This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
A review of WNYC's first 24 years (1924-1948). Item contains re-enactments and actualities from the old WNYC collection, including Grover Whalen's speech upon WNYC's inaugural broadcast, a performance of the Police Department Glee Club. Narrators describe how the first WNYC transmitter was brought to New York from South America. The note that WNYC hosted the first radio quiz show, and the longest running symphonic program, The Masterwork Hour.
Dedication of the Greenpoint transmitter, features speeches by NYC Commissioner of Plant and Structures Frederick Kracke and Mayor La Guardia.
Coverage of the 1939 World's Fair, followed by coverage of the out break of World War II, and the attack of Pearl Harbor. In 1941 WNYC was devoting 46% of all programming time to war programs. Mayor La Guardia reading the comics during the newspaper deliveryman's strike. Talk to the People won the Peabody Award for broadcasting this year.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 5766
Municipal archives id: LT7282
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Carol Cade W N Y C twenty five years of public service broadcasting the on. Larry. KING. Tonight we recreate the years gone by the years of an eight great study of a nation in the developing years of a radio station nearly a quarter century slice out of time the year that began in one thousand nine hundred four. Tonight we will try to bridge twenty four years in one radio program we will recall the spirit voices at the AS A that went between July eighth one hundred twenty four the day W. N.Y.C. began broadcasting and July eighth nineteen forty eight here not all if. This is the year by being twenty four year the governor Alfred E. Smith and of the founders if they have a president on the Democratic ticket you know that Henry Ford built his ten million simplicity of life a great road on wheels the year that one of America's great minstrel and little dogs that are died in New York it was my dream twenty four underlie a just twenty four years ago that the birth but not of the thin W.N. white the was lifted into the heart when the lower New York and the voice was heard saying. Today the city of New York takes its place in the thing the radio broadcasts mean it's been going so great in New York now present your host and chairman the animal broker a whale and. It is really great pleasure to launch this device of Najaf on to the I way there to join the Great in glowing attended a of bravery American channels of communication and radio broadcasting stands today as one of the most important educational media it would be pure negligence upon the part of the city that all of this avenue towards the instruction and enlightenment of the citizens it is but. Actually you call this region that I have asked the administration to create this radio station. And why see. All of the government first come up with the I'm not a cause greater noncommercial radio station W N Y C N burn the speaker of the honorable Grover a whale and introduce the mayor of the city of New York the late John F. highland the borough president of Queen of our president of Manhattan John balls of the little Jesse James company who sang for the glare lose the love of a budding theatrical troupe Vincent Lopez in his office to play dance music the new oik of the Metropolitan Opera Company sang and Rick Metro Gara led his band band the happiness boys did a novelty number one delete the famous radio singer of the early twenty's sang as did the police Glee Club locally the. MARY. The local. The girl. The. Home. Thing the with the. On the low. The with the wind. And for more than two hours the first broadcast by the point of New York continued on through the hot July evening by ten thirty it was already entered in the program Log Lady the gentleman the author of the episode the political figures on the newspaperman adjourned to the report repressed months on a garden party but only on the happy event was. A button on their follower which descended beautifully and steadily upon the celebrant gathered on the road W N Y's these first plant matter was a long kilowatt unit which had been specially built for old fashioned exposition in South America when the decision came to establish a radio station the transmitter was bought. Dismantled in South America and shipped piece by piece to the yacht I thought I'd be mighty odd I want to say that plenty on. Id say that's right all that white lies. Hair of the hotel riffing off a month he was tiptoeing through the tulips plenty of these were the years when radios were still called looking things with separate speakers most of them at three dollars would have to be delicately and precisely adjusted these were the years when W. N.Y.C. started to the radio world by allowing August to book form on the air without paying the station a fee for the privilege W N Y S The inaugurated the first ready or quiz program during the twenty by nineteen twenty eight W. N.Y.T. began radio's oldest recorded them funny program I must go by column. W N Y's they present the master work every morning at nine W one wise they will bring you the great masterworks of music as they're performed by the greatest orchestra as a musical organization we begin this first program of electrical recordings with the London again sweet Arctic coats and the symphony orchestra. The current not to wear a collar was a result of the kind that the now thought great lawyer whose name unfortunately has long been forgotten he left the things on his own collecting