NYPR Archives & Preservation
January 16, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 3
Edition # 641


1951: City officials discuss the emergency taxi corps, an auxiliary transportation service in the event of an atomic attack on this edition of Report on Civil Defense.

1966: Random House Founder Bennett Cerf speaks to The New York Herald-Tribune Book and Authors Luncheon.

1980: Poet and novelist Gilbert Sorrentino discusses his new novel, Mulligan Stew with Walter James Miller on The Reader's Almanac.
Mayor F.H. La Guardia reporting from his office at City Hall on the status of the truckers strike, October 3, 1938. (Acme News Photo/WNYC Archive Collections)


"Under Mayor LaGuardia of New York City, the municipal broadcasting station WNYC placed its entire announcing staff under the Civil Service. Applicants were required to take an extensive written test and a practical test before the microphone.  In 1938 over a thousand candidates applied for the position and they sat down to a six hour written quiz from which a few of the questions follow:
The best way to evaluate a radio program is to count the number of listeners.  Is this a valid statement? Why or why not?

Every radio program should be an entity which is complete in and of itself. Do you agree?

Silence is the best of all sound effects. Is this a valid statement? Why or why not?

List the methods of scoring used and the parts or intervals into which each of the following is divided: Football; hockey; basketball.

Write a fifty-word announcement in introduction to the radio presentation of a typical Army-Navy football game.

Can any radio program be entirely devoid of propaganda?

State the nature of three amendments to the New York State Constitution which were approved in the recent election.

Name three functions of the Federal Communications Commission.

Write a fifty-word announcement on the purpose of the Lima Conference in introduction to the radio presentation of a talk on Pan-American relations.

Write a fifty-word announcement on the extent to which New York has developed a public housing program in introduction to a talk on housing in New York City.

Write a fifty-word announcement on the provisions of the new Wages and Hours Bill in introduction to a talk on industrial legislation.

Explain briefly the following musical terms: Oratorio, concerto, fugue, symphony, sonata, tone poem.

Write a fifty-word announcement on Liszt suitable in introduction to the radio presentation of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

"The second part of the examination tested the candidates' knowledge of English. The candidate was asked to define a list of words such as: Diapason, bucolic, spoliate, succinct, etymology, etc."
Source: The Rape of Radio by Robert West, Rodin Publishing Co., 1941, pgs. 38-39.

See also: Do You Have What It Takes to Be a WNYC Announcer in 1938 or 1948?
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

  WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

"I literally grew up with WQXR, My mother would put on the radio in the morning to awaken me for school. Though I resented this kind of alarm system, I learned to love the music and the voice of Duncan Pirnie, especially during the cocktail hour.

"I salivated as he evoked the various restaurants, their specialties, and the libations that complimented the food. Years later, I saw Mr. Pirnie's photo proving that he enjoyed the food and drink that he touted on my favorite radio station: WQXR."

Joe Dorinson, Brooklyn, NY, 11/12/2011


WNYC celebrated its 90th anniversary this year. We're now officially a nonagenarian radio station. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions and milestones. This week: The Serious Stand-Up of S.J. Perelman.

For MLK Day - Until this week, previously unreleased interviews:

Coretta Scott King Reflects on Martin Luther King, Jr., His Philosophy and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. Reflects on His Son, Atlanta and the Movement for Civil Rights.

More King:

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964

Community Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King,

Previously Unreleased Interviews with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Welcome to our newest interns: Shannon Campbell and Lauren Fiorelli!

In case you missed last week's afterthought on the myth and reality of our various collections, please see: Those Dusty Archives.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column) This week:1947.
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 Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 558 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,346 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
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