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.
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
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.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
In 1949, Israel's Abba Eban defends his country against a variety of accusations and urges the United Nations to act favorably on Israel's application for admission to that international body.
Monday, September 17, 2012
WNYC's American Music Festival features Richard Dyer-Bennet in his all-too-brief heyday, before betrayal and political accusations would derail his career, in this 1945 studio appearance.
Friday, September 14, 2012
"Three Generations From the Court of Domestic Relations" is the title of this 1954 performance by the monologist Ruth Draper. The setting is the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf Astoria, where Draper, the afternoon's entertainment, takes the stage.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
"We are heading up to one of the greatest crises, I think, in modern history." This prediction about oil and the Middle East was made in 1951 by none other than Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas at a Books and Authors Luncheon.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Tommy Dorsey's 1945 teaming up with Leopold Stokowski drives the young audience into a frenzy even before the first note is played. Stokowski comes across as a bit schoolmasterish, admonishing the audience to be quiet or "the concert ends now."
Friday, September 07, 2012
The former prime minister and future president of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, is welcomed to New York by various dignitaries during this 1948 visit. Grover Whalen, the city's official greeter, introduces "the boy from Manhattan island" who now returns as a recognized world leader.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Carmine G. DeSapio rose through the ranks of Tammany Hall, the New York City Democratic machine, starting out as an errand boy and becoming "boss" in 1949. The upcoming presidential contest is very much on DeSapio's mind during this 1955 edition of Campus Press Conference.