a record every morning he filled up at the studio with a batch of records and then dashed back to his own office on the post great to hear them played over W. N.Y.C. He was so delighted about being able to listen to the demonic music without having to step on his chair that. Thankfully on Monday he appeared with more music and returned every afternoon to pick them up finally an arrangement was made with the records up to lend the place in classical record and though the masterwork hour radio oldest son bought it program whether he would have enough music to carry on uninterrupted play but it's all kind unknown friend of listening it was the thanks for his labor of love. With the red line his report of the years of following the inauguration of robot Hoover as president of the United States the installation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as governor of the state of New York by nine hundred twenty nine W. N.Y.C. a science programs were reporting the first experiments with color television motion pictures were turning to sound and foreign programs over the voice of New York were debating whether or not sound movies would destroy the legitimate theatre nineteen twenty nine marked the end of America's high climb to wealth and the final reckoning slide into the dock days of the thirty's if close the books on the twenty's and everything that made them the wild and well they never to be forgotten here that they were already won nineteen thirty one was the year just time auditioned as the radio program of a double when the legitimate theater Eugene O'Neill was startling theatregoing audiences with his play Morning Becomes electric W N Y C S NEWSROOM reported the death of one of America's great show producers last night three three was the year in the beginning of the New Deal the first of a group of the alphabet agencies appeared the N.R.A. with its famous Blue Eagle the DVA in the C.C.C. on November seventh nineteen thirty three the authors elected for their mayor a man who was to become one of W. N.Y.C. most passionate supporters the late honorable would be around La Guardia from New York Wiley Post began his world circling flight and you're up there was sudden changes of power the next Corporal accepted control of Germany by nineteen thirty five W. N.Y.C. he was broadcasting from seven thirty A.M. to five forty five P.M. during the winter months in order to avoid interfering with the station and Minneapolis Minnesota in one thousand nine hundred eighty five the following notice appeared in double. N.Y.C. has little mimeographed masterwork. W N Y's has never sold a penny's worth of time the absence of unwelcome advertising chatter as gain favor with discriminating listeners unquote hundreds of advertising jingle quiz shows and give away programs were easily beneath the layout of radio's Pandora's Box the math the words at its very crude beginning. With an eight page mini a graph pamphlet the music to be heard over the masterwork every morning at nine. This was the year that W.N. be inaugurated a popular opera this was also the year that the clock Tomei bell of historic city hall began finding the correct time every hour on the hour and this is how it sounded then to New York. Well a century old chimes in historic city hall where more than six and a half million people live in peace and enjoy the benefits of democracy thirty thirty seven we began to carry more of the music comes abroad by the W.P.A. music project with also the year that W. N.Y.C. got its new plants and new studios the dedication of the transmitter and Studios was made by Mayor the brought the. Plant instructors under whose wing the thanks and operated. It isn't. The building I've never been. All relentlessly. From. The field of. The law. And. Nothing high. Another. Still a proud. Record. One. Commission a cracker he went on talking about New York songs they can and then introduce the mayor of the city of New York's La. Guardia. Right. Gentlemen. It is a very gratifying. That. The new hire station guard W O N Y C. That's a hint that we are and why say there's municipal a our own I mean this appalling OPERATOR Yes and it alone is New York's own state. As commissioner craggy stated. Wave found their station in the sauna a dilapidated condition now physically and morally. And we have sought to build that. Last Sunday we opened the new. Broadcasting rooms in the municipal building. Constructed. A medium W.P.A. in cooperation with to the province plan. A beautifully well appointed room with all the necessary and up to date. For our broadcast today this is the power station commissioner stated it is right up to the last minute. The microarray system which is installed is the only one in the country and I think the only one which would be in use outside the Vatican it is so new now so much for all the equipment I want to add of course that this was possible through the medium of W.P. a federal Works Progress Administration. Unemployment labor and the cooperation I'll be engineering staff of the province plans and structures and I am very happy you'll be able to come here and dedicated and Pete McGinnis is garden spot. I'm sorry Pete is here today because I know he'd love to see it. Already getting here I'm informed that Pete inspected it and approved it and gave it says OK that's fine now now all right. Thirty seven was the year that the discussion began over W I N Y Z W N. During the summer of one. Thirty seven the station embarked upon a and ambitious and comprehensive musical series with the most pick up points scattered throughout