This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Civilian Defense preparations; Formation of NYC guard patrol. Final C.D. announcement repeated in Italian, German.
Announcements: Police Commissioner Valentine's Messenger Corps in the Air Raid Warden service. Boys are asked to volunteer, with parents' permission. Formation of city guard, list of duties. Planned protection by police department. Blackout of traffic lights. Citizens Defense Volunteer Committee. Lessons learned from bombing in England regarding the citizens' needs in an air attack. City's specific plans. A letter from an Armenian immigrant offering $25 to help with the defense effort. On war time tomorrow morning; set clocks one hour ahead. Scholarships for Central and South American students sponsored by NYC. Updates on his position as US Director of Civilian Defense, which ends next week. Registration of Italian, German, and Japanese aliens with US Department of Justice. Announcement in Italian and German.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70969
Municipal archives id: LT3972
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For Immediate Release Sunday, February 8, 1942
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR CITY OF NEW YORK
Text of the Mayor's Sunday broadcast "to the people of the City of New York" from his office in City Hall, February 8, 1942. Broadcast over W.N.Y.C., 12:00 to 12:30 P.M.
"Patience and fortitude.
Police Commissioner Valentine has established a Messenger Corps in the Air Raid Warden Service. Boys from 16 to 20 are wanted for messenger service to operate with air raid wardens during an attack. Bright, alert boys with the consent of their parents may present themselves at any police precinct station house and obtain on application blank.
Commissioner Valentine announces that he has proceeded with the streamlining of the air raid warden service. Those who do not understand their duties, or who are unable to interpret or carry out orders or those who have joined for the purpose of exploiting the air raid warden service, those who for physical reasons find their duties too arduous will be dropped and a reserve will be established to fill in the ranks as vacancies occur.
I want to take this opportunity of announcing the formation of a City Guard Regiment. This regiment will be composed of volunteers. Officers who have had military service, men who preferably have had military service will be enlisted. The duties will consist of guard duties in New York City, the guarding of sensitive points. This is purely a volunteer regiment. There will be an initiation fee to join the regiment, and small monthly dues for the company expenses. The Mayor has had the advice and counsel of such distinguished citizens as General George A. Wingate, General Bryer H. Pendry, Colonel Frank Stoddard, Captain Colgate Hoyt, Commander Alvin S. Mola of the American Legion, Major James N. Mac Lean and Commander Joseph Aimoo of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and officers of the United States Army.
Headquarters have been established at 300 Mulberry Street. Men who have had experience in command, line officers, should apply direct to 300 Mulberry Street or write to me.
The Police inform me we got many inquiries concerning plant protection. That is the protection of apartment houses, office buildings, and factories. The police department will provide the necessary information and instructions. I want to repeat that every building should provide its own instructional personnel and also provide itself with the necessary emergency fire fighting equipment. Mr. Richard Lawrence is the Chairman of the Special Committee on the Protection of Plants and Factories. He may be reached at the City Defense Council. Seven Control and Report Centers are in the course of preparation at this time. One in Richmond, one in Brooklyn, West, another in Brooklyn, East, one in Queens, one in Manhattan West another Manhattan East, and the seventh in the Bronx. These Control and Report Centers will be equipped with every possible means of communication and will be the center, as the name indicates, of all information coming in and orders going out in the event of a raid. To give you an idea how these are equipped for communications, on telephones alone 224 direct wires will be installed in those seven stations.
The black out of traffic lights seems to be progressing satisfactorily. We have two different types with which we are experimenting at this time. I'm happy to announce that Mr. James G, Blaine, has accepted the chairmanship of the Citizen's Defense Volunteer Committee. This will be the city-wide committee, as I have already announced there is a Citizen’s Defense Volunteer Committee in each borough. Mr. Blaine will become the Chairman of the Greater New York Defense Volunteer Committee and this committee will have charge of all defense activities except, of course, the duties under Police and Fire Departments in the event of air raids. Now, with respect to air raids, of course, the Citizen’s Defense Volunteer Committee will serve under the Police and Fire Departments, and perform such duties as those authorities may call upon it. And it is indeed encouraging that we were able to obtain the services of Mr. James G. Blaine. Mrs. Winthrop W. Aldrich will continue to serve as the city-wide vice-chairman of this committee.
I had a very interesting time in Washington Friday, in reference to priorities for necessary supplies and equipment for the maintenance and operation of city departments. We had been experiencing some delays in getting the clearances. Mr. Nelson has established (it was announced today) a separate bureau for government - that is, state and municipal requirements, and we hope, in that way, that we will be able to expedite the clearance of priorities, so that cities may obtain the necessary supplies, such as supplies for the Water Department, Hospitals, Health, Police, Fire, Sanitation.
I have given a good deal of thought to the care of civilians in case of enemy attack on those shores. The experience in England shows that in case of bombing, many more people will need information, temporary shelter, and kindly assistance, than will require medical or hospital care. Now we have worked out very close cooperation between the Department of Welfare and the American Red Cross. The Red Cross will equip and maintain one or more rest centers in every Police Precinct. Here people may come for food, shelter, and clothing, during and immediately after an air attack. All of this, of course, you understand, is all precautionary, and all prepared to be ready in the event of need. We have already provided, as I have informed you, for complete medical and hospital care.
