Poor Little Annie!

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Friday, September 01, 2006

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.

Why should the children suffer, he asked, because of "a squabble among grown-ups?"

La Guardia performed the feature only three times on his weekly radio show, "Talk to the People," but most everyone living in the metro area at that time recalls his enthusiastic vocal impressions. Comedians soon took over the act and "Comic Parade" became a regular series on WNYC until the newspaper trucks started rolling again.

In this recording from July 15, 1945, Little Orphan Annie is on trial for murder. For the benefit of his young listeners, La Guardia deciphers the civics lesson therein.

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