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Douglas MacArthur Speech - April 19, 1951

December 22nd, 2018

In this post, a historic broadcast that’s widely available, but we hear it dubbed from a line check done by a local station.

From April 19, 1951, this is a full recording of General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech (aka the “Old Soldiers Never Die” speech) before a joint session of Congress.  Truman relieved MacArthur of command a few days earlier and the speech was the centerpiece of much publicity when the General returned to the United States from Asia.  You can read about the full controversy, including the debate about civilian control of the military, at Wikipedia.

This recording includes only the introduction of MacArthur and the address with no commentary before or after.  It was recorded on by station WDNC in Durham, NC, presumably so it could be rebroadcast later in the day or so they could play excerpts of it in their news programming.  This is likely from the CBS feed of the speech, since WDNC was a CBS radio affiliate.

The show was transferred from a three-sided 16” lacquer set from WDNC, Durham, NC.  The fourth side of the set contains the April 23, 1951 broadcast of Grady Cole and the Johnson Family Singers, heard in another post on the blog.


I’m not sure if this is any better or worse than other versions of the same broadcast that are floating around.

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