It's summertime in New York, which means theater lovers all over the city have been scrambling to get tickets to the Public Theater's near-daily Shakespeare in the Park performances. Today we celebrate the tradition with two archival recordings from the WNYC/Municipal Archives collection featuring Joseph Papp, founder of the Public Theater (and, later, Joe's Pub).
Mayor La Guardia's weekly Talk to the People is one of our favorite programs here in the New York Public Radio Archives. It was broadcast every Sunday from January 1942 until he left office in December 1945. The primary purpose of these broadcasts was to keep New Yorkers up-to-date on the city administration and services.
The story of the Four Chaplains seems largely unknown now, but throughout the 1940’s and 50’s their story served as a symbol of bravery and sacrifice to many. In 1948, February 3rd was declared Four Chaplains Day by a unanimous vote of Congress, and the chaplains were mentioned in President Eisenhower’s famous 1953 “Back to God” speech. The docudrama presented here originally aired on Memorial Day 1950.
The Brooklyn Bridge is celebrating its 128th anniversary this week by undergoing heavy rehabilitation and causing problems for late-night borough-hoppers, a drastic change from its 60th anniversary celebrations, when the Bridge reminisced on WNYC with Public Works Commissioner Irving Huie about its grand opening and the changes it brought to Manhattan and Brooklyn.
"Ten o'clock each morning serves the housewife and the homemaker Monday through Saturday." So proclaims WNYC announcer Tommy Cowan at the beginning of the first presentation of "Have Fun with Your Children" (sometimes called "City Fun with Children"), a public affairs program produced specifically for mothers by author Becky Reyher. For three years, Ms. Reyher welcomed experts on local cultural events and educational programs into the studio to discuss ways to entertain children in the city. In honor of Mother's Day, we're taking a closer look at this show and its dynamic hostess.
In 1952, the New York Department of Public Works opened up the Owl's Head Pollution Control Plant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, one of three new plants designed to combat the massive pollution running in and around the city's public shores. But as this dramatization points out residents were conflicted about the impact the plant would have on their communities.
This week we celebrate National Library Week, an event close to the hearts of Annotations’ archivists. Since we're both graduates of library school and avid readers, delving into the collection for some library-related audio was a no-brainer for us. The only difficulty came in choosing which instance of library radio to select. From a World War II-era discussion of book burning in Germany to public library dedications through all five boroughs, libraries play a notable role in the historic WNYC collection.
“Headlines in Chemistry” premiered on WNYC in 1947. Produced in cooperation with the American Chemical Society’s News Service, the show aimed to "present a program of interest to the lay public on the latest scientific developments in the chemical fields." Within four years the show was carried on about 80 stations nationwide , and by 1952 it was "beamed overseas in 42 languages .”
On March 12, 1945, when Governor Thomas E. Dewey signed in to law the Ives-Quinn Anti-Discrimination Bill, New York became the first state to enact legislation curtailing the practice of discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of race, religion, or creed.
Undoubtedly readers of the Annotations blog have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment of the Archives Mixtape, and we are happy to oblige with a double feature!
During the fall of 1946, the American Women's Voluntary Services produced a program for WNYC titled “How Does Your Kitchen Fare,” aimed at helping housewives to make nourishing and economical meals, despite post-war food shortages. The AWVS, founded by Alice Throckmorton McLean, was modeled after the British Women's Voluntary Services. During the war years the organization aided the war effort by sewing garments for servicemen, the members were also trained in "first aid, air raid and war gas work, home nursing and evacuation procedures." (The New York Times, Oct 20, 1940)
In December 1942, just three years after the tree lighting spectacular at City Hall when one of Mayor La Guardia's children flipped a switch and instantly lit up 22 trees throughout the boroughs, strict wartime dimout regulations dictated how people in New York, New Jersey and Delaware celebrated the holiday season.