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Entries Tagged as 'politics'

Fraternal Order of Eagles speech - August 8, 1935

January 18th, 2017 · Comments

Finally on the blog this week, a rare mid-thirties political broadcast.

This was a special program carried on CBS from the Dayton Biltmore Hotel in Dayton, Ohio, where the Fraternal Order of Eagles was having its annual convention.  George F. Douglas, from Philadelphia, the Grand Worthy President of the Eagles, introduces a speech by Frank. E. Hering, editor of the “Eagles” magazine.

The Eagles is a fraternity that was founded in 1898 by a group of theater owners and became known for consisting of individuals involved in the performing arts.  They helped the establishment of Mother’s Day and were instrumental in organizing in support of Social Security.

Hering uses his time to outline the organization’s previous support for legislation to support widows, the poor and unemployed in times of economic crisis.  He goes on to urge Congress to pass what he calls the “Ludlow Eagles” bill, which would allow workers to have a sufficient wage to save for their future.

Social Security was working its way through Congress at this time, but I’ve been unable to determine with certainty if Hering is calling for the passage of the Social Security Act or another piece of New Deal legislation.  Anyone out there that’s more familiar with what was going on in Congress in August 1935 have an opinion on this?

This recording is an air check of WABC, New York.  The transcription begins and ends with a time check and id from the station and includes the CBS network id.  There's a short piano fill at the end of the broadcast that made me think I was listening to the "War of the Worlds" for a moment.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from four sides of two 12” Audio-Scriptions, Inc. uncoated aluminum discs running at 78 rpm.  Hering's name is misspelled on the disc labels, by the way.  The first part is in rough shape with a few skips - it was difficult to get it to play because it was scratched and heavily abused.  The remaining parts sound much better.  This appears to be a previously lost program.

Tags: commentary · politics · New Deal related

Rupert Hughes - Pgm 4 - September 4, 1944

January 18th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another anti-FDR speech from the 1944 Presidential campaign, this one originating on the West Coast.

This is the fourth program in a series of 15 minute commentaries by Rupert Hughes sponsored by the Republican Party of California and heard on KMPC, Los Angeles, California.  The series was broadcast at 6:30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Rupert Hughes was a writer who was the uncle of billionaire Howard Hughes; he served as president of the American Writers Association, a group of anti-Communist writers, and is most well-known for his biography of George Washington.

Hughes spends his quarter hour commentary raising fears about FDR’s death and what might happen if his inexperienced VP Truman took over the Oval Office.  He’s suspicious of FDR’s dealings with Churchill and Stalin and the ability of Truman to serve as President, noting how he had been left out of the Tehran Conference.  Hughes goes on to liken Roosevelt to a king or dictator - “Is he going to liquidate the American republic?  He’s already liquidated the Democratic party … This is an election that’s coming up - not a coronation!”

Our mp3 was transferred from a single-sided 16” glass-based NBC Reference lacquer.  I think this may be the only surviving episode of this series and it appears to not be currently in circulation among old time radio enthusiasts.

I had a very difficult time playing this program - it was cracked long ago from the edge to the label and, typical of glass-based discs, the lacquer coating was beginning to flake off and deform.  I had to “ride the needle” to get it to track, especially in the first few minutes.

Please note that I did a “copy and paste” of one phrase from the end of the program to the beginning, where the announcer states that the program was paid for by the Republican Party of California - there was a nasty skip in the opening and I did the alternation since the announcer was saying the same phrase to preserve the continuity of the program content.  I also saved a raw wav file of the full transfer.

By the way, the label fell off this disc.  Here’s what was underneath it.



Tags: WW II related · commentary · politics

Warren Atherton speech - November 1, 1944

January 18th, 2017 · Comments

In this post, an anti-FDR speech by Warren Atherton, a noted American lawyer who was Commander of the American Legion from 1943 to 1944 and who designed the so-called GI Bill.  The speech is sponsored by the Republican National Committee and was heard on WABC, New York - I haven’t seen listings that would indicate it was carried on the wider CBS network.  The announcer on the program is Ford Bond.

In his speech, Atherton blasts FDR and the Democrats for not preventing the War, appeasing the Axis powers, and not preparing for the build up of the military for the War.  He also emphasizes how FDR and the Democrats won’t support the widows of those who died in the War or create jobs and support for returning veterans.

The speech came in the aftermath of a bitter fight by the American Legion to pass the GI Bill, outlined in this NEH website article.

