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Rosie the Riveter (wikipedia)

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!

Ms. Bella Abzug

Monday, March 18, 2013

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."

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Jane Jacobs Defends Urbanism in 1960s New York City Planning

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WNYC

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.

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Books and Authors Luncheon: Rachel Carson, 1951

Friday, August 12, 2011

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.

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Marian Anderson Speaks on Empathy, Attainment, and Race

Monday, July 23, 2012

WNYC

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.

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Girls Who Fly: 1965 Angel Derby Pilots Are Told Sexism Doesn't Exist

Thursday, July 26, 2012

WNYC

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. 

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Overseas Press Club: Dickey Chapelle, 1964

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pioneering woman photojournalist is heard over WNYC!

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Berlin 1961

Friday, September 02, 2011

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.

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Monologist Cornelia Otis Skinner: Two Scintillating Performances

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WNYC

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."

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We All Sag in the Middle: The Delightfully Indignant Edna Ferber

Monday, October 01, 2012

WNYC

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.

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Heart Troubles: Monologist Ruth Draper Performs Three Generations of Women

Friday, September 14, 2012

WNYC

"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.

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Feminine Mystique or Mistake: Men Make Fun of Women for Having Feelings, Then Dismiss Charges of Discrimination

Friday, September 28, 2012

WNYC

"Is the Feminine Mystique a Mistake?" is the question posed at the beginning of this 1966 edition of Maincurrents, hosted by Lee Graham.

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A Foreign Melody: Bel Kaufman Expounds on Pedagogical Concerns

Monday, July 28, 2014

WNYC

Bel Kaufman, who died on Friday at 103, became an unofficial spokeswoman for the urban teacher after her book Up the Down Staircase was published in 1965. Hear her humor and insight in this rare audio treat.

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Eleanor Roosevelt's Hidden Talent

Friday, August 24, 2012

WNYC

To generate interest in a series of talent shows benefiting the 1957 March of Dimes, Eleanor Roosevelt tried her hand as an amateur disc jockey on WNYC.

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Before It Was Trendy, It Was Scandalous: Burlesque Star Gypsy Rose Lee, 1957

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC

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. 

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Writer Marguerite Young, Eccentric Documentarian of Utopias

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WNYC

"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. 

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The 'Anatomy' of Fannie Hurst, Memoirist and Romance Novelist

Monday, October 22, 2012

WNYC

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.

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Archives Thanksgiving: Peppers and Zesty Cheese Croquettes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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!

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Abortion in 1966: Three Men Weigh in On Women's Rights

Thursday, July 12, 2012

WNYC

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.

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The Evolving Motherhood of Josephine Baker

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

WNYC

"It seems strange to have so much enthusiasm at this time of day," Ms. Baker remarks at this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club, where she has been invited to speak about being a mother. 

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Tips for the 1940s Housewife: How to Have Summer Fun With Your Kids

Thursday, July 05, 2012

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.

Comments [1]

Opera Soprano Frieda Hempel Sings on WNYC Because She Loves New York!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Former Metropolitan Opera star Frieda Hempel in the WNYC studio with station head (NYC Commissioner of Plant and Structures) Frederick J. H. Kracke, July 9, 1934.  This photo marks the first in a series of broadcast performances over WNYC by Hempel. A week earlier she had generously offered to sing over the station "in appreciation of the happiness she has found in this city" and added that radio tended to neglect the works of great composers. There was, she commented, too little of this music on the air. Mayor La Guardia said he could not find the words to thank her and had directed Commissioner Kracke to arrange the concerts at Hempel's convenience. [1]
 
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Have Fun With Your Children, 1945

Sunday, May 08, 2011

"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.

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Soups with "How Does Your Kitchen Fare" 1946

Friday, January 21, 2011

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)

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'The Birds Fall Down' and More: Rebecca West's Lamentations, 1966

Friday, January 18, 2013

WNYC

A funereal air hangs over the proceedings at Rebecca West's 1966 Book and Author's Luncheon appearance.

