NYPR Archives & Preservation
December 20, 2013 - Volume 12  Issue 49
Edition # 587

1939: Mayor F. H. La Guardia and the NYPD Glee Club at the City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

1956: Harding Lemay hosts Literary Comment. In this edition: Mildred Dunnock reads Twelfth Night

1961: Ireene Wicker performs A Chanukah Story and A Christmas Carol on this episode of The Singing Lady.

2001: Brian Lehrer presents, The Rudy Years, a review of the Giuliani administration, for this edition of On The Line.
Happpy Holidays!

David Garland is not only the host of Spinning On Air, Movies on the Radio, Old-School and weekend WQXR announcing shifts, but he designed and illustrated this WNYC holiday card, circa 1997. Congratulations to David on 25 years at WNYC!


Want $15,000 in Stamps? WNYC's Got 'Em

"New York, Aug. 5- Anybody want to buy $15,000 worth of U.S. stamps--mostly 1, 2 and 3 centers--brand new? They're available--provided payment is made at face value--from Seymour Siegel, director of the New York City Station, WNYC.  Siegel, the station, the city administration--and especially the comptroller's office--would be happy to peddle the stamps, but it has to be dollar for dollar.  Until a buyer comes along, tho, a headache will bother 'em all. 

"The story: WNYC sends listeners a monthly program guide for 20 cents a year.  Mostly these are paid for in stamps. Thruout the years WNYC has been accumulating the stamps--roomsfull of 'em. Once a year key execs in the comptroller's office come over and count them out in an annual audit of the station's books. Used to be they counted the stamps, one by one, by hand, but they finally gave in and put hundreds of them in sealed envelopes to simplify matters. Not too long ago, Siegel, tired of tiptoeing his way into his office between stacks of stamps and envelopes, tried to get the U.S. Post Office to take them back. U.S. policy calls for payment of around 65 cents on the dollar. Siegel got the ante up to 90 cents, but the corporation counsel said this sort of stuff couldn't go on with city property. Meanwhile, more subscribers subscribed, and more stamps came in.

"So, if you know anybody who wants stamps--including a lot of commemoratives, valuable to stamp collectors, Siegel's your man."

Source: The Billboard, August 12, 1950, p. 3.

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

WQXR at 75

   (2 Years Ago)
Now that the Mozart Month has come and gone....

"A missing childhood work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart found in Bavaria in February of this year [1981] -- 216 years after the 9-year-old prodigy composed it -- will be presented by host David Berger in its American Radio premiere on WQXR's Music From Germany on Saturday, May 30, 1981 at 6:30 PM.

"Known as the Symphony in F Major (K. 19A) or "The Third London Symphony," the newly discovered work (composed in 1765) will be performed by the Munich Convivium Musicum.  It has three movements: allegro assai, andante and presto.

"The public world premiere of the Symphony in F Major took place at Castle Herrenchiemsee near Munich on May 17th. This event was videotaped by the Bavarian Radio."

Source: WQXR Press Release, May 15, 1981.

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: Olympian Joe Ruddy.

In the June, 1944 WQXR Program Guide lyricist Irving Caesar suggested the station change its call letters to WIQXR along with an IQ survey of listeners. See what else he proposes at: Caesar's Commentaries.

The third of four WNYC interviews with Kurt Vonnegut by Walter James Miller on The Reader's Almanac took place on May Day 1978. The conversation included author L. J. Davis and considered the novelist's relation to the community. Read more and listen at: VONNEGUT


How is the digital world affecting the roles of audiovisual archives?  Let's see if Senior Archivist Marcos Sueiro Bal discovered all of them at: DIGITAL.

Artist Richard Serra was not a happy man in 1985 when he came into the WNYC's studios. Archive Manager John Passmore has the story and audio at: SERRA.

Can't get enough ghosts of Xmas past? Try these: GHOSTS.


Thanks this week to Erica Sattin and Eoin Delap in Development for getting out our Grammy Foundation grant proposal for digitizing 300 hours of WQXR's The Listening Room. We're keeping our fingers crossed.


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 506 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1627 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 7,100 followers. Check it out at:
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