In one of the Middle Western cities, if you drop into a theatre on the Orpheum vaudeville cir cuit tonight, you may be amused by a young ventriloquist named Edgar Bergen talking to a dummy that he calls Charlie McCarthy. If you are in New York and the heat drives you to a roof garden for the evening, and you happen to choose the Park Central Hotel, you may appre ciate the nimbleness of a twenty-year-old clarinetist in the band; but his name will be as unfamiliar to you as those of Bergen and McCarthy: it is Benny Goodman.
List of people from Massachusetts
Does anybody think of himdoes he think of himself as the future King of Swing? Johnson, Alf M. Landon, Harry Hopkins, Thomas E. Dewey, or Eleanor Roosevelt. In all the country there is no such thing as a streamlined train, a bar operating openly and legally, or a man living on Federal relief. Shirley Temple is a baby less than five months old, and the Dionne quintuplets are unborn.
And so, for that matter, is the Depression. In fact, if you wished to be set down as the craziest of prophets by any of the men and women whom you have watched going about their affairs in the glaring sunlight of September 3, , you would only have to tell them that within two months they are to witness the greatest financial panic in American history, and that it will usher in a prolonged and desperate economic crisis. Instead, as September came to an end, it sagged lower and lower. Even so, there was not at first much uneasiness.
Again and again, during the Big Bull Market of the two preceding years, there had been sharp breaks lasting several days, thousands of injudicious and unfortunate speculators had been shaken out, and yet prices had recovered and climbed on to new heights. Why worry now? Why not take advantage of these bargain prices? And so margin traders, large and small, who had previously sold out at big profits came float ing in again, staking their previous winnings on the chance that Steel would climb back from to , or General Electric from to , and beyond; and accordingly the volume of brokers loans rose to a new and final peak of over eight and a half billion dollars.
Meanwhile the chorus of financial prognosticators assuring all and sundry that nothing was amiss, and that prices were suffering only a temporary setback, rose louder than ever. Yet still the market sagged. Foreign funds were being withdrawn from it, partly as a result of the collapse of Hatry s speculative bubble in England, partly, perhaps, because speculation in New York had seemed from the first a hazardous business to European investors and many of them were now having qualms.
All the time, as prices ebbed, insecurely margined traders were being forced to sell. As October continued and there was no smart recovery, a note of uncertainty, of urgency, of stri dency, even, came into the clamor that all was well. Perhaps, after all, it was not. The decline became more rapid. Surely this must be the bottom, the last chance to buy cheap. Or was it the beginning of the end? Monday, October 21, was worse, for by this time more and more traders were reaching the end of their resources and being sold out; the volume of trading reached six million shares.
Tuesday was better: did not the great Charles E. Mitchell of the National City Bank, re turning from Europe, radiate assurance? By this time the volume of selling was so great that the supposedly almost instantaneous ticker service was left far behind; at three o clock, when the Exchange was closing for the day, the figures running across the trans-lux screens in brokers offices all over the country were reporting transactions which had taken place at sixteen minutes past one an hour and forty-four minutes before!
And on Thursday, October That Thursday morning the selling came in a roaring and presently incredible deluge. How much of it was short selling will never be known, for no statistical record of the total was kept, but apparently the amount was not very 5? Some of it, of course, was frightened selling, even at the outset: already men and women had discovered, to their great alarm, that the slow gains of weeks and months could be swept away in a few precipitous hours.
But even in the first hour on Thursday the greater part of the selling was surely forced selling. In a market so honeycombed with credit, the beautifully contrived system whereby the stock gambler whose margin was exhausted by a fall in market prices was automatically sold out, became a beautifully con trived system for wrecking the price structure. In poured the selling orders by hundreds and thousands; it seemed as if nobody wanted to buy; and as prices melted away, pres ently the brokers in the howling melee of the Stock Ex change were fighting to sell before it was too late.
The great Panic was on. A few minutes after noon, five of them Messrs. Lamont of J. So high was the confidence of the financial world in their sagacity and power that even before they had decided upon anything, when simply the news went about that they were meeting, prices steadied, rallied; and by the time Richard Whitney, as the representative of the bankers pool, went on the floor of the Stock Exchange at half past one to bid for stocks, he hardly had to do more PANIC!
