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Francis Spellman

Francis Spellman (1889-1967) was the archbishop of New York (1939-1967) and vicar of the United States Armed Forces. Among his better known writings are The Road to Victory (1942) and his best-selling novel The Foundling (1951).

In 1925 Spellman became first American assistant to the papal secretariat of state. In 1931 he successfully smuggled Pius XI's Non Abbiamo Bisogno, an antifascist encyclical, out of Italy. The letter was printed and distributed by the Associated Press and United Press.

Spellman's work mobilizing American Catholics behind World War II was recognized by Pius XII, who appointed him cardinal in 1946. In 1949 he bitterly debated Eleanor Roosevelt over the merits of federal funding for parochial schools. A supporter of Senator McCarthy and later the Vietnam War, he was also a major figure in the Vatican's Second Council. Spellman repeatedly asked for the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Vatican, something which did not happen until 1984.

Francis Spellman appears in the following:

American Federation of Labor [Day 1]

Wednesday, September 17, 1952

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

Opening session of the 71st annual convention of the American Federation of Labor.


Cardinal Spellman delivers the invocation.

Martin Lacey, teamster leader, welcomes ...

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Dedication Ceremony for the New U.S.O Center

Tuesday, September 25, 1951

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

The National Catholic Service dedication for the first United Service Organization club house in New York City since the reactivation of the USO.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives ...

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Dedication of St. Claire's Hospital

Friday, June 29, 1951

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

Ceremonies marking the dedication and blessing of the new nurses' school and residence of St. Claire's Hospital in Manhattan. Also the 50th anniversary of religious life Sister Mary Alice. Reporter David ...

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Opening of Ewing Hospital

Wednesday, August 23, 1950

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

Dedication for the opening of the James Ewing Hospital for Cancer, a 300 bed 'modern' hospital. Located on 1st Ave, between 67th and 68th streets. The Ewing Hospital is affiliated with ...

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The World Stood Still : Tribute to President Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 12, 1950

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

The sounds of people dancing and laughing are overcome by the sounds of bombs.. "the world stood still." The death of President Roosevelt (1945-04-12).

Vignettes of people reacting ...

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Cardinal Spellman

Wednesday, January 04, 1950

The controversial New York cardinal speaks passionately about the physical and spiritual America.