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.
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Recently in Municipal Archives
Monday, February 04, 2013
"What Is Modern Photography?" is the question posed at this symposium hosted by the Museum of Modern Art's Edward Steichen. An all-star panel of photographers, including Margaret Bourke-White, Walker Evans, Irving Penn, and Ben Shahn, give (or refuse to give) their individual, often contradictory, definitions of the controversial medium. The gathering provides a great snapshot of the state of the art in 1950.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Focused, uncompromising, and yet essentially pragmatic, Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League, answers questions at this 1966 meeting of the Overseas Press Club.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
"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.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Herman Wouk, appearing in this 1955 Books and Authors Luncheon, contests what he perceives as the common view of his being "a conformist."
Monday, January 21, 2013
Walter White, head of the NAACP, ponders race and foreign relations at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, in New York City, in this 1949 recording.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Monday, January 14, 2013
In this 1956 appearance at the Books and Authors Luncheon, Grover A. Whalen takes us from his childhood on the Lower East Side to his role in assuring that the United Nations would build its headquarters in New York City.
Friday, January 11, 2013
In this amusing, time-capsule of a talk, given at a 1956 Books and Authors Luncheon to promote his best-selling novel Island In the Sun, Alec Waugh explains how he came to write about the West Indies.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
In 1954, entertainment superstar Danny Kaye became UNICEF's first Ambassador at Large, a post he held until his death in 1987. This is Mr Kaye's personal recounting of his first East Asian tour visiting many of the world's impoverished children.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Virgil Thomson is the guest on this 1948 edition of The Reader's Almanac. Not Virgil Thomson the composer, though, but Virgil Thomson the critic, whose collection, The Art of Judging Music (1948), had just been published.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Rex Stout, the creator of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, addresses the audience at this 1966 Books and Authors Luncheon as if they were his "Committee on Grievances."
Friday, January 04, 2013
In a 1962 interview, Leopold Stokowski discusses his founding of the American Symphony Orchestra with WNYC's Seymour Siegel, calling for more emphasis on the arts.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
The Democratic nominee, Adlai Stevenson, addresses the 1952 American Legion convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Monday, December 31, 2012
When a "member of the opposition" said that he had read Ted Sorensen's new book, Kennedy, and that he didn't like it very much, Sorenson replied that he was surprised, because "I didn't know you could read." Thus the sharp-tongued attorney and political advisor begins his talk before a 1965 Book and Authors Luncheon.
Friday, December 28, 2012
In this episode from Northwestern University Reviewing Stand, a panel of experts discusses Dwight Eisenhower's 1956 budget message. Were those different times? Former director of the Congressional Budget Office Rudolph Penner compares the budget struggles of yesteryear with today's.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
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."