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

A Foreign Melody: Bel Kaufman Expounds on Pedagogical Concerns

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WNYC

"I feel like an impostor," the author and teacher Bel Kaufman confesses in this talk given at the Overseas Press Club in 1966, where the topics include her accent, poetry, and the classroom.

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Garson Kanin on 'Remembering Mr. Maugham'

Monday, October 29, 2012

WNYC

Garson Kanin's memoir of W. Somerset Maugham is the subject of his appearance at this 1967 Books and Authors Luncheon.

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Herman Kahn on World Annihilation, 1965

Friday, October 26, 2012

Herman Kahn addresses the members of the Overseas Press Club about "The Likelihood of Nuclear War at Some Point in the 20th Century," proclaiming the outlook is safer and calmer than five years before.

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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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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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Dr Kranich, your piano's ready. I'm afraid it's not built by your dad.

Friday, October 19, 2012

WNYC

On March 5, 1853 a German piano maker named Henry Steinway (né Steinweg) founded Steinway & Sons at 85 Varick Street in New York City, barely five blocks from the present-day WNYC studios. Less than three months later another, much younger German piano maker named Helmuth Kranich would arrive at these shores. Little did he suspect that one of his children would someday work at a competing form of entertainment: radio, specifically WNYC.

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A Hero, Removed: A. E. Hotchner on Hemingway's Role as "Emissary of Other Men's Dreams"

Friday, October 19, 2012

WNYC

A.E. Hotchner, a friend of Ernest Hemingway during the last 14 years of the writer's life, reminisces about their relationship in this Books and Authors Luncheon appearance promoting his memoir, Papa Hemingway (1966). 

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The Political Playwright Rolf Hochhuth Assails the Catholic Church for 'Immoral Inaction'

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WNYC

Chaos rules at this rowdy 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club. The guest panel includes Catholic Church critic, Rolf Hochhuth, and a Catholic Church official. 

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The Civic Wit of Humorist Harry Hershfield

Monday, October 15, 2012

WNYC

"New York City Mayors I Have Known" might be the better title for this 1954 installment of Campus Press Conference featuring guest Harry Hershfield -- columnist, cartoonist, and "Toastmaster Extraordinary."

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Foreign Correspondent David Halberstam Analyzes Conflict in Vietnam

Friday, October 12, 2012

WNYC

David Halberstam briefs this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club on what he sees as a "sharp conflict" between America's official optimism and the reality experienced by reporters embedded in Vietnam.

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John Gunther, Author of 'Inside' Travel Guides, Offers Glimpse of African Continent, 1955

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WNYC

Formerly a foreign war correspondent, Chicagoan John Gunther drew on his background to write the 'Inside' travel series, which included Inside Europe (1936), Inside Asia (1939), Inside Latin America (1941), and here, Inside Africa.

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The Extemporaneous Sir Alec Guinness: Shorter Than You Thought, and to the Point

Monday, October 08, 2012

WNYC

"The Actor and Clichés In the Theater," is the subject Sir Alec Guinness chooses for this impromptu 1964 performance before the Overseas Press Club. 

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Günter Grass on American Vagaries: Boxing, Dancing, and Creating Art

Friday, October 05, 2012

WNYC

In May 1965, the Overseas Press Club hosted the German novelist Günter Grass, who had arrived in New York to teach a seminar at Columbia University. 

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The Benny Goodman Sextet Fields Requests on 'America in Swingtime'

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

WNYC

This WNYC American Music Festival program from February 19, 1941 captures the Benny Goodman Sextet in a rare and wonderful moment. 

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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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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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Cartoonist Jules Feiffer Probes the Intellectual Depth of Comics and Pop Culture, 1965

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WNYC

At a Books and Authors Luncheon featuring such literary establishment figures as the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and the literary critic Alfred Kazin, a 36-year-old cartoonist gets up to speak. 

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‘Most of Them Can Be Helped’: Building a Language of Disability

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

These cerebral palsy radio spots, recorded in 1951 for the United Cerebral Palsy Fund, highlight the ideas and words applied to children born with disabilities.

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James T. Farrell on a Writer's Inner Life

Monday, September 24, 2012

WNYC

James T. Farrell, the creator of Studs Lonigan, is often thought of as a crude, dogged, naturalist writer; it's refreshing to hear the author speaking, in this recording from 1952, of what truly obsesses him: literature.

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James L. Farmer Jr. Advocates Revolutionary Freedoms for African-Americans

Friday, September 21, 2012

"America is being forced to face itself," James Farmer proclaims in this 1963 Overseas Press Club appearance, before discussing the upcoming march on Washington and the historical roots of the civil rights struggle.

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