Streams

In the New York City Municipal Archives WNYC Sound Collection, we hear the voices of presidents, dignitaries, world leaders, artistic revolutionaries, musical geniuses, luminaries of the literati, and cultural icons. The sounds of a city and a nation are captured through nearly a century of transformations, tribulations, and triumphs. WNYC microphones were present when Admiral Byrd returned from his historic flight over the North Pole in 1926 and when Colonel Charles Lindbergh returned from his solo flight to Paris the following year. Perhaps best known are New York City Mayor F. H. La Guardia's weekly Talk to the People broadcasts over WNYC throughout World War II.

This web resource has been made possible in part by the
National Endowment for the Humanities:
Exploring the Human Endeavor

Any views, findings, conclusions, recommendations expressed in this web resource do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Recently in Municipal Archives

The New York City Landmarks Law: Saving the Past for Half Century

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Before the fall of Penn Station there was movement to protect city landmarks.  
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Digging the Blizzard of '47

Monday, January 26, 2015

WNYC
The 1947 blizzard in song & satire  
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WNYC and the NYPD Agree, Don’t Run Away from Home!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In its earliest days WNYC worked closely with the NYPD.
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The Man Without a City

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How one leaky faucet led a man to appreciate city services.
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Glamour Girls, Murder, and the Mayor

Monday, November 24, 2014

WNYC
What lurked behind William O'Dwyer's charmed life?
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The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, "The Most Princely"

Monday, November 17, 2014

WNYC
Three NYC officials profess their love for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
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How to Deflect a Wrecking Ball with a Violin

Thursday, November 06, 2014

WNYC
50 years ago, a mayor (and frustrated violinist) was persuaded to buy the world's most famous concert hall.
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Ring Around the Rosey: A Tony Schwartz Investigation

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies.
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Are Comics Bad for Children?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

WNYC
In the 1940s and '50s comics were considered pernicious by many. This Brooklyn mom spoke her moderate mind on WNYC.
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Shirley Zak Hayes: WNYC's First Woman Staff Announcer

Thursday, October 09, 2014

She broke into the Boy's Club here in 1966, but she'd already distinguished herself as a community activist—thanks to her, there's no four-lane highway through Washington Square Park.
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Edwin Fancher: Change and Continuity in Greenwich Village

Friday, September 05, 2014

WNYC
Homosexuality. Mixed-race couples. Narcotics on MacDougal Street. This archived conversation from a WNYC broadcast gives an incredible sense of what's changed--and what hasn't.
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The Man Who Fought For and Founded WNYC

Thursday, May 29, 2014

WNYC
WNYC's founding: A story from the dawn of the Radio Age.
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Leader of American Anthropology Launches WNYC Series

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

American scientists and intellectuals in the fight against fascism before World War II.

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Happy Earth Day - Now Move Your Car

Monday, April 21, 2014

WNYC
On the first Earth Day - that would be April 22, 1970 - Mayor John V. Lindsay implores New Yorkers to be more thoughtful with their parking.
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Styli over substance

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WNYC

The recently published National Recording Preservation Plan from the Library of Congress includes a recommendation to "encourage scientific and technical research leading to the development of new technologies to recover, reformat, and preserve audio recording media". Although at first sight this passage seems to refer to high-tech projects such as IRENE, there may be other, more modest ways to advance audio preservation technology. Here is an example.

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Martin Scorsese and the American Underground

Friday, September 06, 2013

WNYC
Early interview with Scorcese provides a glimpse into his formative years.
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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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The Evil in Eavesdropping

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WNYC

Long before FISA and PRISM, New York State politicians struggled with maintaining the delicate balance between personal privacy and public safety.  

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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sunday, April 07, 2013

It is April 19th, 1944. Thousands of mourners silently march from a service at the Warsaw synagogue on Rivington Street to City Hall.  A few carry signs: "Save Those Jews in Poland Who Can Yet Be Saved!" and, "Three Million Polish Jews Have Been Murdered By the Nazis!"  When they arrive at the steps of City Hall, Cantor Moishe Oysher sings El Mole Rachamim, a funeral prayer for the the 40,000 Jews who died a year earlier in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

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'The Artistic and the Beautiful': Frank Lloyd Wright's Wide-Ranging Views

Monday, February 25, 2013

WNYC

In 1957, two years before his death, Frank Lloyd Wright sat down with WNYC to discuss his design philosophy, exhibiting his trademark eloquence and blistering opinions. The year of this interview marks an explosion of commissions for Wright, who by then had been practicing architecture for 70 years.

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