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
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
Original date: January 29, 1956 —
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."
Monday, December 24, 2012
Though it is already two decades after the start of World War II, the shadow of Nazi Germany still looms large over this 1960 talk given by journalist and historian William L. Shirer at a Books and Authors Luncheon.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Calling himself a "Broadway wise-cracker and a Hollywood hack," Robert Sherwood, author, soldier, pacifist, and speechwriter, gives a stirring account of his wartime work for the Roosevelt administration at this 1948 Books and Authors Luncheon.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
In this speech at a Books and Authors Luncheon in 1965, the former special assistant to the president answers his critics and defends his insider's view of the Kennedy administration.
Monday, December 17, 2012
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.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Jackie Robinson and Dr. Sterling Wade Brown, representing the National Conference of Christians and Jews, answer questions about the fight for civil rights in this 1968 interview.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Beginning in 1947, Jewish and secular civic groups formed the Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons in a public campaign to liberalize U.S. immigration quotas, with the hope that many more Holocaust survivors would be permitted to settle in America.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A vivid snapshot of the days when Labor reigned supreme in America, this 1963 meeting of the Overseas Press Club features United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther being introduced by his protégé and sidekick, the journalist Victor Riesel.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
At this Books and Authors Luncheon, Vance Packard tries to dispel the idea that his book, The Hidden Persuaders (1957), is merely about the quirks and absurdities of advertising's use of "motivational research."
Monday, December 03, 2012
In this 1954 talk, J. Robert Oppenheimer surmises that today's pressing questions "will be transmuted before they are answered" and that "the very process of discovery will shatter the concepts that we today use to describe our puzzlement."
Friday, November 30, 2012
Richard M. Nixon chooses this 1966 appearance at the Overseas Press Club to lay out his position on Vietnam, but not before amiably ribbing Democrats and the press.