the park from stadiums thirty eight we saw during broadcast of the city council meeting this was the first gavel to gavel broadcast of a major legislative body bringing to New York's millions of citizens the word by word report of all proceedings and deliberations New Yorkers will turn to the city council broadcast heard exciting such events which may or may not have summed up as a lot of bunk. These men that went into those the problems on the civil diet with data rate of pay. And I think that that said just a lot of noise and talk to cover all together. The fact that they've made in that there's a difference a pop in to not living up to their. Lives maybe and here's an economy. Now. We're not allowed to increase this but you know what we allowed to increase the capital outlay budget. That way they did at that time the doc around four hundred thousand dollars. And when it was sent back to the mare. The marinated let's put it back in the back. And otherwise I'd say it was part of the cash that happened on. I'm not and. I'm not a pay to criticize American product but I think at the different apartments. On the other members a stated and reduced it without affecting any of the employees. So I don't. CARE what the living record of New York City is on legislators and such as getting on the business of governing one of the world's largest city in one hundred thirty eight W. N.Y.C. began operating under the direct supervision of the mayor in one hundred thirty eight W. N.Y.C. staff and crew. Joe hassle and Sigmund state the old June detective in New York preparations were being made for the New York World's Fair Flushing Meadows while New York was nothing but the wild fair and one time grow up are all about growing the planet. Nineteen thirty nine with the art of international seesawing between Russia and peace but the bulk of one hundred thirty nine was peaceful I W N Y C was reporting New York City's World Fair from the opening date to let's last final musical salute to the participating nations of the rumblings from Europe became more and more charged with violence and then on September first nineteen thirty nine that's all began a law that was to end with a sudden blinding atomic flash over a city in Honshu Japan nearly six years later on September third nineteen thirty nine a world famous voice called good calm and a little tired was heard over the my countryman and mine brought him. Right my fingerboard with the love of America. This morning. I had hoped that America would prevent a devastating run. And bring to an end the invasion poem by drowning. Along. The second act. And cons. Of the end. And have breath. Bring on the conflict with the day happily bang what is right that I could recall the mind reconsider and the time the. Government in the. Brother of the furthering of the United States. In spite of ready to. I have every right and every reason to maintain as a national policy the fundamental morality that the teachings of religion. About. Because some. Of the time I may be a really. Great help. That is right point out that they are. Without. Based on the you. Fred. And it seems to me we've been looking at this right. Now the influence of America. In thinking. Finally. With little in the way. Let's continue. With we need the rest is history I mean. In one thousand nine hundred eighty W. N.Y.C. began to broadcast the first of the concept programs by members of the School of new. Forty one W. N.Y.C. made a slight shift on the dial setting eight hundred thirty killer but more than a radio station shifted its position in one nine hundred forty one the entire world with grown out of its position landowning an intermission news broadcast of the Brooklyn Museum con that on Sunday December seventh one thousand nine hundred eighty one W. N.Y.C. has announced that I'm Bob or else the unhappy distinction of being the first radio announcer to read the following news over the air Washington the White House announces that the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor the words were read into the microphone at twenty five minutes thirty seconds after two o'clock that faith both Sunday afternoon from that moment on W. N.Y.C. began a long time schedule of programs that would go into the homes of seven and one half million New Yorkers book fifteen hours a day three hundred sixty five days a year for a full years later that same day December seventh one thousand nine hundred eighty one made in the grotto took to the air for the first of its famous wartime talks to the people I have just made an announcement. To the people of the city of Najaf and at the request. Of the states and now. I am reading. That amount of Iraq through and through. All the people are today. That as really necessary regards Mary mega. As Ben I think and by the various apartments are your city. I have just finished a conference. With them as an emergency bride. And first thing I've been probably a mason or a bag of Magna about a Mason. And public works. Right and I had never brought then main. Or just such an emergency. I know that we had to do. Was the brought the land in to operate. I want to run the people out this city. That we are in and it's green right that. Anyone familiar with world conditions. Will know. That the Napthine Government. Is masterminding. Japanese about that. And the actions taken by the Japanese government. The fact they know. It was carrying out that now no matter the fact. I've known a guy buys a private. Sorrow that is no doubt. That the bogs and gangs that are. Now confirming that not the government. Are