The gods of Wall Street still could make the storm to cease. Not till eight minutes past seven that evening, when night had darkened the windows of the brokers offices, did the tickers stop chattering out prices from the Exchange floor. Nearly thirteen million shares had changed hands. Wild rumors had been going about all day that exchanges had been closed, that troops had been called out in New York, that eleven speculators had committed suicide. Panic this was, and no doubt about it. But the bankers, it was hoped, had saved the day. For two more days the market, struggling, nearly held its own, while the lights burned all night in Wall Street as the brokers clerks struggled to get their records straight, and the telegrams calling for more margin went out by hun dreds and thousands.
Then the avalanche began again; and this time the bankers could not conceivably have stopped it if they had tried. All they tried to do was to provide bids for stock where there were no bids at all: to give to the rout a semblance of order. On Tuesday, October 29, came the climax. The official statistics of the day gave the volume of trading as 16,, shares, but no one knows how many sales went unrecorded in the yelling scramble to sell: there are those who believe that the true volume may have been twenty or even twenty- five million. Big and small, insiders and outsiders, the high- riders of the Big Bull Market were being cleaned out: the erstwhile millionaire and his chauffeur, the all-powerful pool operator and his suckers, the chairman of the board with his two-thousand-share holding and the assistant book keeper with his ten-share holding, the bank president and his stenographer.
Rockefeller announced that his son and he were buying common stocks, and two big corporations declared extra dividends as a gesture of stubborn confidence. The Exchange declared a holiday and shortened the hours of trading to give the haggard brokers and sleepless clerks a chance to begin to dig themselves out from under the mass of ac cumulated work. Then prices went down once more, and again down. Day after day the retreat continued.
Not until November 13 did prices reach their bottom for The disaster which had taken place may be summed up in a single statistic. In a few short weeks it had blown into thin air thirty billion dollarsa sum almost as great as the entire cost to the United States of its participation in the World War, and nearly twice as great as the entire national debt.
President Hoover went into action. He persuaded Secre tary Mellon to announce that he would propose to the coming Congress a reduction in individual and corporate income taxes. He called to Washington groups of big bank ers and industrialists, railroad and public-utility executives, labor leaders, and farm leaders, and obtained assurances that capital expenditures would go on, that wage-rates would not be cut, that no claims for increased wages other than AFTERGLOW, 27 those in negotiation would be pressed. He urged the gov ernors and mayors of the country to expand public works in every practicable direction, and showed the way by ar ranging to increase the Federal public-buildings expendi ture by nearly half a billion dollars which at that time seemed like pretty heavy government spending.
Hoover and his associates began at every opportunity to declare that conditions were "fundamentally sound," to predict a revival of business in the spring, to insist that there was nothing to be disturbed about. Thereupon the bankers and brokers and investors and business men, and citizens generally, caught their breath and looked about them to take stock of the new situation. Outwardly they became aggressively confident, however they might be gnawed inwardly by worry. Why, of course every thing was all right. The newspapers and magazines carried advertisements radiating cheer: "Wall Street may sell stocks, but Main Street is still buying goods.
For in the first place the individual losses, whether sustained by millionaires or clerks, had immediate repercussions. People began to economize; indeed, during the worst days of the Panic some businesses had come almost to a standstill as buyers waited for the hurricane to blow itself out. And if the rich, not the poor, had been the chief immediate victims of the crash it was not iron-workers and sharecroppers who were throwing themselves out of win dows that autumn, but brokers and promoters , nevertheless 28 SINCE YESTERDAY trouble spread fast as servants were discharged, as jewelry shops and high-priced dress shops and other luxury busi nesses found their trade ebbing and threw off now idle employees, as worried executives decided to postpone build ing the extension to the factory, or to abandon this or that unprofitable department, or to cut down on production till the sales prospects were clearer.
Quickly the ripples of un certainty and retrenchment widened and unemployment spread. Moreover, the collapse in investment values had under mined the credit system of the country at innumerable points, endangering loans and mortgages and corporate structures which only a few weeks previously had seemed as safe as bedrock. The Federal Reserve officials reported to Hoover, "It will take perhaps months before readjustment is accomplished. The specula tive boom, by continually pouring new funds into the eco nomic bloodstream, had enabled Coolidge-Hoover pros perity to continue long after its natural time.
