Harry Hershfield

Wednesday, July 07, 1954

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

Charles Bennett hosts.

Hershfield answers questions about his duties as toastmaster and experience with mayors.

Panelists: Maureen O'Neill, Ursula Mahoney, Robert Krauss, and Martin Birmingham.


James Walker was the NYC mayor with the best sense of humor. The current mayor, Mayor Wagner, has a wonderful form of ad lib. A story about meeting Soviet representatives with Mayor La Guardia at City Hall. La Guardia was murder on toastmasters because he never showed up on time and came up on stage whenever he wanted to - "And you can't give that warmed up soup again." Tells a story about Mayor La Guardia and Commissioner Valentine being stuck in a secret elevator in police headquarters. Story about Harold Hoffman. Comments on his Abie Kabibble comic strips. Al Smith's favorite of his stories.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72022
Municipal archives id: LT2989


Charles Bennett, Martin Birmingham, Harry Hershfield, Robert Krauss, Ursula Mahoney and Maureen O'Neill


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About Campus Press Conference

This is not your run-of-the-mill 'student conference.'

"For the answers to these and other questions..." Each Campus Press Conference (1951-1962) begins with a slew of questions from the student editors of New York City college newspapers, delivered with the controlled seriousness of a teenager on the radio for the first time. Despite their endearing greenness, the student editors pose sharp inquiries to guests from the fields of science, finance, culture, and politics. 

With the country on the cusp of radical cultural and political change, these recordings offer insight to student empowerment movements, flower power, and hippie culture – a time when the youth of America began to realize their tremendous impact and ability to shape their futures. The passion and curiosity of young people is heard through interviews with elected and appointed officials and experts.

Notable guests include Jackie Robinson, Joseph Papp, Averill Harriman, and Senator Jacob Javits.


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