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
Friday, November 02, 2012
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.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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.
Monday, October 22, 2012
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.
Friday, October 19, 2012
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.
Friday, October 19, 2012
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).
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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.
Friday, October 12, 2012
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.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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.
Monday, October 08, 2012
"The Actor and Clichés In the Theater," is the subject Sir Alec Guinness chooses for this impromptu 1964 performance before the Overseas Press Club.
Friday, October 05, 2012
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.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
This WNYC American Music Festival program from February 19, 1941 captures the Benny Goodman Sextet in a rare and wonderful moment.
Monday, October 01, 2012
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.
Feminine Mystique or Mistake: Men Make Fun of Women for Having Feelings, Then Dismiss Charges of Discrimination
Friday, September 28, 2012
"Is the Feminine Mystique a Mistake?" is the question posed at the beginning of this 1966 edition of Maincurrents, hosted by Lee Graham.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
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.
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.
Monday, September 24, 2012
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.
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.