Finally, the Panic had come as a shock a first shock to the illusion that American capitalism led a charmed life. Like a man of rugged health suffering his first acute illness, the American business man suddenly realized that he too was a possible prey for forces of destruction. Nor was the shock confined to the United States. All over the world, America s apparently unbeatable prosperity had served as an advertisement of the advantages of political democracy and economic finance capitalism.
But if business was so shaken by the Panic that during the winter of it responded only languidly to the faith- healing treatment being prescribed for it by the Adminis tration, the stock market found its feet more readily. Pres ently the old game was going on again. Those pool operators whose resources were at least half intact were pushing stocks up again. Speculators, big and little, convinced that what had caught them was no more than a downturn in the busi ness cycle, that the bottom had been passed, and that the prosperity band wagon was getting under way again, leaped in to recoup their losses.
Prices leaped, the volume of trad ing became as heavy as in , and a Little Bull Market was under way. That zeal for mergers and combinations and holding-company empires which had inflamed the rugged individualists of the nineteen-twenties reasserted itself: the Van Sweringers completed their purchase of the Missouri Pacific; the process of amalgamation in the aviation industry and in numerous others was resumed; the Chase National Bank in New York absorbed two of its competitors and became the biggest bank in all the world; and the invest ment salesmen reaped a new harvest selling to the suckers five hundred million dollars worth of the very latest thing in investments shares in fixed investment trusts, which would buy the very best stocks as of and hold on to them till hell froze.
Who noticed that there was more zeal for consolidating businesses than for expanding them or initiating them? In the favorite phrase of the day, Prosperity was just around the corner. But a new day was not dawning. This light in the eco nomic skies was only the afterglow of the old one. Even at the height of the Little Bull Market there were breadlines in the streets. In March Miss Frances Perkins, Industrial Commissioner for New York State, was declaring that unemployment was worse than it had been since that state had begun collecting figures in In several cities, jobless men by the hundreds or thousands were forming pathetic processions to dramatize their plight only to be savagely smashed by the police.
In April the business index turned down again, and the stock market likewise. In May and June the market broke severely. Of the well-to-do, in particular, few were gravely disturbed in Many of them had been grievously hurt in the Panic, but they had tried to laugh off their losses, to grin at the jokes about brokers and speculators which were going the rounds.
In the country at large, nearly all executive jobs still held intact; dividends were virtually as large as in ; few people guessed that the economic storm would be of long duration. Many men and women in the upper income brackets had never seen a visible sign of this unemployment that they kept reading about until, in the fall of , the International Apple Shippers Association, faced with an oversupply of apples, had the bright idea of selling them on credit to unemployed men, at wholesale prices, for resale at 5 cents apiece and suddenly there were apple-salesmen shivering on every corner.
When the substantial and well-informed citizens who belonged to the National Economic League an organiza tion whose executive council included such notables as John Hays Hammond, James Rowland Angell, Frank O. Filene, George W. Administra tion of Justice; 2. Prohibition; 3. Crime; 5. Law Enforcement; 6. World Peace and they put Unemployment down in eighteenth place!
Even a year later, in January, , "Unemployment, Economic Stabilization" had moved up only to fourth place, following Prohibition, Administration of Justice, and Lawlessness. Certainly the Prohibition laws were being flouted more generally and more openly than ever before, even in what had formerly been comparatively sober and puritanical Communities. As a "Middletown" business man told the Lynds, "Drinking increased markedly here in 27 and 28, and in 30 was heavy and open. With the Depression, there seemed to be a collapse of public morals.
There was much drunkenness people holding bathtub gin parties. There was a great increase in women s drinking and drunkenness. In New York, by , enforcement had become such a mockery that the choice of those who wanted a drink was no longer simply between going to a speakeasy and calling up a bootlegger; there were "cordial and beverage shoppes" doing an open retail busi ness, their only concession to appearances being that bottles were not ordinarily on display, and the show windows re vealed nothing more embarrassing to the policeman on the beat than rows of little plaster figurines.
