Awards Dinner

Friday, May 31, 1957

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

Unnamed speaker (Ogden Reid?) introduces Wayne Richardson, President of the Overseas Press Club. Richardson introduces John Howard Peck, who accepts the award of lifetime honorary membership to Winston Churchill.

Observance of those nominated for awards, medallions given to honorees.

Bob Considine takes over MC duties and introduces Jerome Hines, who sings briefly. Chairman of the Awards committee, Larry Newman, presents the citation awards for reporting. Odgen Reid accepts Barrett McGurn's award on his behalf and speaks briefly about McGurn's trip to Egypt and his expulsion from the country. Then, by short-wave radio, McGurn accepts his award.

Newman introduces Irving Levine, who talks about his reporting in Moscow.

Newman introduces Jerry Schwartzkopf, who receives an award for photojournalism. He thanks his colleagues still in Hungary covering the Revolution. Awards to, Cecil Brown, who receives an award for his reporting in the Suez, Flora Lewis, who receives an award for foreign affairs newspaper reporting, the staff of Sports Illustrated, who won an award for reporting the Olympic Games.

Presentation of the Presidents Award by Wayne Richardson: Andre Martin, an Hungarian national, wins for --. During his acceptance speech, he acknowledges the deaths of Hungarians in the Revolution.

The George Pope Memorial Award is given to Russ Jones for reporting in Budapest.

Bob Considine speaks briefly about correspondents honored in the OPC memorial room. A clip from "Night-Beat," featuring Mike Wallace, is played.

Wayne Richardson introduces John Kennedy, who delivers the main speech of the evening. Kennedy talks about 19th century foreign correspondents Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, their bitterness toward the New York Tribune because of its poor pay, and Marx's claims of being exploited by his publisher and managing editor. JFK jokes about the results of this disaffection being with us today in the form of communism. But what would Marx say about the exploitation of the people by the Soviet empire? JFK tells strange story about the 19th century duel between Senators Henry Clay and John Randolph as an analogy between the current Democrats and the Secretary of State. Goes on to describe the difficult situation in Poland. Polish people want an anti-Stalinist regime. We have trained objective observers in Poland. Journalists. Unthinkable that we can't get such reports from inside Communist China. I do not believe we can have a curtain of silence between us and one quarter of the world. Refusal to recognize diplomatically is one thing. Pretending they're not there is something else. Back to Poland. Trade. It is a source of regret to me that the State Department is not more affirmative toward a new government in Poland in terms of trade. The Gomoca government. It's a risk, but we need to meet them half way. We don't want to encourage the Polish Stalinists. Other satellites are watching. If we provide a demonstration of our good will we could - in so many words - have a domino effect in Eastern Europe. What he calls "infectious independence". I suggest to you there are more shades of gray than are evident. We are on the defensive in the middle-east. Communists exploit the problems in the middle-east. Quotes from Alastair Cook's book "One Man's America." Talks of journalists lighting the way for all to see.

Reid (?) concludes the program by introducing Cecil Brown

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 8437


Bob Considine, Jerome Hines, Russell Jones, John F. Kennedy, Irving Levine, Barrett McGurn, Larry Newman, John Howard Peck, Ogden R. Reid, Wayne Richardson and Mike Wallace


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About Overseas Press Club

Comprised of both speeches and question-answer sessions, this news program brings together foreign correspondents and public figures from culture and politics.

The Overseas Press Club (1940-1967) contains voices from the past that help us understand their time and place in history. What sets these talks apart from others like them is the presence of a live audience of foreign correspondents — reporters with international perspectives and questions. The resulting sessions have a distinctly different dynamic than would those with an audience of American journalists of the period.

Speakers include the German writer Günter Grass talking about his fascination with American prize fighters; a fiery young LeRoi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka) telling his audience "where it’s at with Mr. Charlie"; James Farmer on the civil rights movement and where it should be going; David Halberstam on the trials of covering the war in Vietnam; Josephine Baker on the focus of her later years, her adopted children; and Herman Kahn on being pushed to the nuclear edge.  Other notable speakers include the actor Alec Guinness, Richard Nixon, and a gaggle of early female pilots competing in the air race known as the Angel Derby. 

With presentations ranging from rambunctious and spirited to contentious and political, this collection provides invaluable access to the language and nomenclature of America's burgeoning global culture.


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