classic radio show

‘Father of American Anthropology’ launches WNYC’s 'Give Me Liberty’ series, May 22, 1939.

Franz Boas hosts the first program in the series, 'Give Me Liberty’ on freedom and science. Subsequent shows cover democracy and American literature, democracy in education, democracy and race and the Bill of Rights, among other topics. The series is backed by the American Committee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom an organization of scientists established to fight fascism.

(Photo: Franz Boas posing for figure in USNM (National Museum of Natural History) exhibit entitled “Hamats'a coming out of secret room” 1895 or before)

January 15, 1950 - All all-request live show with the Weavers and Woodie Guthrie. Introduction and selections entitled “Frankie & Johnny,” “The Rambling Wretch,” “Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair,” “The Johnson Boys,” and “I Feel So Bad.”

A two-time Peabody Award winner and Guinness Book’s World Record-holder for radio longevity, Oscar Brand has hosted Folksong Festival on WNYC for 68 years! His guest roster includes virtually every famous folk, jazz and blues performer of the post-war period. Oscar will mark his anniversary on tomorrow’s show at 10 p.m. on WNYC-820 AM. (Photo: WNYC Archive Collections)

The premiere of ‘Playing Checkers’ with host Millard Fillmore Hopper, October 1933

Millard Fillmore Hopper (1897-1985) learned how to play checkers at a Greenwich Village recreation center. In time he became champion of the corner-store 'Go-As-You-Please (GAYP) or 'freestyle’ form of competitive checkers, as opposed to the traditional tournament style in which two or three moves are determined in advance. Hopper demonstrated his chops at the 1939 World’s Fair where he set up a booth and played nearly 5,000 games, reportedly losing only three. His program aired on WNYC through July, 1934. (Photo: WNYC Archive Collections)

A Report on Municipal Broadcasting Station WNYC, made at the request of Mayor La Guardia, October 25, 1934.

In July, Mayor La Guardia named three prominent radio executives to survey the operation of WNYC and make recommendations for its future. The committee included William S. Paley of CBS, Alfred J. MCosker of Mutual Broadcasting and Richard C. Patterson of NBC. Their report calls for keeping the station on the air, major technical improvements, an endowment, a budget increase, and some kind of commercial enterprise to compete with commercial stations. After reviewing the report, the mayor promptly announces he will keep the station on the air on a non-commercial basis. The previous year the Mayor had campaigned on a platform that included selling WNYC. (Graphic: WNYC Archive Collections)