responsibly. And have guided. The Japanese government. In the attack. On American Idol talent. And yet back on the Philippines. Island. But I have thought. I. Want to run the people out this city and on the Atlantic coast. That we must not and cannot. Feel secure I added sure right. Because we are on the Atlantic coast. And the activities. Of the Pfaff the known have taken place in the pathetic. We left me a bad rock anything at any time it was these war time talks to the people which were to bring W. N.Y.C. is listening audience well over the two million mark two days later on December ninth one hundred forty one again the voice of a man the nation knew and love was very My fellow Americans. The sudden running of the acts of the breaded by the Japanese in the Pacific provide the climax of a decade of infamous no immorality. Gangs doesn't banded together to make more of them of what human race. That trial and has not been long but the United States of America the Japanese approach blame violated the longstanding peace between many American soldiers and sailors of have been killed by enemy act. American ships have been sunk American app planes have been destroyed the Congress and the people of the United States have accepted that traveling together with all the pretty people as we are now fighting to maintain our right to live among a road made in freedom and common decency without fear of assault I have prepared before record to bypass relations with Japan and it will be submitted to the Congress it begins with the visit of Qana top Perry to Japan eighty eight years ago it ends with a bit of Japanese emissaries to the secretary of state last Sunday and now I ask the Japanese bosses lose the bombs and machine guns against off black boxes and the set of no honest lessons a day or a thousand E.S.P.N. will be able to suppress a sense of indignation I'm alright. A predatory committed by the military dictators a bat under the very center of the flag and he's gone by the ass and by in a minute well before the war started the W. N.Y.C. was engaged in a program of defense and preparedness broadcast before December seventh one thousand nine hundred eighty one W. N.Y.C. was devoting forty six percent of all its radio time to such programs W. N.Y.C. broadcast daily programs of instruction and information for the more than four hundred thousand members of the every one service in New York Air Raid Wardens even had a quiz show it was called on the older W N Y C This red fire at every evening during weekdays to broadcast the fire department emergency auxiliary corridors of the day one of W. N.Y.C. projects was the drive to collect scrap metal here was a progress report made in one thousand nine hundred two one of great American citizen to another. It Right there I like the first part of sanitation. And where do I get. I'm. Proud of. That. My cat back going to get me to the city. Where even given I see to the surprise. I get back by. I was only a kid but the man you don't know what a time I've had getting that stuff I called in on one housewife when I write oh what about Joy I told her what a collecting old metal box. Move broke in color green and things like that well she didn't get it so I said Look Madam I'm to got anything in our house that that doesn't work and I placed back in the book we found the make up back Roman points was bad when I fired three but my brother Mark it as a take it hasn't worked in twenty years. In that he was. One of America's greatest entertainers these were two of America's great heroes and they were giving generously for the thing they both love the United States of America finally ending and sang. Songs of times before for hundreds of benefits and. The Great Spirit that had made him one of America's best. Know your voices they along with millions of their fellow Americans and New Yorkers gave unselfishly to a hundred different causes and projects connected with winning the. Right in the necessary. Microphones. The Department of Health of the city of New York and all the news as accurate and complete as possible in addition to news reports based on the Press Association study report W. N.Y.C. brought its listeners eyewitness reports from the battlefields of the British Broadcasting Corporation a newspaper delivery drivers strike that left New York stranded without the morning paper and they get days without the comics that was one New Yorker. I knew what it meant to children and he spoke about it over their children I know you're all disappointed today that you didn't get the funding so gathered around. About today and. Every afternoon I want you to fix the time and don't tell me that you haven't got time on the program because but something programs are not so hard now so you can always find some space now. Every day as long as the papers are not being delivered the findings. Are you find someone who like the funniest and who can describe them and if you can find anybody else. To do it now I want something like this. You remember. When the garden was staffed well the first picture shows the god now on the floor. Meeting. And then there's a cut off picture of the place a uniformed police officer. Is with Mrs bang who's leaning on her knee and that's just a reminder as it happened today then I think precinct is here and he's calling the names that. God knows he's on the floor and Mrs Moon is alongside. And he said. The two missing. Main needs. Circumstances seem to us that must be. And then within that but Jeff is there anything where there's spying has been profiled at talking to a Mrs I