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Jessamyn West on an Author's Responsibility to Her Readers

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WNYC
"Dear Reader," Jessamyn West pointedly addresses her audience at this 1960 Book and Authors Luncheon. She then goes on to explore the relationship between an author and her reading public, noting how Victorian novelists felt no qualms in responding to the emotional needs and moral judgments of their audience, whereas today's writers barely acknowledge the reader. Indeed, it is only the Beatniks, "those brave bearded boys," who are willing to admit out loud how "dear" their readers are to them.

 

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Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt Comment on America's Imperfect Democracy

Friday, August 03, 2012

WNYC

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt interviews her friend Mary McLeod Bethune in a 1949 radio broadcast in support of 'interracial understanding.' 

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Radio for Children

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WNYC

Our five-year old at home loves The Singing Lady, WNYC's program of tales and music for children from before her parents were born.

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WNYC WWII broadcasts at the National Library of Norway

Friday, March 18, 2011

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.

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Tribute to Maria Callas, 1977

Thursday, August 11, 2011

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-winningMaster 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.

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The Five Locust Sisters Perform on WNYC

Friday, December 09, 2011

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. 

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The Irascible Hedda Sterne, April 23, 1970

Monday, May 07, 2012

WNYC

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.

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Svetlana Alliluyeva's Graceful Defection from the Soviet Union

Thursday, July 19, 2012

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.

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Julia Child on WQXR's "Kitchen Classics", 1990s

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WQXR

Listen to the irrepressible June LeBell as she chats with the grand dame of French cooking in America, Julia Child.

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Marya Mannes Unbuttons Minds

Monday, August 13, 2012

WNYC

In this 1965 broadcast of a Books and Authors Luncheon, critic Marya Mannes discusses American women, including the work of Helen Gurley Brown, who had recently achieved success with her book Sex and the Single Girl (1962).

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'Eleanor Roosevelt Remembered,' a Touching Tribute by Eight Women

Monday, December 17, 2012

WNYC

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. 

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Say it Loud: Black, Immigrant & Proud

Monday, February 17, 2014

In 1951, jazz superstar Hazel Scott boldly spoke against Jim Crow. At least a decade before Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the former "Darling of Café Society" talked about her own hopes of a future with "all racial prejudice eliminated."

Comment

Concert Pianist Irene Jacobi: WNYC American Music Festival, 1943

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

At the height of World War II, WNYC invited concert pianist Irene Jacobi and her husband, composer Frederick Jacobi, to perform some of his works for the station's fourth annual American Music Festival.

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Brains Have No Sex

Monday, September 16, 2013

WQXR News Commentator Lisa Sergio wrote the following article for the WQXR Program Guide in April, 1943. As a woman in the almost exclusively male domain of news commentary, Sergio distinguished herself as the only woman Variety included in its 1945 analysis of 30 popular radio news commentators. Her essay is a brief reminder of just how far women have come in the field of journalism. The guide prefaced the piece with this introduction:

Because many people wonder how it feels to be a woman radio commentator, we asked Miss Sergio to write the following article. She need no introduction to the WQXR audience, which listens to her regularly at 7 o'clock every evening, Monday through Friday, nor to her morning audience at 10 A.M. on Monday and Friday.

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Leona Baumgartner, Elvis, and the Fight Against Polio

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WNYC

If it's good enough for Elvis, it's good enough for you and your child - On the birthday of the city's first female Health Commissioner, we honor Dr. Leona Baumgartner and the New York City publicity campaign for the polio vaccine.

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Blazing Maize: Mrs. Gannon's Tamale Pie, 1947

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WNYC

Frances Foley Gannon was described as “a brisk little woman with a smiling Irish face.” Her advice was two-fold: in her daily five minutes on air, she told mothers what foods were in season and how to use them to plan family meals.

