then pushed the result to a Github repo:

https://github.com/smontanaro/python-0.9.1

There is a new directory named "shar" with the original files, a small README file and a compile.patch file between the original code and the runnable code.

It was a pleasant diversion for a couple hours. I was tired of shovelling snow anyway... Thank you, Hiromi.

Skip

*  Hiromi is bcc'd on this note in case he cares to comment. I didn't want to publish his email beyond the bounds of the webmaster alias without his permission.