In the meantime, I've asked Commissioner Hodson of the Welfare Department, to act as emergency welfare administrator, and to use the full resources of the Department of Welfare, in providing small cash allowances for the victims of bombing and to help all such families get back on their feet by providing rooms or apartments for them, and by providing clothing and other necessities. The Department of Welfare will also provide for mass feeding whenever necessary though its present facilities and with the cooperation of restaurants throughout the city. Information will be available to all persons asking what help and assistance can be given them, and we will have a complete registration system, so that families that have become lost or separated may be reunited. I want to express my appreciation for the way in which the American Red Cross and private agencies have cooperated with the city through the Department of Welfare, and I want also to acknowledge the way in which organized labor has generously offered its service; the food handlers, truckmen, the culinary workers, and every other group of workers have come forward in fine spirit. They're all ready to serve and I shall call upon them when necessary.
"I had a very pleasant visit this week - a delegation of the Newspaper Guild called on me, and offered their services. They offered to work after their regular hours in helping make copy, rewrite instructions, and data, and for the voluntary participation committee, and I want to express my appreciation -I've informed Commissioner Joo Lilly, who is Public Relations Man, for the Voluntary Participation Committee, of their office and I'm quite sure he will avail himself of this help and cooperation.
"Now, here’s an interesting letter I received, it’s addressed to me and it reads - 'I am an Armenian by birth and a naturalized citizen of the United States. Have been living in America for over 30 years, and have been permanently employed by the Pennsylvania R.R. Co. as an ordinary worker. I, and my family have enjoyed the liberty and all advantages that our country has given. It is my strong and sincere belief that every individual should do his or her own share for the defense and welfare of our country. I, therefore, enclose a check for $25, which comes from my modest salary, and I am very happy that I can bring my contribution for our defense in this time of national emergency.' Signed Joseph K. Kolino.
Thank you, Mr. Kolino. Now you know what I did with your $25. - well, I just took that $25, and sent it to Uncle Sam, and what do you suppose Uncle Sam did. He just told his nephew, our Albert Goldman, the Postmaster here in New York, and Al sent you, Mr. Kolino, a defense bond for $25. So, Mr. Kolino, you’ve helped Uncle Sam by your contribution of $25., and Uncle Sam has sent you the bond for $25. Thank you very much. You're an inspiration and an example.
Before I forget it, I just want to remind you that we go on War Time tomorrow morning, so when you go to bed tonight, be sure and set your clock one hour ahead. Now look here, all you boys and girls who work for the City of New York, be on time tomorrow! You’ll get away with one excuse, but that'll be about all.
Here's a happy announcement I'd like to make. Last October, I had the pleasure of announcing a plan for scholarships for Central and South American students, sponsored by New York City, with the cooperation of leading business firms of this city, and the coordinator of Latin American Affairs, Mr. Nelson Rockefeller. Well, all the preparatory work has been completed, and I want to now express grateful appreciation to W.R. Grace Co., International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, United Fruit Co., and the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey. Each of these firms sponsored two scholarships. The following firms have each sponsored one scholarship: R. K. Macy & Co., the Fair Co., Inc., the Texas Co., International Business Machines Corporation, the United States Stock Export Co., Chase National Bank, Pan-American Airways, American Chisle Company, Corn Products Refining Co., Moore-McCormick Lines, Aluminum Co. of America, E. R. Squibb & Sons, and the Sperry-Gyroscope Co., and the firm of Anderson Plating & Plumbing has contributed towards the administrative expense.
These scholarships have been established with the aim of strengthening the cultural ties between the people of the American lands and bringing them more closely together in friendship and loyalty to common ideals. In other words, we want our Latin-American neighbors to know us as we work and live, and we hope to learn much from them when they come here. A group of 20 or 25 students is being selected now by the scholarship committee. An announcement of the winners will be made by radio, and perhaps in the press, this month. The students will arrive in New York City, sometime during the month of March. I hope we do not have difficulty in transportation.
The 20 or 25 will be selected from 400 applicants. It is hoped that each Central and South American country will be represented. Each scholarship includes transportation from Latin America to New York City and return. Board and lodging at the International House for approximately one year. Free tuition in schools and colleges in the City of New York, access to educational opportunities of the City Departments and Institutions, as well as practice work for some in the firms of our industrial sponsors, and each student will be protected by life insurance with health and accident clause. So, if there is no delay in transportation, we will welcome the young students in New York the latter part of March.
Commissioner Valentine announces the established television courses for Air Raid Wardens. Arrangements have been made with the National Broadcasting Co. to utilize television for training air raid wardens. I want to take this opportunity of sending thanks to Mr. David Sarnoff. I'm sure he thought of this and made it possible. We are going to install a television receiver in each precinct station house, so that the visual instruction may be given to the air raid wardens in each of the station houses. Thank you, David Sarnoff. You're sure doing fine work and plenty of it.
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