Nor was the cause of righteous enforcement aided when Bishop James Cannon, Jr. Perhaps the Wickersham Commission, when it came out of its long huddle over the law-enforcement problem, would throw a clear beam of light into this confusion? On the igth of January, , it reported upon Prohibition and the confusion was thereby worse confounded. For, in the first place, the body of the Wickersham report contained explicit and convincing evidence that Prohibition was not working; in the second place, the eleven members of the Commission 3 4 SINCE YESTERDAY came to eleven separate conclusions, two of which were in general for repeal, four for modification, and five less than a majority, it will be noted for further trial of the Prohi bition experiment.
And in the third place, the commission as a whole came out, paradoxically, for further trial. Confronted by this welter of disagreement and contradic tion, the puzzled citizen could be sure of only one thing: that the supposedly enlightened device of collecting in numerable facts and trying to reason from them to an inevitable conclusion had been turned into a farce.
The headache of the Prohibition problem remained to vex him. There were other diversions aplenty to take people s minds off the Depression. People had been saying that what the country needed was a new industry; well, here it was in travesty. Garnet Carter s campaign to establish miniature golf in Florida during the winter of had been so sensationally successful that by the summer hundreds of thousands of Americans were parking their sedans by half-acre roadside courses and earnestly knocking golf balls along cottonseed greenswards, through little mouse holes in wooden barricades, over little bridges, and through drainpipes, while the proprietors of these new playgrounds listened happily to the tinkle of the cash reg ister and decided to go in for even bigger business in to lease the field across the way and establish a driving range, with buckets of balls and a squad of local boys as retrievers armed with beach umbrellas against the white hail of slices and hooks.
There was the incredible popularity of Amos n Andy on the radio, which made the voices of Freeman F. Long won the election, incidentally, though he had to kidnap and hold incommunicado on Grand Isle, till primary day was past, two men who had been threatening him with embarrassing lawsuits. There was Bobby Jones s quadruple triumph in golf the British and American amateur and open championships which inspired more words of cabled news than any other individual s exploits during , and quite outshone Max Schmeling s defeat of Jack Sharkey, the World s Series vic tory of the Philadelphia Athletics, the success of Enterprise in defending the America s Cup at Newport against the last of Sir Thomas Lipton s Shamrocks, and the winnings of Gallant Fox, Whichone, and Equipoise on the turf.
Always the fliers could command excitement: Lindbergh, the prince charming of American aviators, inaugurated the air-mail route to the Canal Zone and soon afterward became the father of a son destined for a tragic end ; in September, , Costes and Bellonte made the first successful westward point-to-point flight across the Atlantic, taking off at Paris in the "Question Mark" and landing at Long Island.
There was the utterly fantastic epidemic of tree-sitting, which impelled thousands of publicity-crazy boys to roost in trees by day and night in the hope of capturing a "record," with occasional misadventures: a boy in Fort Worth fell asleep, hit the ground, and broke two ribs; the owner of a tree at Niagara Falls sued to have a boy removed from its branches, whereupon the boy s friends cut a branch from another tree, carried him to a new perch, and enabled him j6 SINCE YESTERDAY to continue his vigil; a boy in Manchester, New Hampshire, stayed aloft till a bolt of lightning knocked him down.
To this impressive conclusion had come the mania for flagpole- sitting and Marathon-dancing which had characterized the latter nineteen-twenties. As the winter of drew on, there were other things to talk about than the mounting unemployment relief prob lem and the collapse of the speculatively managed Bank of United States in New York. When you stepped on it again there was a small whirring sound and the engine took up its labor once more without a jolt. The device was good for endless discussions: was it a help? A lively backgammon craze was bringing comfort to department-store managers: however badly things might be going otherwise in the Christmas season, at least backgam mon boards were moving.
While the head of the house sat at his desk miserably contemplating the state of his finances, his eighteen-year-old son was humming "Body and Soul" and trying to screw up his courage to fill his hip flask with the old man s gin for the evening s dance, where he dreamed of meeting a girl with platinum-blonde hair like Jean Har- low s in "Hell s Angels. But Herbert Hoover worried, and worked doggedly at the Presidency, and saw his prestige steadily declining as the downward turn in the business index mocked his cheerful predictions, and thereupon worried and worked the harder.
