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Mayor La Guardia Urges WNYC Listeners to Support Soviets Fighting Nazis

History Notes: Volume 2, Issue 1

Saturday, January 01, 2011 - 07:30 PM

Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia on the steps of City Hall with attorney Allen Wardwell, Chairman of the Greater New York Campaign of Russian War Relief, Inc. launching Russian War Relief Week, June 20, 1942.

In opening the campaign, the Mayor urged supporters and WNYC listeners to attend a mass rally at Madison Square Garden on June 22 in tribute to the Russian Army for "holding the line while we get ready." La Guardia praised the courage and valor of the Soviet forces and people fighting the Nazis and he donated $50 to the national campaign to raise $6 million for the purchase of medical supplies. Wardwell told listeners $2 million in pledges had already been received and that it was critical to get supplies to our allies. Behind them are a traditional Russian musical ensemble, which performed for the audience.

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Broadcast on WNYC today in:

1926: Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce dinner at the Hotel Commodore. Mayor Walker addresses the gathered business and civic leaders and, according to The New York Times, he "referred facetiously to the fact that this was his first introduction to WNYC fans."

1939: Annual Jackson Day Dinner at the Hotel Commodore. New York Governor Herbert Lehman and President Franklin D. Roosevelt speak. The President says: "I here and now prophesy: That the Republican leadership, conservative at heart, will still seek to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, talking for balanced budgets out of one side of its mouth and for opportunistic raids on the Treasury out of the other. Opportunists they have been--opportunists they still are."

1948: A 'dawn patrol' breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria by the Greater New York Council for the Boy Scouts of America. The 475,000th New Yorker (Dennis Ring) was inducted into the scouts, and Major General William J. Donovan is the keynote speaker. Donovan declares that Communism threatens the survival of democratic governments and that the question today, is "not whether a human being is to be a slave of other human beings, but whether he is to be a slave of the state."  Note: During WWII Donovan, also known as 'Wild Bill' Donovan, was the head of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA.

1958: In this edition of Music for the Connoisseur, host David Randolph considers composers who raced against death. First up: Bach's The Art of Fugue, followed by a recounting of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's difficult life. In Part II of the program, Randolph begins with Bela Bartok, who died in September 1945. At the time of Bartok's death, he was working on a viola concerto that was finished with the help of his friend Tibor Serly. The work is played here by William Primrose, with Tibor Serly conducting the New Symphony Orchestra of London. Randolph concluded with the lacrimosa movement of Mozart's Requiem. 

1965: Screenwriter John Howard Lawson is a guest on People and Ideas. Lawson was one of the "Hollywood Ten," blacklisted writers and directors who defied the House Un-American Activities inquiry into 'Communist subversion' of the movie industry.

1975: Oscar Brand talks with actor Peter Boyle, folksinger Malvina Reynolds, screenwriter Sterling Silliphant and jazz musician Maynard Ferguson for this episode of Voices in the Wind.

1995: The Poet's Voice: W.H. Auden. World-famous by the age of 23, Wystan Hugh Auden was a seminal poet in contemporary literature.  Urbane and witty, he was a master of form and the towering poetic figure for a generation. Hosted by Blair Brown.

2004: On this special episode of New Sounds, John Schaefer presents his annual, highly subjective, completely opinionated list of the ten best new-music releases of 2003. Some hints as to what made the cut that year: a Mardi Gras party record, a CD of short eerie songs, a percussion feast, a Greek singer, a British composer, and one or two guitarists for good measure.

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