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Happy Birthday Sylvia Porter

Monday, June 17, 2013

Listen to a 23-year-old Sylvia Porter, the inventor of the personal finance column, on WQXR's Author Meets Critics (1936). 

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The Commentator's Responsibility to the Listener

Monday, February 03, 2014

From the July, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:

Mrs. Sternberger has been a WQXR commentator for over four years, presenting her "Washington Front" program each Monday through Friday at 5:15 P.M. Before coming to radio she was a newspaper-woman whose travels had taken her to all major European countries, most of Asia and part of South America. 

Because of the great interest in the news at this time,we have asked Mrs. Sternberger to give her views on what she feels a commentator's responsibility is to the listening public in this crisis.

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[Reception for Althea Gibson].

Wednesday, August 21, 1957

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Official reception for tennis star Althea Gibson after her ticket-tape parade, right after her first victory at Wimbledon. Speakers include Mayor Robert F. Wagner; the head of the United States Lawn ...

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Bella Abzug

Saturday, May 05, 1984

May 5, 1984

Tony Rudel (sitting in for Lloyd Moss) interviews politician, activist and author Bella Abzug about her pioneering career and her new book, The Gender Gap(and her violin studies). Ms. Abzug discusses the musical selections of her choosing.


WNYC archives id: 72119

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Women in the Defense Decade Conference

Sunday, September 30, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

September 30, 1951

Opening session of a conference on Women in the Defense Decade, presented by the American Council on Education.

Arthur S. Adams speaks ...

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Eleanor Roosevelt at the Women's House of Detention

Sunday, March 17, 1957

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

March 17, 1957

Unidentified woman (a judge?) and male (Arnold Michaelis?) speakers introduces the topic of the broadcast: the work of the Department of Correction's Women's House of ...

Comment

Geulah Cohen

Wednesday, November 11, 1964

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

November 11, 1964
Geulah Cohen, broadcaster and member of Stern Gang which fought the British when they occupied Palestine. She talks about her sacrifice for the cause of Israeli independence ...

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Women in Civil Defense

Wednesday, February 28, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

February 28, 1951
Sixth in series.

Bill Leonard speaks with Adelaide Healey, Special Assistant to the Director of the New York State Civil Defense Commission about women ...

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Carol Laise Bunker

Tuesday, November 28, 1967

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

November 28, 1967
Carol Laise (November 14, 1917 – July 25, 1991) was an American civil servant, ambassador to Nepal and the first woman Assistant Secretary of State.
...

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Elinor Guggenheimer

Sunday, November 03, 1963

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

November 3, 1963

Mrs. Randolph Guggenheimer, member of the City Planning Commission is interviewed by Seymour N. Siegel.

His first question to her is "why ...

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Dr. Karen Horney

Tuesday, May 23, 1950

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

May 23, 1950

Dr. Karen Horney presents a lecture on the role of love in human growth and development of the personality.

Discussion of different ...

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Lorraine Hansberry

Friday, August 04, 1961

Patricia Marx interviews playwright Lorraine Hansberry after the success of her seminal work A Raisin in the Sun. Ms. Hansberry discusses the characters in the play, and how each of them reflect ideals that she herself carries. She also shares her feelings on the importance of African tradition to the ...

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Erica Jong

Sunday, December 23, 1973

Erica Jong, poet and magazine writer, talks about her third book, her first novel, Fear of Flying, with host Walter James Miller.

Broadcast February 13, 1974.


WNYC archives id: 73099

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Margaret F. O'Connell

Monday, August 30, 1976

Margaret O'Connell discusses her book, The Magic Cauldron. She talks about the history of witches, including the Salem witches. She also talks about misogyny and the stereotype of bad witches.

Broadcast September 29, 1976.


WNYC archives id: 72883

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Nadine Gordimer

Sunday, July 22, 1973

Nadine Gordimer, South African novelist, discusses Livingstone's Companions, a book of her short stories, with host Walter James Miller

Broadcast March 27, 1974


WNYC archives id: 73021

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