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Air Warden Service

Wednesday, June 27, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

23rd in the series.


Bill Leonard introduces Mrs. Adelaide Healy, Special Assistant to the director of the director of the warden service of the state of New York state. Mrs. Healy talks about the warden service. More than half the wardens will be women, because men are usually away from the home during weekdays. A minimum of 400,000 wardens will be needed; 55,000 have been recruited so far.


Recruitment and training of those in warden service.


Leonard interviews Morriss Seamus (?), citywide director of information and training for the air warden service, about the air warden service. Women are particularly good as air wardens because they are available during the day and good with children. NYC requires a minimum of 250,000 wardens - one for every 500 persons. Answers questions sent in from listeners.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 71580
Municipal archives id: LT1833

Hosted by:

Bill Leonard

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About Plan For Survival

"Maybe you, maybe me.  Death and destruction ... Panic in the streets ..." Not a program for pre-bedtime listening, these recordings examine the impossibility of sufficiently preparing for nuclear winter.

With surprisingly calm moderators, the Plan for Survival series (1950-1951) goes beyond the usual "duck and cover" advisement and into the details of an A-bomb attack, fallout shelters, the Soviet threat, first aid, radiation sickness, and food and water supplies following a nuclear attack. Guests include civilians recounting their survival experiences in wartime, like the missile blitzes in England.

The show was transcribed for the Civil Defense Network, which "linked virtually every radio station in New York State and operates entirely by air. It can function even if regular radio lines are destroyed." Bill Leonard hosts with expert panelists, and most programs consist of a balance of speculation and civil information for New York State in general and New York City in particular.  Intended to be a public service announcement for a new nuclear age, the record of these programs now serves to add perspective to 21st century fears —from suffocating due to sinus congestion to bags left in the subway. It's clear -- death comes from above.

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