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

W. Somerset Maugham Contemplates the Future of American Writers

Friday, November 16, 2012

WNYC

In this 1950 speech given at a Books and Authors Luncheon, W. Somerset Maugham lays out his surprisingly detailed plan for a foreign academy to promote the growth of American literature.

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Re-evaluating Soviet Power 50 Years After the Revolution

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WNYC

On November 12, 1967, in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the Overseas Press Club invites three distinguished speakers to reflect on the momentous event. 

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Ferdinand Marcos and John Lindsay Foster U.S.-Philippines Ties, 1966

Monday, November 12, 2012

WNYC

Ferdinand Marcos, the newly elected president of the Philippines, and his wife, Imelda, are welcomed to New York by Mayor John  Lindsay in a ceremony at City Hall. 

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Humorist Sam Levenson's Childhood: 'Poor, With Books'

Friday, November 09, 2012

WNYC

Everything But Money is both the title of Sam Levenson's autobiography and the theme in this 1966 appearance at a Books and Authors Luncheon. 

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Before It Was Trendy, It Was Scandalous: Burlesque Star Gypsy Rose Lee, 1957

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

WNYC

Few writers begin their appearance at The Herald Tribune's prestigious Books and Authors Luncheon series by doing a striptease, but Gypsy Rose Lee feels it is expected of her. 

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Robert F. Kennedy Announces His Senate Candidacy, 1964

Monday, November 05, 2012

WNYC

Nine months after his brother's death, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy enters the New York Senate race, appearing before the media to announce that "I have decided to make myself available for the nomination."

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Inspiration Strikes After Tragedy: Alfred Kazin on His New Yorker Trilogy

Friday, November 02, 2012

WNYC

Starting Out in the Thirties (1965), the second installment of Kazin's New Yorker Trilogy, had just been published when he gave this brief talk on the genesis of his artistic motivation at a 1965 Books and Authors Luncheon.

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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 also 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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