New York Advances

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The 1939 edition of New York Advancing, the La Guardia Administration's print chronicle of achievements for the previous year.

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

A series of re-enactments summarizing of the activities of the city government during the past year (1938) by the mayor.

Performance of "Old New York." Mayor La Guardia receives the oath of office, then gives a short Happy New Year speech.

Department of Education: Johanna M. Lindlof, a member of New York's Board of Education, discusses the democratic nature of the department. Short re-enactments of the establishment of, in 1633, the first public school; in 1784, the University of the State of New York; in 1849, free schools throughout the state; and in 1938, the Central High School of Needle Trades. A fictional high school graduate, Richard Green, is profiled as he struggles to find employment, as an example of the importance of vocational training.

Department of Hospitals: Dr. Abner S. Watson, a veteran doctor in New York, talks about treating children and the work of the city in the field of pediatrics. Re-enactment of a nurse with the Health Service discussing treatment of Tuberculosis and malnourishment and the help available to families from the Welfare department. Another re-enactment of a small child who can receive medical treatment in New York because of new treatment centers around town for Tuberculosis. Also, the development of blood banks is illustrated through the story of a doctor searching for blood for a critical patient and the brother of a patient who donates to the blood bank. Dr. S. S. Goldwater, Commissioner of Hospitals, discusses treatment for all patients, including those who cannot afford it.

Police and Fire Departments: Radio (WNYF) roll-call with NYC's fleet of fireboats. Each boat identifies itself, its unit number, and its location, then blows its whistle to honor the Mayor. Chief of NY's Army and Navy, Fire Commissioner John McElligott, who discusses the importance of two-way radios; expresses his wish that, in the future, each police car and fire department will be equipped with a two-way radio; and lists the other development advancements of the department over the past year.

Department of Housing: Dramatic re-enactments of common housing problems in the city, including a couple that can't start a family because of space, workers who are forced to share sleeping spaces, and fire in tenements. (These stories come from "One Third of a Nation," a Federal Theatre play by Arthur Arent.) A recap of the year's headlines in housing complaints and government actions: Red Hook Housing Project inspection, Federal Government subsidies for "slum" developments. Commissioner of Housing, Alfred Reinstein, talks about renovation of public housing and the elimination of slums and slum dwellers in the city.

Department of Parks and Recreation: Free golf courses, parks, tennis courts, pools, lakes, outdoor performances, bike paths, and playgrounds around town. General Superintendent, Alan R. Jennings, talks about improvements around town for the World's Fair and the relationship between park improvements and a reduction in juvenile delinquency and accidents.

Municipal roll call of achievement: brief calls of awards to administration officials.

Police Department Orchestra plays the Star Spangled Banner.

Scenes from "One Third of A Nation" provided courtesy Federal Theatre Project. Includes "Sunday in the Park," from the revue "Pins and Needles."

[Poor quality original; incomplete]

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 68960
Municipal archives id: LT276