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°F Slightly cooler today with showers possible this afternoon. Hear what this means for four very different New Yorkers.

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

The Democratic Machine: Carmine DeSapio and Jacob Javits Debate Ethics in Politics

Monday, September 03, 2012

WNYC

Speaking first in this 1955 debate, the Democratic boss Carmine G. DeSapio bristles at the question, "Is Tammany Hall fundamentally corrupt?" He dismisses such "sinister implications," claiming they refer to long-ago scandals.

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Sammy Davis Jr. Writes His "Emotional Soul" in Yes I Can

Friday, August 31, 2012

WNYC
Yes I Can was not treated as just another celebrity autobiography but regarded quite seriously as an exploration of racism and one man's confronting the highest and lowest experiences.
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The "Overpoweringly Witty" Fiction of Noël Coward

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WNYC
C Noël Coward coolly rebuts those critics calling him "antiquated, snobbish, and belonging to an earlier, more complacent age."
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Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency: Wertham Versus Gaines On Decency Standards

Monday, August 27, 2012

WNYC
The media changes, but the arguments remain the same.
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Comments [2]

Poor Little Annie!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WNYC

During the 1945 newspaper deliverymen's strike, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia kept the children of New York City up to date on the adventures of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie by reading the Sunday comics over WNYC's airwaves.

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Eleanor Roosevelt's Hidden Talent

Friday, August 24, 2012

WNYC

To generate interest in a series of talent shows benefiting the 1957 March of Dimes, Eleanor Roosevelt tried her hand as an amateur disc jockey on WNYC.

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Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency: Comic Books, "Soda-pop," and Societal Harm

Friday, August 24, 2012

WNYC
The Nature v. Nurture wrestling match of the 1950s.
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Comments [1]

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
Sex and the Single Girl discussed in 1965.
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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
Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, walks a tightrope in the years immediately following World War II as the Cold War takes root.
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A Paradigm Shift For the Beat Generation

Friday, August 10, 2012

WNYC
Kerouac breaths. Kerouac performs.
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Ralph Bunche Announces Landmark 1949 Arab-Israeli General Armistice Agreement

Friday, August 10, 2012

WNYC
One of the few successful peace negotiations of the Middle-East.
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William F. Buckley Jr., Mayoral Candidate, on Political Rhetoric and Theater,1965

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

WNYC
William F. Buckley discovers surrealism on the campaign trail.
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