NYPR Archives & Preservation
December 5, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 47
Edition # 635


1924: Captain Herbert Hartley of the S.S. Leviathan  tells 'sea tales.'  The ship's orchestra, under the direction of Nelson Maples, also performs in the studio. Between 1923 and 1924 the band played for Victor Records.

1935: Brig. General Billy Mitchell testifies before a congressional hearing held in New York about  patent racketeering. See below.

1950: Soldier and statesman George C. Marshall speaks at a  birthday party for Dr. Chaim Weizmann which doubles as a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the British decision to pull out of Palestine. He compares the people currently settling in Israel to the American pioneers. Note: In 1948 as Harry S. Truman's Secretary of State, Marshall had opposed U.S. recognition of the new state of Israel.

2003: On this edition of The Next Big Thing,  Marianne McCune reports from Mexico City on the labors of “public writers,” and news anchor-gone-comedian Bob Wiltfong provides some enlightenment. We also hear some excerpts from a play about a woman writing her last letter, presented by the play’s creator, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, and performed by actress Kathleen Chalfant.
Brig. General Billy Mitchell Speaks Out
Following up on October 1935 hearings at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, Mitchell tells congressmen and the WNYC listening audience that tax dollars for aircraft go to "a few financial manipulators," who have taken control of the industry. Mitchell, who is considered the father of the U.S. Air Force, says Army air officers are "suppressed and coerced by their non-flying superiors," making it impossible to get free and unbiased opinions from them, allowing aircraft dealers and "financial manipulators to get away with murder, literally and figuratively, by killing the pilots and passengers in unsuitable planes." (Photo: Library of Congress NYWTS Collection)


The Slimey Bastard and WNYC
"Bustling around various city institutions, frightening fish and penguins at the Aquarium, startling kangaroos at The Bronx Zoo, are several men from WNYC, currently engaged in putting together a series of recorded documentary programs based on the machinery of our great municipality.

The engineers, announcers and directors from WNYC, carrying their recording apparatus, have so far had complete and unquestioning cooperation from all denizens in city institutions, with one single exception. The electric eel, in the Aquarium, WNYC's program builders decided was to go on the air.  He was to ring a small electric bell with his current, but Mr. E. couldn't see it that way and has been stubbornly uncooperative throughout. WNYC will be happy to hear from anyone with ideas on forcing electric eels to function... "

Source: Leonard Carlton writing in The New York Post on February 18, 1939.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

  WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

From the George Jellinek 1984 Fan Mail File

"I listen regularly and feel cheated when I look ahead and see something coming up that I want to hear but will be deprived of because I'll be out of town. At the moment I'm looking forward to next Thursday and Ebe Stignani. I need not tell you that she's one of my personal heroines, and it is a great sadness to me that I didn't meet her before she died. Keep it up, George! There are loads more out here like me who love the program…"
            Marilyn Horne, June 21, 1984

"After these many years of listening pleasure you've given to me with your wonderful programs on WQXR, I thought that it was about time I wrote you to say many thanks. You always manage to put together a most interesting collection of music and your comments are so informative that I never cease to marvel. George Jellinek has become a listening must in our household…"
               Robert Merrill, April 24, 1984
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: WNYC Covers Howard Hughes After He Circles the Globe in Record Time!

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 6th, Oscar Brand will mark 69 years of  The Folksong Festival on WNYC. Tune in at 10 PM on WNYC-AM for a retrospective.  In case you didn't know it, Oscar is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running radio show with the same host. The big seven-OH is coming...


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:1941.
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 Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 545 followers.

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