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.

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Exploring the Human Endeavor

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Recently in Municipal Archives

Radio from 'The Twilight Zone'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WNYC

During his freshman year at Antioch College, Rod Serling worked as an unpaid intern at WNYC. Although his newsroom and script-writing duties kept him mostly off the air, Serling's unmistakable voice can be heard in the station's public service series Toward Return to Society, produced in cooperation with the New York City Department of Correction.

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We Love People Who Love Brooklyn

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WNYC

It's a documented fact that in 1942, radio stations, newspapers and magazines maligned the borough of Brooklyn no less than 2,623 times. And that's not even counting movies. Fugheddaboudit!

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Van Cliburn's Musical Diplomacy Eases Tense U.S.-Soviet Relationship

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WNYC

Fifty-five years ago this week, Van Cliburn was feted in New York City for his gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia. Our sister station WNYC covered the young Texan's triumphant return.

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Arthur C. Clarke Dabbles in Science Nonfiction and Speculates About Space Travel

Monday, August 20, 2012

WNYC

"Around the close of this century." That is when distinguished author, scientist, and visionary Arthur C. Clarke, in this 1954 appearance at a Books and Authors Luncheon, predicts man will break free of Earth and fly to the moon. 

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Random House Founder Bennett Cerf, as Skillful Storyteller and Humorist

Friday, August 17, 2012

WNYC

Alongside his meteoric rise as a publisher, Bennett Cerf pursued his natural talent for writing humor. 

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James M. Cain, Popular Novelist, Argues to Strengthen Authors' Rights, 1946

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WNYC

Novelist and screenwriter James M. Cain promotes his idea for an American Authors Authority that would treat literature as "property." Though it never caught on at the time, Cain's plan offers insight on present-day debates about copyrights. 

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The Poet Speaks: Pastoral Tradition and the Search for Farmer Poets

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WNYC

Harp music plays as announcer Sy Freed quotes Voltaire, “Poetry is the music of the soul and above all of great and inspired souls.” So begins this episode of The Poet Speaks from 1949, featuring poets A.M. Sullivan and Shaemas O’Sheel.

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Marya Mannes Unbuttons Minds

Monday, August 13, 2012

WNYC

In this 1965 broadcast of a Books and Authors Luncheon, critic Marya Mannes discusses American women, including the work of Helen Gurley Brown, who had recently achieved success with her book Sex and the Single Girl (1962).

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'Embracing Geography': Does New York City Incubate Poets?

Monday, August 13, 2012

WNYC

Poet, playwright, and novelist William Packard moderates this 1968 broadcast: Is there a New York poet?

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Secretary of State James Byrnes: "The Temple of Peace Must Be Built Solidly"

Monday, August 13, 2012

WNYC

In two excerpts from speeches given in 1946 and 1947 by Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, one can see the tightrope he walked in the years immediately following World War II as the Cold War loomed.

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A Paradigm Shift For the Beat Generation

Friday, August 10, 2012

WNYC

Jack Kerouac famously suggested the Beat Generation is "a swinging group…of new American men intent on joy." Scholars and writers join Kerouac in this 1959 discussion at the Brandeis University Club of New York for a rollicking, witty debate.

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Ralph Bunche Announces Landmark 1949 Arab-Israeli General Armistice Agreement

Friday, August 10, 2012

WNYC

In the early hours of February 24, 1949, on the Greek island of Rhodes, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche emerged from the Egyptian-Israeli talks to announce the signing of a General Armistice Agreement.

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William F. Buckley Jr., Mayoral Candidate, on Political Rhetoric and Theater,1965

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

WNYC

Better known for his punditry, here mayoral candidate William F. Buckley Jr. complains about delivering stump speeches "without boring the voter, which is bad enough, but without boring yourself, which is worse." 

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German Science Writer Willy Ley on 'Rockets, Missiles and Space Travel'

Monday, August 06, 2012

WNYC

On this 1957 broadcast of The New York Herald-Tribune Books and Authors Luncheon, the German-American scientist and science writer discusses satellite technology and the recent launch of Sputnik.

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Everybody Gets the Same Number of Lines: Marc Blitzstein's Socialist Opera, "No for an Answer"

Monday, August 06, 2012

WNYC

Musical prodigy and composer Marc Blitzstein, the featured guest on this 1941 installment from  WNYC's American Music Festival, increasingly identifies with radical left-wing political movements in the hardscrabble years leading into the Depression.

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Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt Comment on America's Imperfect Democracy

Friday, August 03, 2012

WNYC

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt interviews her friend Mary McLeod Bethune in a 1949 radio broadcast in support of 'interracial understanding.' 

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The Evolving Motherhood of Josephine Baker

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

WNYC

"It seems strange to have so much enthusiasm at this time of day," Ms. Baker remarks at this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club, where she has been invited to speak about being a mother. 

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Louis Auchincloss Asks, "What is Serious Fiction?"

Monday, July 30, 2012

WNYC

In this 1964 talk, Louis Auchincloss, author of the new book The Rector of Justin, describes the great themes facing writers and offers generous advice to those of his profession. 

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Girls Who Fly: 1965 Angel Derby Pilots Are Told Sexism Doesn't Exist

Thursday, July 26, 2012

WNYC

This Overseas Press Club conference is a reminder of the unfortunately routine institutionalized gender oppression in American industry. Featuring deft pilots in the Angel Derby, an all-female air race from New York to the Bahamas, this panel's male moderator and reporters dole out condescension and hostility, but "the girls" hold steady despite the dismissive questioning. 

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Marian Anderson Speaks on Empathy, Attainment, and Race

Monday, July 23, 2012

WNYC

As eloquent in her speech as she is in her song, the contralto Marian Anderson addresses the issues of prejudice and segregation head-on in this 1957 Books and Authors Luncheon appearance.

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