was and it was said that maybe even the one was the one whose names the modem that I was only tuned and then the outside the bad news and I was I can't imagine breathless that's the meddling in another life and then calmly returning to the White House but we've got the binder and not by switching the plates Now you remember and that was an ad and taking a job as an aide with wooden laundry in the laundry wagon remember well then the next big thing is the longer bag it's a throwback to the live things. Back then I have bad or. Wrong when we see the inside of the laundry in the wagon with the laundry bag and the bread with is among among the bags in and suddenly there's a map and I think and poses adult. Breath let's take the money out there at the top that you didn't and you said look it's just what I mean I can't spend the money on the goggles roasting pan doing it OK I would have taken all the money in the pillow and then the next if it gets in the long wagon just comfortably driving along and all of our. Must be something we don't know about. And spilling all over the place there with the laundry bag is the old pop open and the money is all over the lot the lot. And you can see I live. Right to the people right to blacklist. Dawn act of. Mango in my song and call me rough I have never picked up. The money that. Was. Just how long have you been have I been following you around my. Own. What happens tomorrow. We'll let you know. So you. Ought to. Be around it's the bloody i kept his word over W. N.Y.C. He began to read the comics to the children his action hit every front page and touched every heart in America and from that he was just this was the year that the facts to the people receive the coveted Peabody Award at a special citation from Variety the magazine of people in radio. W N Y C S seventh Annual American music festival was another here on American music again with our objective to provide a sounding board for talented young American musicians to glad a hearing on performance to any meritorious compositions of native composer and promote the cause of American classical music to interest the public in the appreciation of good American music toward those eleven days between Lincoln's birthday and Washington's Birthday were set aside each year over one hundred and fifty music programs devoted to American compositions twelve free public concerts attended by over twenty five thousand people a year just gone by many development W N Y C S F M out that was being expanded and. One thousand watt F.M. transmitter would be giving New Yorkers High Fidelity transmission one hundred forty seven also saw the inauguration of two programs which were later to win prizes at Ohio State University's Institute for Education by radio with a gun and it was one of these programs or an example of the kind of commentary that brought David Randolph a first award here is a sample of what is probably the most developed to our music program in American radio but even. Just as in many other arts music very often takes as its starting point the natural phenomena that we find around us possibly because music is imagine to have something in common with water in its fluidity and because it can be thought of in terms of surging waves composers of often written music that is connected with the city as evenings program might be called Water Music and it will deal entirely with music written about that subject in one form or another but it will not include handled Water Music there is one overture by Mendelssohn that's very seldom played and it has to do with the sea it's the work it's the called calm sea and prosperous voyage Mendelssohn tried to convey to impressions in this work corresponding to the two extremes states in which he saw the sea and one of his letters he wrote Sometimes the ocean is wild and furious and sometimes it lies as smooth as a mirror both of those states are reflected in the music. Mendelssohn was more successful in his musical dealings with the ocean than he was in his real life contact with it some time after he wrote the overt your you made a rough voyage to London by water and from the letters that he wrote home we get the impression that Mendelssohn was not exactly the world's best sailor these are his own words I passed from one swing to another I like his use of that delicate words won't let you know exactly what he meant anyway he says I passed him once when to another merely out of the station with myself and everything on board the steamer bitterly hating England and especially my comms the overture another phase of the thirty station programming on one hundred forty seven was radio for the children just a few rules OK adventure. Spin Room and all things sensational just good fun for children at a level which they can appreciate it most are an example of what we mean here is a small piece of the Saturday morning children's story fair. Now. That's right up right this way it was my greatest now sensational educational show on earth save the dream share the story of an offer out by music maestro about talking monkey The Wizard of a story about that during a general I don't know stuff about the direct action hero kind of part of it so everybody stepped right up but that was about this not. One of the most dramatic campaigns of one thousand nine hundred seven hundred about a string of common box cars a train covered by the goodwill of all Americans when the friendship food drain came to New York mayor William of The Wire welcomed it with these words that isn't just a month today a claim of common box cars