NYPR Archives & Preservation
January 10, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 02
Edition # 590

1943: Mayor F.H. La Guardia pays tribute to Nikola Tesla, who passed away three days earlier.

1961: U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson talks at the UN about nuclear testing and the test ban treaty. He challenges the Soviet Union to sign the treaty.

1976: Ray Schnitzer presents "The Theater of Gothic Terror" on Nightmare Country.

1987: Amy Goodman talks about surrogate motherhood on Speaking for Ourselves.
Einstein Heard  Over WNYC

On his second visit to New York City Dr. Albert Einstein was received at City Hall by Mayor Jimmy Walker on December 13, 1930. The great scientist spoke briefly in German. He thanked everyone for their tributes and called for world peace. The Municipal Band played Deutschland Uber Alles, Hatikvah, and The Star Spangled Banner. (Photo: Einstein, circa 1930, Getty/AFP)


"Unity At Home, Victory Abroad*
"…But even more distracting that summer was the rising tension between the races in New York, which itself reflected a nationwide unrest, garish against the backdrop of world war, as blacks and whites clashed over Jim Crow. On July 1, Fiorello La Guardia, the Mayor of New York, had written to [Langston] Hughes to ask his help in developing a series of radio programs, 'Unity at Home-Victory Abroad,'* (which would show 'what New York is, how it came into its present being, and why there is no reason that the peace and neighborliness that does exist should ever be disturbed.'  The Writers' War Board also wrote Hughes in support of the mayor's campaign, seeking programs that would stress unity, 'so that there will be no danger of race riots in New York.' He agreed to help the mayor and the Board…"

 "…Pressed even harder now by the mayor and the Board for pacifying material, Hughes dutifully sent the authorities some songs and two brief plays—'In the Service of My Country,' inspired by pictures of blacks and whites working in harmony to build the Alaska-Canada highway,  and 'Private Jim Crow,' about segregation in the armed forces. The Writers' War Board lauded the former as 'the finest job that has been done on this subject' and promptly broadcast it on September 8 [1943] on WNYC… "

Source: The Life of Langston Hughes, Vol. 2 by Arnold Rampersad. Oxford University Press, 2002, pgs. 75 & 77.

*The Unity At Home-Victory Abroad series aired between August 15th and September 11th of 1943. Seven other New York radio stations took part, and we know that WNYC broadcast at least three, (if not more),  of the eleven programs. Listen to one here: UNITY. 


Poet and activist Amiri Baraka died yesterday. Listen to his talk at the Overseas Press Club broadcast by WNYC in 1965 at: BARAKA.

WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
(Municipal Archives Collection).

       WQXR at 75

          (3 Years Ago)
The Hall That Would Not Die

"WQXR's 'music spectacular' for September will take listeners back sixty-nine years to the opening concert at New York's Carnegie Hall through a recreation and performance of the first concert played there on May 5, 1891. The WQXR 'special' will be a salute to New York's cultural landmark which until recently faced the threat of demolition. The date and time of the broadcast is Tuesday, September 20, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

"Participating in the salute to 'The Hall That Would Not Die' will be Isaac Stern, the well-known violinist, who was a leader in the movement which saved the historic music hall. He will be heard telling WQXR's Martin Bookspan how the project finally succeeded. Also represented on the program will be Leonard Bernstein, music director of the New York Philharmonic, speaking on behalf of the orchestra which makes its home at Carnegie Hall…"

Source: WQXR Program Guide, September, 1960.


WNYC's 90th year of broadcasting is upon us. (The actual anniversary is next July 8th.) In this space we'll be linking to various WNYC champions and milestones. This week: Literary critic and commentator Orton W. Tewson.

In the August, 1942 WQXR Program Guide, Ernest Angell, the President of The Council for Democracy, discusses the calls for censoring "enemy music" and why it's not such a great idea. Read his essay: Music in a Democracy.

Between 1941 and 1944 WQXR invited noted composers, conductors, music educators, critics, philosophers, news commentators, and lyricists to write essays on a variety of music, and radio-related topics for the WQXR Program Guide. We're currently reprinting a new one each week, like the one mentioned above, and have compiled them into this 'cluster' for your reading pleasure: WQXR ESSAYS.


The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 607 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column)

We're also working on the WQXR Facebook timeline. (1929 - present)

Do your friends want to subscribe to this newsletter? Have them sign up at: NEWSLETTERS.
Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 520 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1684 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
We’ve got a Tumblr page too! More than 9,100 followers. Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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