May 17, 1942

Sunday, May 17, 1942

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

Am An American Day gathering today in Central Park. We are at war. Dim-out regulations for buildings and signs and outdoor lighting. NYC is cooperating otherwise, just let me know.

It would be amusing if it wasn't so starling. The police cleaned up the pinball racket. Would you believe it, since that cleanup, a new crop of those machines have appeared on the scene. We will continue to pick them up. Sites specific machines they have performed autopsy's on. Steel, brass, and aluminum in the machines and not going to the war effort but in gambling machines. Only a few days ago, NYC was denied that ability to buy brass buttons for police uniforms. Almost unbelievable. They're trying to get kids to play the machines. Have a return of 90 cents an hour! Larceny. All citizens must cooperate in eliminating this gambling.

Mayor La Guardia then goes on to talk about helmets and machine guns firing at planes above the city. What goes up must come down. Air wardens and police must be protected with helmets. We were promised helmets by the Federal Government. We ordered 22,000. 3,000 have been delivered. But we can't get them. Order limits us to give them to the police only. Asks Feds to let him give helmets to air raid wardens. Cuts off. Incomplete.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71285
Municipal archives id: LT3987


Fiorello H. La Guardia


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About Talk to the People

The famous Sunday afternoon talks by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, “the people’s mayor.”

Mayor La Guardia’s talks have become one of WNYC's iconic broadcastings. In these original radio chats (1942-1945) from his desk at City Hall, he discussed daily food prices, condemned gambling, and admonished wayward schoolboys, politicians, and gangsters alike. Mayor La Guardia also used this address to rally New Yorkers to the war effort and press forward on his agenda, taking breaks to digress on music, the news, and whatever crossed his path during the preceding week. The program won the 1944 Peabody Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Local Station.

These recordings, made during World War II, include the two iconic readings of the comics (only two of three were ever recorded) during the newspaper deliverymen’s strike of July 1945.

The famous Sunday afternoon talks by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, “the people’s mayor.”


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