The World Stood Still : Tribute to President Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 12, 1950

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

The sounds of people dancing and laughing are overcome by the sounds of bombs.. "the world stood still." The death of President Roosevelt (1945-04-12).

Vignettes of people reacting to the news.

A soldier remembering wearing his father's shoes to school because he had none of his own. He remembers hearing "the only thing we have to fear.." and says things changed then: something good happened. "He was almost like a father to me, and he's dead."

A boy asks his mother why she isn't glad the president has died. She says "today we are just people who lost a great man." She remembers when her husband was losing his business -- and his courage -- and they were upset when the president was elected. The son and mother cry together: "I guess I loved him too, mom, only I can't tell him now.."

Rev. George Washington Taylor, of Austin, Texas, says: "he was Moses. He came down here to the forgotten places..."

Mrs. Emma Van Dyke of Sam Houston College, says: Who would know what Roosevelt meant to a negro student? ...Roosevelt made a college education possible for me.." "When will we have another friend like Roosevelt?"

A few dramatic reenactments of Roosevelt speeches (equality, New Deal) and archival audio (Italian and German speeches; Japanese invasion newscast; Cardinal Spellman's reaction; Churchill's reaction).

Famous people and international reactions to the news.

Note: for use elsewhere, confirm provenance of archival audio.

Lyon Weir - Writer & Producer
Jerry Sandler - Director
Frank Norwood - Sound Technician
Burt Cowlan - Narrator
Jack Curtis, Selma Sand, Jack Tureen, Philip Wolfe - Cast

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69449
Municipal archives id: LT485


Winston Churchill, Burt Cowlan, Jack Curtis, Selma Sand, Francis Spellman, Jack Tureen, Lyon Weir and Philip Wolfe


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About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This collection includes some unique “slice-of-life” productions that provide a telling portrait of America from the 1940s through the 1950s, such as public service announcements regarding everything from water conservation to traffic safety and juvenile delinquency and radio dramas such as "The Trouble Makers" and "Hate, Incorporated."



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