Studio 360

The Mad Women of Madison Avenue

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Jane Maas lived the “Mad Men” life, working in a big ad agency in the 1960s and ‘70s. She says the casual misogyny in the show is spot-on.

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Movies on the Radio

105 Years of Film Music: Part Four - The 1950s

Saturday, April 26, 2014

For over a century, music and movies have been making magic together. Music composed for films is varied and exciting, with qualities that connect it to the classical tradition, as well as special attributes of its own.

David Garland presents a series of programs on the history of film music. Heard on Movies on the Radio on the last Saturday of each month for ten months, the series covers the styles and innovations in the soundtrack field, decade by decade.


NYPR Archives & Preservation

When Weed Grew Wild in Williamsburg

Thursday, January 23, 2014


In 1951, marijuana grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York.  In that year alone, a division of the Department of Sanitation called the "White Wing Squad" confiscated and destroyed 41,000 pounds of the plants.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Did Women Really Get the Shaft in the Mad Men Era?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Drawing on her father's life and career, Susan Jacoby, author of The Last Men on Top, asks if men really had it better in the pre-feminist America of the 1950's and 1960's. Plus: read an excerpt from the book.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Teachers, Professors, and Academic Freedom

Monday, February 18, 2013

Marjorie Heins, civil liberties lawyer and founding director of the Free Expression Policy Project, talks about how, in the early 1950s, New York City’s teachers and professors became the targets of massive investigations into their political beliefs and associations. Those who refused to cooperate in the questioning were fired. Her book Priests of Our Democracy tells of the teachers and professors who resisted the witch hunt, those who collaborated, and those whose battles led to landmark Supreme Court decisions. 

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Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Adlai Stevenson, Presidential Hopeful, Woos Voters and Patriots

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


The Democratic nominee, Adlai Stevenson, addresses the 1952 American Legion convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Spinning on Air

Connie Converse Walking In the Dark

Sunday, November 25, 2012

During the 1950s Connie Converse lived in New York City writing and singing thoughtful, emotional, smart, witty, personal songs. She accompanied herself on guitar, a "singer/songwriter" before that term or style existed. The music industry of her day couldn't pigeonhole her, and didn't welcome her. Discouraged, Connie left New York in 1960, and in 1974 she wrote a series of farewell letters to her friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen Bug and disappeared. She has not been heard from since. This special edition of WNYC's Spinning On Air with David Garland, airs many of Connie's songs for the first time, and tells her story with interviews, commentary, and readings from her letters, journals, and poetry. 

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Studio 360

Watching Arnold Mesches

Saturday, May 01, 2004

When the painter Arnold Mesches began making political artwork in the 1950s — including one painting series on the Rosenberg trials — someone else began surveillance of the painter’s life. Produced by Karen Michel.


Studio 360

Vegas Comics

Saturday, December 13, 2003

When prohibition ended, the Mafia was well-poised to maintain a grip on the country's burgeoning nightclubs, which featured comedians between the big band music and jazz. Shecky Green, Kaye Ballard and Larry Storch — some of the comics who worked those clubs in the 50s — recall what ...


Studio 360

Professor Ann Douglas on the Fifties

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Kurt Andersen talks with Professor Ann Douglas about the art, music, and literature of the 1950s, and the decade's enduring influence on American culture. 

Douglas is the Parr Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where her lectures on the culture of the 1950s are standing-room only. She is the ...