Things were not going well for the great economic engineer. Congress, applying itself to tariff revision, had got out of hand and had produced, not the limited changes which Hoover had half-heartedly advocated, but a new sky-high tariff bill which in the words of Denna Frank Fleming was virtually "a declaration of economic war against the whole of the civilized world," giving "notice to other nations that retaliatory tariffs, quotas, and embargoes against Amer ican goods were in order.
Over a thousand American economists, finding themselves in agreement for once and for the last time during the nineteen-thirties had protested against any general tariff increase. Hoover was no economic illiterate. But he was by nature and training an administrator rather than a poli tician, and he had been so outmaneuvered politically dur ing the long tariff wrangle that when the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Bill was finally laid on his desk in June, , he signed it presumably with an inward groan. His Farm Board had been trying to sustain the prices of wheat and cotton by buying them on the market, and had succeeded by the end of the season in accumulating sixty million bushels of wheat and a million and a third bales of cotton, without doing any more than slow up the 38 SINCE YESTERDAY price decline.
As if the farm situation were not bad enough already, a terrific drought had developed during the sum mer in the belt of land running from Virginia and Maryland on the Eastern seaboard out to Missouri and Arkansas a precursor of other and more dreadful droughts to come ; and when wells failed and crops withered in the fields, new lamentations arose to plague the man in the White House. Nor had these lamentations ceased when it became apparent that the continuing contraction of business threatened an ugly winter for the unemployed, whose numbers, by the end of , had increased from the three or four millions "of the spring to some five or six millions.
Since Hoover s first fever of activity after the Panic, he had been leery of any direct governmental offensive against the Depression. He had preferred to let economic nature take its course. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body the producers and consumers them selves. But he was not idle meanwhile. For already there was a fierce outcry for Federal aid, Federal benefits of one sort or another; and in this outcry he saw a grave threat to the Federal budget, the self-reliance of the American people, and the tradition of local self-rule and local responsibility for charitable relief.
He resolved to defeat this threat. Al though he set up a national committee to look after the unemployment relief situation, this committee was not to hand out Federal funds; it was simply to co-ordinate and encourage the state and local attempts to provide for the jobless out of state appropriations and local charitable drives. He vetoed pension bills. To meet the privation and distress caused by the drought he urged a Red Cross campaign and recommended an appro priation to enable the Department of Agriculture to loan money "for the purpose of seed and feed for animals," but fought against any handouts by the Federal government to feed human beings.
In all this Hoover was desperately sincere. He saw himself as the watchdog not only of the Treasury, but of America s "rugged individualism. It is solely a question of the best method by which hunger and cold shall be pre vented. It is a question as to whether the American people, on one hand, will maintain the spirit of charity and mutual self-help through voluntary giving and the responsibility of local government as distinguished, on the other hand, from appropriations out of the Federal Treasury for such pur poses. I have. I do not feel that I should be charged with lack of human sympathy for those who suffer, but I recall that in all the organizations with which I have been connected over these many years, the foundation has been to summon the maximum of self-help.
I am willing to pledge myself that if the time should ever come that the voluntary agen cies of the country, together with the local and State govern ments, are unable to find resources with which to prevent hunger and suffering in my country, I will ask the aid of every resource of the Federal Government because I would no more see starvation amongst our countrymen than would any Senator or Congressman. I have faith in the American people that such a day will not come. But to hungry farmers in Arkansas the President who would lend them Federal money to feed their animals, but not to feed their children, seemed cillous.
Jobless men and women in hard-hit industrial towns were unimpressed by Hoover s tributes to self-reliance. Even the prosperous conservatives failed him as whole hearted allies. Business was bad, the President seemed to be doing nothing constructive to help them, and though they did not know themselves what ought to be done or were hopelessly divided in their counsels, they craved a leader and felt they were not being given one.
They groused; some of them called Hoover a spineless jellyfish. Meanwhile Charles Michelson, the Democratic party s publicity direc tor, was laying down a diabolically well-aimed barrage of press releases and speeches for Congressional use, taking advantage of every Hoover weakness to strengthen the Democratic opposition; and the President, suffering from his inability to charm and cajole the Washington corre spondents, was getting a bad press.
