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Entries Tagged as 'WW II related'

Civilian Defense - Your Neighbors, the Millers

May 27th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s the final disc in our run of special Civilian Defense dramas distributed by the US government in the early days of World War II to encourage communities to organize and contribute to the War effort.

In “Your Neighbors, the Millers”, poor Mrs. Miller had to bring back three cans of grease because she forgot to strain it and Mr. Miller doesn’t know what to do with his radiator.  And the kids are using all kind of slang that Mrs. Miller doesn’t like.  Perhaps in the Civilian Defense coordinator in the local neighborhood can help.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6000.

This is our last show from the series.

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Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - What’s Good for the Army

May 20th, 2017 · Comments

The Office of Civilian Defense has another short drama from the early days of World War II.

“What’s Good for the Army” is about what can happen when we don’t coordinate and work together for civilian defense on the home front.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-1994.

 

 

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Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - They Perish Alone

May 13th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another episode in a series of dramas produced in the early days of World War II by the Office of Civilian Defense.

“They Perish Alone” compares the plight of our fighting forces to the dangers faced by early settlers of the American West and how they had to work together.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6001.

 

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Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - “Of Interest to the Enemy”

May 6th, 2017 · Comments

In recent weeks, I’ve posted some shows from a previously overlooked World War II series, “Yankee Doodle”, produced by the Office of Civilian Defense to encourage people to support the war effort on the home front.  This week, we kick off a few individual shows, not part of a series, from the same batch of discs.

“Of Interest to the Enemy”, is a fifteen minute drama about Larry Crane, “told by the man who wrote his obituary”.  The editor of a small-town newspaper talks with different people in the town about the loss of one of their own who died fighting in the Pacific.  It prompts the editor to write an editorial about the “Block Plan”, to coordinate neighbors for civilian defense.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl OWI transcription, matrix number G-1995.

We’ll have a few more shows in this series in the following weeks.

 

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Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 5

April 8th, 2017 · Comments

Here's the last program in my collection from the 1942 Civilian Defense series, “Yankee Doodle”.

Program 5 is titled “There’s a Guy on Your Block”.  It’s a story about how a man volunteers and is trained for serving as an air raid warden in his community.  The series was directed by Clinton Johnston.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6024.

In future weeks on the blog, I’ll be posting some further Civilian Defense shows from the same period that weren’t released as part of a series, but offered as “one off” special programs.

 

 

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Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 4

April 2nd, 2017 · Comments

Up next on the blog, another entry in the previously lost World War II Civil Defense public service series, “Yankee Doodle”.  This is from a group of pretty beat-up transcriptions from the series I obtained a few years back.

Program 4 in the series is a drama where a guy who just got out of the Army and wants to mind his own business, learns a lesson in caring about the importance of air raid wardens in his local community.  The show was directed by Clinton Johnston.

The program was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6025.  My apologies for the rough sound on this one - some of the sides in this set were in such bad shape, I couldn’t get them to play at all without constantly skipping.

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Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 3

March 18th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another episode in the previously lost World War II Civil Defense public service series, “Yankee Doodle”.  I obtained a few beat up transcriptions of this show and managed to salvage most of them.

Directed by Clinton Johnston, program three in the series looks at the role of auxiliary firemen in civil defense in your local community with a dramatic sketch about a reluctant volunteer.

Our show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6019.

 

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Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 1

February 22nd, 2017 · Comments

Finally, this week, a forgotten little fifteen minute public service series from World War II.

When I first saw the US Office of Civilian Defense logo on these discs, I thought they might date from the Cold War period when so many government public service programs were distributed.  However, after listening to the shows on the discs, I discovered they were produced during World War II in the early days of the Office of Civilian Defense, promoting work with local and neighborhood coordinators on areas such as blackouts, recycling, and learning first aid and firefighting.  Based on internal references, the shows date from 1942.  The label credits Clinton Johnston as director, but I didn’t really turn up anything else on him.

Program 1 in the series is “What’s This Civilian Defense?” and uses dramatic vignettes to show how the listener can become involved in the War effort on the home front.

Our show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6004.

I believe this series isn’t in circulation and might be previously lost.  One reason it might not have turned up before is the information printed at the bottom of the label:  “The vinylite in this pressing is a strategic material allocated by the WPB.  Help us conserve it.  As soon as the pressing has been used, please return it to Allied Record Mfg. Co, Hollywood, Calif., with the enclosed “frank”.”  I wonder how many of these were recycled and simply lost to modern old time radio researchers and collectors.

 

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Tags: WW II 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.

 

 

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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.

 

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Tags: WW II related · politics