To celebrate Women's History Month, the New York Public Radio Archives has pulled together some of the department's leading preservation work concerning notable women on our air in the past plus a few favorites we contributed to. So listen to Eleanor Roosevelt as a disc jockey on WNYC, Jane Jacobs who fought Robert Moses and won, environmentalist Rachel Carson, contralto Marian Anderson, the Angel Derby pilots, pioneering monologists Cornelia Otis Skinner and Ruth Draper, burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, Congresswoman Bella Abzug, the performer Josephine Baker and many others.
Stay tuned! We'll be adding more before the end of the month!
In March, 1972, reporter Eleanor Fischer interviewed Congresswoman Bella Abzug as she was fighting to hold on to her congressional district in Manhattan encompassing, in part, the Battery, the Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, Greenwich Village and Chelsea. Representative Abzug talks about this effort to marginalize her. She also calls for pulling U.S. troops out of Vietnam, endorses Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm's campaign for the Presidency and (there may be some debate over it) lays claim to starting the honorific "Ms."
Jane Jacobs, in this 1962 appearance at a Books and Authors Luncheon, explains her current role as a community leader in the fight against what she views as the excesses and excrescences of the arrogant Modernist redesign of city neighborhoods.
Before achieving national acclaim for her exposé of the chemical industry, Silent Spring (1962), marine biologist and nature conservationist Rachel Carson wrote prolifically about the world of the ocean. Her sea trilogy, Under the Sea Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1955), quickly made her a New York Times bestselling author and a literary star.
As eloquent in her speech as she is in her song, the contralto Marian Anderson addresses the issues of prejudice and segregation head-on in this 1957 Books and Authors Luncheon appearance.
This Overseas Press Club conference is a reminder of the unfortunately routine institutionalized gender oppression in American industry. Featuring deft pilots in the Angel Derby, an all-female air race from New York to the Bahamas, this panel's male moderator and reporters dole out condescension and hostility, but "the girls" hold steady despite the dismissive questioning.
In this 1965 Overseas Press Club Luncheon, Hallie Burnett, novelist and publisher, describes her experience in Berlin in August, 1961. On assignment for Reader’s Digest, Burnett was charged with reporting on the conditions of the East German refugees, who were “coming over at that time at about 2,000 a night.” Amidst a quiet week, she describes the night of August 13 when the foundations for the Berlin wall were laid. She describes standing among Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate, who were so shocked they had not yet found their voices to protest.
One of the few practitioners of monology, Cornelia Otis Skinner does not give a customary sales pitch at this 1951 Books and Authors Luncheon, instead reproducing "what goes on in the mind of the subscriber to the Friday symphony who goes to the concert by herself."
Popular best-sellers of the day, Edna Ferber's books also provided the stories for influential plays, musicals, and films. At this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon, she talks about her new book, Ice Palace.
"Three Generations From the Court of Domestic Relations" is the title of this 1954 performance by the monologist Ruth Draper. The setting is the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf Astoria, where Draper, the afternoon's entertainment, takes the stage.
"Is the Feminine Mystique a Mistake?" is the question posed at the beginning of this 1966 edition of Maincurrents, hosted by Lee Graham.
"I feel like an impostor," the author and teacher Bel Kaufman confesses in this talk given at the Overseas Press Club in 1966, where the topics include her accent, poetry, and the classroom.
Few writers begin their appearance at The Herald Tribune's prestigious Books and Authors Luncheon series by doing a striptease, but Gypsy Rose Lee feels it is expected of her.
"All that I have told in this story is true, down to the last butterfly or flower," claims Marguerite Young in this talk at a 1966 Books and Authors Luncheon.
Largely forgotten today, Fannie Hurst was for many years one of the most highly paid and widely read novelists of her time. Anatomy of Me is Hurst's just-published autobiography, which she discusses at this 1958 Books and Authors Luncheon.
The second installment of the Archives' celebration of Thanksgiving continues today with a 1952 show focusing on cayenne peppers, featuring Mrs. Gannon, WNYC's Mistress of Markets. Tune in to learn all about incorporating this "pepper-upper" into your diets -- and be sure to catch her recipe for cheese croquettes!
In this broadcast of Maincurrents, three panelists -- all men -- examine recent legislation to "liberalize" existing abortion restrictions, leading to a wide-ranging discussion of the practice, both in the United States and abroad, as well as the historical basis for restrictions.
Take a five-cent trip on the Staten Island ferry. Take a Fifth Avenue bus to Fort Tryon Park. Watch the planes take off and land at LaGuardia field.
"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.
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)
A funereal air hangs over the proceedings at Rebecca West's 1966 Book and Author's Luncheon appearance.
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt interviews her friend Mary McLeod Bethune in a 1949 radio broadcast in support of 'interracial understanding.'
From May, 1934 to April, 1948 Gladys M. Petch was heard regularly over WNYC talking about Norway. The programs Sunlit Norway Calls, Spirit of the Vikings, and News of Norway were underwritten by the Royal Norwegian Information Service. While most of these broadcasts were aired via transcription disc, it appears that during WWII, Petch was in the WNYC studios, as evidenced by these two 1944 News of Norway broadcasts we found at the National Library of Norway site.
Tyne Daly appears in the Leonard Lopate Show this week to speak about her portrayal of legendary diva Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Tony award-winning “Master Class.” Listen to this George Jellinek tribute to Callas in the WQXR show The Vocal Scene, aired just six days after the death of the great singer.
On December 9, 1926, the Locust Sisters sang popular tunes in our studio. The Locust Sisters were a singing quartet with a fifth sister, Mathilda, on the piano. Known as the "miracle makers of harmony," they were featured as missionaries in the 1927 Vincent Youmans Broadway musical Hit the Deck. Reviewing the performance in The New York Times, Brook Atkinson wrote, "the thin harmonies of the four Locust Sisters, admirably introduced, are artless and delightful." They also appeared in a five-minute movie short in 1928, the first of their two appearances for MGM Metro Movietone Revue. The sisters also briefly recorded for Columbia Records. Watch and listen to them in their 1930 MGM short at: LOCUST SISTERS.
Though a working artist for the span of some 80 years, Hedda Sterne may be best known for simply being in a photograph featuring some of the brightest stars of the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. In this interview with Views on Art host Ruth Bowman we gain some insight into the artist behind the photograph, midway through a long and successful career.
In this recording from April 26, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, fields a variety of questions from the New York press after leaving her homeland. "I feel like Valentina Tereshkova at her first flight into space," she confesses, referring to the first female cosmonaut.
This 1962 tribute to the former first lady features eight women reminiscing about their friend, and illuminating the many different areas of Eleanor Roosevelt's politically wide-ranging life.