Yesterday, scientists declared that Voyager 1, which was launched in 1977, had become the first probe to exit the solar system. Aboard the Voyager 1 are the Voyager Golden Records, which contain sounds and images selected by a committee headed by Carl Sagan, designed to introduce any possible intelligent extraterrestrial life that may find them to our culture on Earth.

Listen to Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan discuss the Voyager Interstellar Record Project, as well as five musical selections, with Lloyd Moss on December 7, 1985, on WQXR’s This is My Music.

Image of The Sounds of Earth, 1977, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Today in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye was first published by Little, Brown and Company. Author JD Salinger remained a recluse after the book’s publication and subsequent success, refusing interviews and publicity. He died in 2010 at the age of 91. In this episode of The Takeaway, authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Frank Portman, discuss Salinger’s works and his legacy. 

Overseas Press Club: Dickey Chapelle, 1964

At a time when wartime journalism was almost exclusively the territory of men, photojournalist Dickey Chapelle, blazed a trail as an award winning war correspondent, setting herself apart from other journalists with her ability to gain access to rebel groups, including those in Hungary, Cuba and South Vietnam.

Dickey Chapelle at Opening of St. Lawrence Seaway (Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.)


This is kind of a big deal…. Zappa freaks have been trading this thing in lo-fi form for years.

The legendary 1981 tribute to Varèse at New York City’s Palladium. The concert famously hosted by Frank Zappa (a longtime Varèse fanatic) and performed by Joel Thome’s Orchestra of Our Time, bootlegs of which had been circulating for decades.

On this date in 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic.  It was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and remained so until 1981.

WNYC was at the the dedication ceremony, and you can listen to that ceremony here:

Photo: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, ca. 1964, courtesy of NYPL

Two airports: French General Charles de Gaulle towers over Mayor F.H. La Guardia on July 10th, 1944. Of the three WNYC microphones before the General, two are Western Electric 633A ‘saltshaker’ mics and one is a Western Electric 630 ‘8-ball’ microphone. Along with speeches by General de Gaulle and Mayor La Guardia, the WNYC broadcast included a scene setter by WNYC announcer Joe Fishler and the playing of “La Marseillaise”.

Listen to Mayor La Guardia on WNYC’s Talk to the People from the previous day, July 9th, 1944 here.

(Photo passed along by former WNYC engineer Al Tropea)

NYPR Archives

These days, it seems as though people can’t stop raving about Brooklyn.  But this wasn’t always the case!  In 1941, Sidney Ascher founded The Society for the Prevention of Disparaging Remarks About Brooklyn (or SPDRAB for those looking to save a few minutes of time).  Sid kept track of how Brooklynites were portrayed in film and media, and often gave radio interviews like this one in 1948:

Nearly 50,000 membership cards like the one above were handed out in the 1940s, and this photo is courtesy of ComteQ Publishing.

Aaron Copland, gifted American composer and writer on music (“Our New Music” and “What to Listen for in Music”) writes about the place of Latin American countries in the world’s musical scene, and of the increasing influence being exerted by the composers of our sister republics.

Read what he wrote for the WQXR Program Guide in June, 1942 here.

photo: Aaron Copland at WQXR in 1942 (Harold Stein Photo, WQXR Archive Collections)