Leonard Marks

Wednesday, June 01, 1966

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

Victor Riesel opens with remarks, then introduces Leonard Marks, director of the United States Information Agency.

Marks discusses the state of press in the United States and abroad. He notes censorship in other countries and the policy of the United States to encourage freedom of the press.

He speaks about the United State's efforts to reach out to foreign nations. For example - young people sent to Russia to teach them about American culture, and an American magazine. 60,000 magazines are made available each year and are sold out within a year. Some newsagents rent the magazine rather than selling it.

Marks speaks at length of China and the dangers of a closed society. He contrasts China to Russia. In China the citizens cannot access any aspects of American culture.

He goes on to discuss United State's transparency in space exploration - admitting failures and holding off launches when human life was at risk.

Questions and answers follow.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72246
Municipal archives id: T3161


Leonard Marks and Victor Riesel


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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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