The Legion introduced the Serviceman’s Readjustment Ac in Congress as an omnibus bill in early 1944 to prevent consideration of the bills components by various committees.  FDR had asked Congress in October 1943 to fund educational and vocational training for returning GIs, with an eye towards integrating millions of servicemen back into the civilian economy.  Debate on the issue heated up all through the first half 1944, coming to a head as our servicemen were storming the beaches at Normandy for D-Day.

“To gain public support, the Legion conducted a national publicity campaign. Two-minute movies, which featured battle scenes and an appeal for support, were shown in movie theaters. Four hundred radio spots, some of which featured disabled veterans, explained the program. Hearst newspapers touted the bill in articles and editorials. Other newspapers ran the Legion’s editorials in full, even providing readers with coupons they could cut out and send to their congressmen to show support. In Washington, the Legion assembled a war room, with a chart listing where each member stood on the bill. Its team walked the halls of Congress, talking up senators, representatives, and their staffs. If a member needed persuading, Legion chapters located in the member’s district inundated them with telegrams and letters.”

An opposing bill was offered by four other veteran’s organizations - Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Regular Veterans Association.  They felt that wounded vets should be the first responsibility of the country and that the GI bill would detract from that focus.  After much back-room dealing and intrigue, the GI Bill was signed by FDR on June 12, 1944.

Just six months later, Atherton was slamming FDR and the Democrats in this speech for Dewey.  Reading the full story of how the GI Bill came to pass, the American Legion’s approach here is rather curious and almost petty - Atherton and the Legion got everything they wanted with the GI Bill in a bi-partisan effort, but offered no recognition to the work that FDR and the Democrats put into the effort.  Looking back at the speech today, it sounds more like a grab for raw political power by Warren Atherton, rather than a genuine interest in the affairs of servicemen.

Our program was transferred from an original one-sided 16” lacquer from Empire Broadcasting Corp, 480 Lexington Avenue, New York.


Tags: WW II related · politics

John L. Lewis speech - October 25, 1940

January 18th, 2017 · Comments

We’re going to skip ahead a few years from our previous post and look at a response to FDR’s New Deal and his two terms in office.

John L. Lewis served as president of the United Mine Workers for four decades and was one of the founders of the Congress of Industrial Organizations that organized other workers around the country.  Lewis backed FDR in 1936, but became an isolationist on the eve of World War II and supported Wendell Wilkie.

In this post, we hear a half-hour speech given by Lewis in support of Wilkie originally broadcast on all four networks on October 25, 1940, just a couple of weeks before the election.  The broadcast, sponsored by the National Committee of Democrats for Wilkie, originated from Washington, DC.

In the speech, Lewis slams FDR as not friend of labor by moving the US towards war.  The speech is notable because Lewis famously committed to resigning from his position with the CIO if labor disagreed with him.

Lewis resigned after the election when 85% of the CIO supported Roosevelt.

This speech appears to be previously lost.  I’ve only found one archives who has a copy (in Australia, of all places) and they only have one of the discs.

The speech, carried on all four networks, was slotted for thirty minutes, but this recording appears to run longer than that - almost 34 minutes.  The labels on the discs note that it is the “complete speech”, so Lewis may have been cut off the network when he ran long.

The program includes the introduction for Lewis and the outcue for the CBS network.  At the end of the program, you can hear other announcers in the background - it may be the other announcers for the other networks giving the network cues for their own stations.

Our mp3 was transferred from a set of three sides on two red vinyl 16” transcriptions pressed by Time Abroad, Inc., 79 West 57th Street, New York, matrix numbers TR-2802S, TR-2803S, and TR-2806S.  One disc in the set is cracked from the edge to the lable, so you’ll hear a regular “tick” on two of the parts.

Tags: WW II related · politics

Dwight Eisenhower: The Grass Roots Boy - October 28, 1952

June 7th, 2009 · Comments

This week marks the anniversary of D-Day.  And there's probably no person more associated with the Normandy Invasion that marked the final stages of World War II than the Allied commander Dwight Eisenhower.

transcription label

From October 28, 1952, we're hearing in this blog post, "Dwight Eisenhower:  The Grass Roots Boy".  The program, sponsored by Youth for Eisenhower, is a dramatized biography prepared for the 1952 Presidential campaign.

I'm not sure if this was carried locally by WOR or carried on the wider Mutual net, but it's a fascinating bit of political broadcasting and Presidential history.  The show was transferred from an original WOR lacquer transcription set.

Tags: historical · politics

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