filled with hope will head across the country from Los Angeles. This train carries life giving food for the people of France and Italy every pound of which has been contributed by Americans. Because of the train the locomotive that pulls them and that. As this friendship through drain passes through our cities and towns there will be more food waiting at each of them of those who needed to survive the winter. This train operates on hot power. It is an expression of the neighborliness of Americans. And it will keep a lot of hearts beating in Europe. It is the hope of those whose humanity prompted them to fill the train that a ship load of food can leave New York in time to reach Italy on Christmas Day and that another will arrive in France as a new year dawns. We like all of you intend to donate all of flour all macaroni and spaghetti all the sugar dried peas and beans and evaporated milk that we can possibly spare to go aboard the friendship food train. I have mentioned specific foods it is important to keep these in mind because shipping requirements and food needs are such that these are the items that will serve them best. Here in New York City and throughout the country. Special citizen committees are working to help you help the friendship train also in nineteen forty seven New York City chief executive what about liars but before I've been a breath just about the ordinary governor on October twenty fifth it was in his speech that he very clearly outlined the functions and importance of W. N.Y.C. to the city and to the people of the city of New York here are some of the things he's that when he spoke of New York as the capital of the world what we the citizens of New York City say and do here reach is our brain not going to cranny of the world by every means of communication. The representatives of fifty seven nations have come here to sit in the Parliament of the people. They observe everything we don't they absorb everything we say to them a New York City represents a living American these visitors one US judge our music our art our literature art our theaters by what they see and hear in our city. I'm especially proud of the contribution which our municipal radio station document my city has made. It's bringing to the people the metropolitan area comprising the population of about sixteen million people the best in musical and dramatic programs. It is rendering an outstanding public service in reporting the day to day proceedings of the United Nations as well as many other important problems which are discussed over these facilities. I know that. Our people are hard working but nevertheless. They still have a yearning for the fullest the valid points about cultural like. Our museums our libraries and our other cultural institutions are constantly visited and utilized by our own people apart from the thousands of visitors from other places who take advantage of our cultural results. The piece called character of the relations which exist in this is the dream the peoples of all religions June Christian Hamilton all races. That stand as an example. And approach. To the representatives of the fifty seven nations one now meeting at Flushing Meadows that it can be done of either there is president. The willingness to work together with. A New York City on station health dollars that is celebrating its golden anniversary I spotted the celebration so far this year was the city station's coverage of the six hour parade down Fifth Avenue a dramatic salute a New York at work contrast in New York of eighteen ninety eight and nine hundred forty eight still to come this year is the I don't live there exposition and the grand central palace got an anniversary exposition also in nineteen forty eight a presidential year W. N.Y.C. was bringing its listeners a full gavel to gavel coverage of both major political nominating conventions most dramatic of all W. and Y. sees coverage of events of the broadcast of the General Assembly debate over Palestine at six o'clock on May fourteenth one thousand forty eight the British Mandate over Palestine expired up until the deadline of six P.M. New York time the debate raged then in a few short instance the entire Palestine situation changed from deadlock to a better company for a record of those people a few moments here is what W. When I say lesson is heard the evening of May fourteenth nineteen forty eight just before and after six o'clock when you. Became president you don't think we are looking at you and you go so when you start talks how come you're not. A lot of I knew bunching to bring you especially President Reagan has announced that the United States will recognize the newly created government of Israel the president made his statement to the surprise press conference just a few moments ago now we continue with our program from the U.N. General Assembly to come and some of the same sort of thing. So you. Can also comment on the peace treaty. Premade I mean that they make equal. Yes. Yes. And. Let me end by gentle preamble. Where. The mouth is on the Mexican amendments on page document you see one can any. Of that it is very important not that you consider the part we proceed. To tell you is what minute I think indeed I think it is to me the United States delegate when he came to this rostrum declare that if by six o'clock we cannot live in to any conclusion the whole game is up and I hope that you will Mr President to get out there would really be time to. One footnote to history if you please those dramatic few moments when a nation was born and received the I'm f