NYPR Archives & Preservation
December 11, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 49
Edition # 687


1946: Rod Serling is the boy who steals a radio in this edition of Toward a Return to Society, "Boy Steals Radio."

Paddle, Portage, and Sail is the title of this episode of New York Queen of Commerce and it features a re-creation of the story of men exploring the area around the Hudson River in 1695 for the King of England.:

July 8, 1924


WNYC Hits the Air With the Original 'Radio Girl'

Vaughn De Leath (1894 – 1943) was a popular jazz singer and crooner in the 1920s, earning the nicknames "The Original Radio Girl" and "First Lady of Radio." She is perhaps best known for her rendition of "Are You Lonesome Tonight."

Among the bevy of live entertainment on WNYC's first official broadcast, De Leath performed a humorous dialogue with vocal duo Billy Jones and Ernest Hare, known then as "The Happiness Boys."  Among their popular routines was a comedy sketch about radio, Twisting the Dials. It was issued by Victor Records. (Photo:1920's publicity shot of Vaughn De Leath, Wikipedia Commons)

All Things Considered
WNYC is one of 90 public radio stations to launch National Public Radio's first broadcast in 1971. Director Seymour N. Siegel wrote in the WNYC Program Guide at the time
"National Public Radio, which was organized in 1969 as the radio operational instrument for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is expected to commence interconnected network operations in May. Your City station is preparing to carry the programs of the noncommercial public network. The first offering will be a magazine type program to be known as All Things Considered… Details of the content of this first effort have not been precisely defined but it is expected that a great breadth of subject matter which will advance the art and enjoyment of the sound medium will be presented. The program will deal with widely diverse subjects and will draw on poetry, plays, films, and musical performances. The network is expected to provide live coverage of speakers at the National Press Club in the nation's capitol and the actual coverage of congressional hearings and other special events as they occur. It is hoped that this new resource will add to WNYC-FM's program schedule a means of regular national originations in the public adventure."
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

A Distinguished Engineer Joins WQXR

"Eric Palmer Jr., well known amateur radio operator, and author of Riding the Airwaves, has joined the engineering staff of WQXR and is stationed at the laboratories and transmitter in Long Island City.

"Palmer was the youngest operator ever to receive an amateur license in New York. The license was granted when he was 15, and authorized the operation of his short wave station, W2GRB in Brooklyn. At the age of 16, he was chief radio operator for the Calvao Expedition to Brazil. Later, he designed all the radio equipment and apparatus for the Governor Pinchot expedition of 1931 to the South Seas.

"In 1930, Palmer operated the first underground radio station, broadcasting from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. He also operated a short wave station in a mine 920 feet below the ground in Franklin, New Jersey."

Source: Radio Daily, "Eric Palmer Joins WQXR," August 6, 1937, pg. 6.
WNYC celebrated its 91st anniversary in July. Just think, less than 9 short years to the big centennial. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions and milestones celebrating nearly a century of broadcasting in the public interest. This week: The Friendship Train Attempts to Humanize Postwar Effort.

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WNYC's Way Back series rewinds to the attack on Pearl Harbor 74 years ago this week.
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