NYPR Archives & Preservation
January 3, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 01
Edition # 589

1933: Inauguration of John P. O'Brien as the 98th Mayor of New York City.

1949: Public announcement of a meeting between disputing parties in the city tugboat strike will take place the following day at the City Labor Relations office.

1953:  George Lent, of the Bureau of Public Information of the Board of Education, speaks via telephone and addresses student attendance during the current bus strike.

1966: Mayor John V. Lindsay holds a press conference on the transit strike.

1971: Ruth Bowman speaks with artist Maurice Grosser, author of Painters Progress, on this edition of Views on Art.

1986: Kathy O'Connell and Larry Orfaly host Kids America with a focus on Mahalia Jackson and Langston Hughes. 
Happy NewYear!

While we can't claim these two babes were listening to WNYC in its earliest days, we thought they'd be an appropriate welcome to this newsletter's thirteenth year. (Photo: A. Lanset Collection)


WNYC Circa 1940

"The floors are covered with heavy battleship linoleum inlaid with attractive modernistic designs. Lighting is indirect and all studios are air-conditioned. Decorative motif is gay blues, warm browns and soft grays with trim of silver and ebony. In some of the studios and corridors there are several murals by artists who did the work under the direction of the Federal Arts Projects of the Works Progress Administration. The central foyer, from which the studios and corridors radiate, is pentagonal in shape, with its five walls covered by an enormous panoramic photograph of the skyline of New York City taken from the tower of the Municipal Building.

A circular map of the city graces the center of the floor, with each of the five boroughs outlined in linoleum of a different color. Corridors leading to the executive and other offices are beautifully paneled with walnut and mahogany. The spacious audience chamber which serves both Studio A and Studio B is paneled with walnut. The larger studios are all equipped with Steinway grand pianos and in addition, Studio A has an upright piano with a harpsichord of foreign manufacture..."

Source: An unpublished WPA History of WNYC.

Editor's note: The facility described here was the result of a major renovation completed in October, 1937 under the federal WPA. Aside from equipment upgrades in 1929, the staff had been working in the original 1924 facilities up to that point.

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

       WQXR at 75

          (2 Years Ago)
WQXR Fan is Murdered!
"[Victim] 'Number 3Â’,' said the Inspector in a sort of liturgical mutter.  ‘Ryan OÂ’' Reilly, 40-year-old shoe salesman, living with his wife and four kids in a Chelsea tenement.  Date, July 18; twenty-six days after the Smith murder Â…Here was a hardworking fellow, good husband, crazy father, struggling to keep his head above water and having a tough time of it...
He was wild about classical music.  He couldn'Â’t read a note and head never had a lesson, but he could hum snatches of a lot of operas and symphonies and during the summer he tried to take in as many of the free Sunday concerts in Central Park as he could.  He was always after his kids to tune in WQXR, used to say he thought Beethoven would do them a lot more good than The Shadow.."
Source: Ellery Queen, writing in Cat of Many Tails, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1949, pgs. 17-19.


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:
Woody Guthrie and WNYC.

In the March, 1943 WQXR Program Guide composer, conductor and educator Howard Hanson recalls an earlier trip to Germany and the policy of Kultur-Kammer there.  It sets the stage for his call for: A Declaration of Independence for the Listener.

At the height of World War II, WNYC invited concert pianist Irene Jacobi and her husband, composer Frederick Jacobi, to perform some of his works for the station's fourth annual American Music Festival. Thanks to Katrina Dixon and Danny Sbardella at the NYPL Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound and Chana Pollack at The Jewish Daily Forward you can now hear the concert again at: JACOBI.

Correction: Last week's History Notes had the wrong link for our last of four Kurt Vonnegut interviews from the 1970s. You can listen to him talk about his Watergate novel, Jailbird at: VONNEGUT. 

What La Guardia, Lindsay, Giuliani and Bloomberg have had to say about SNOW!

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 515 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1655 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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