"Alert America" Exhibit Opening Ceremony

Wednesday, May 14, 1952

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

Opens abruptly with end of song. Grover Whalen opens the event with a short speech about the Democratic way of life, the threat of communism and the "Alert America" Exhibit. He thanks the many carpenters, engineers, architects and all others who contributed to the design and installation of the exhibit.
He then introduces Dr. John R. Dunning, Dean of the School of Engineering at Columbia University who worked on the Manhattan Project. Dunning speaks of the period after the second world war, the creation of nuclear weapons, and the importance of civil defense. He assures the audience that through military (and nuclear) strength it would not be worth it to the enemy to pursue World War III. H emphasizes the importance of every man, woman, and child taking part in civil defense.

Next, Whalen introduces Brandan Byrne of the Valley Forge Foundation. He reiterates the new post-Hiroshima world we are now living in and the duty of every man, woman, and child not in uniform to contribute to the civil defense effort.

Next, Director of Civil Defense Arthur W. Wallander is welcomed to the stage. He pays tribute to Grover Whalen for the ceremony. He discusses the role of local government in protecting the people of the community. Wallander thanks the Mayor for sparing no expense in the civil defense effort. He closes with the slogan "If we are attacked we fight back!"

Finally, Mayor Impellitteri speaks. He expresses his thanks to Wallander to setting up the New York City Civil Defense organization and to Grover Whalen for arousing public interest in this vital community undertaking.

Closes with WNYC reporter.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71753
Municipal archives id: LT1855


John R. Dunning, Vincent R. Impellitteri, Arthur W. Wallander and Grover A. Whalen


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This collection includes some unique “slice-of-life” productions that provide a telling portrait of America from the 1940s through the 1950s, such as public service announcements regarding everything from water conservation to traffic safety and juvenile delinquency and radio dramas such as "The Trouble Makers" and "Hate, Incorporated."



Supported by