The Congressional and State elections of November, , brought Democratic victories, confronting Hoover with the prospect, ere long, of a definitely hostile Congress. Roosevelt, who was re-elected by the unexpectedly large plurality of , The afternoon following the election, Roosevelt s State chairman, an ex-boxing commissioner named James A. Farley, produced with the aid of Roosevelt s political mentor, Louis McHenry Howe, a statement which he was afraid the Governor might not like.
It said: "I do not see how Mr. Roosevelt can escape being the next presidential nominee of his party, even if no one should raise a finger to bring it about. But things were bad enough even without borrowing trouble from the future. In midwinter there was an encour aging upturn in business, but as the spring of drew on, the retreat began once more. Hoover s convictions were being outrun by events. The argument looked very reasonable but these men were wrong. Something far more profound than that was taking place, and not in America alone. The nineteenth century and the first few years of the twentieth century had witnessed a remarkable combination of changes which could not continue indefinitely.
Among these were: 1. The rapid progress of the industrial revolution which brought with it steam power, and then gasoline and electric power and all manner of scientific and inventive miracles; brought factory production on a bigger and bigger scale; drew the population off the farms into bigger and bigger cities; transformed large numbers of people from independ ent economic agents into jobholders; and made them in creasingly dependent upon the successful working of an in creasingly complex economy.
A huge increase in population. According to Henry Pratt Fairchild, if the population of the world had continued to grow at the rate at which it was growing during the first decade of the present century, at the end of 10, years it would have reached a figure beginning with , and followed by no less than 45 zeros. An expansion of the peoples of the Western world into vacant and less civilized parts of the earth, with the British Empire setting the pattern of imperialism, and the United States setting the pattern of domestic pioneering.
The opening up and using up of the natural resources of the world coal, oil, metals, etc. A rapid improvement in communication which in effect made the world a much smaller place, the various parts of which were far more dependent on one another than before. The rapid development and refinement of capitalism on a bigger and bigger scale, as new corporate and financial devices were invented and put into practice. These new devices such as, for example, the holding company , coupled with the devices added to mitigate the cruelties of untrarn- meled capitalism such as, for example, labor unionism and labor legislation , profoundly altered the working of the national economies, making them more rigid at numerous points and less likely to behave according to the laws of laissez-faire economics.
Which of these phenomena were causes, and which were effects, of the changes in the economic world during the century which preceded , is a matter of opinion. Let us not concern ourselves with which came first, the hen or the egg. The point is that an immense expansion and complica tion of the world economy had taken place, that it could not have continued indefinitely at such a pace, and that as it reached the point of diminishing returns, all manner of stresses developed.
These stresses included both interna tional rivalries over colonies now that the best ones had been exploited and were incidentally no longer paying their mother countries so well and internal social conflicts over the division of the fruits of industry and commerce. Presently there were ominous signs that the great age of inevitable expansion was over. The population increase was slowing up. The vacant places of the world were largely pre empted.
The natural resources were limited and could hardly be exploited much longer so quickly and cheaply. As the economic horizons narrowed, the struggle for monopoly of what was visibly profitable became more intense. Nations sought for national monopoly of world resources; corporate and financial groups sought for private monopoly of na tional resources and national industries. Meanwhile each national economy became more complex, less flexible, and more subject to the hazards of bankruptcy by reason of unbearable debts.
One way of expansion still remained open. Invention did not stop; the possibilities of increased comfort and security through increasingly efficient mechanical production and through improvement in the means of communication re mained almost limitless. But the economic apparatus which was at hand, and men s mental habits and outlook, were ad justed to the age of pioneering expansion rather than to reliance on increasing efficiency alone; and what sort of eco nomic apparatus the new age might require no one knew.
During the nineteen-twenties the United States, com paratively unhurt by the war and adept at invention and mechanization, had continued to rush ahead as if the age of pioneering expansion were not over. Still, however, it was a victim of the vices of its pioneering youth an opti mistic readiness to pile up debts and credit obligations against an expanding future, a zest for speculation in real estate and in stocks, a tendency toward financial and cor porate monopoly or quasi-monopoly which tended to stiffen a none-too-flexible economy.
As Roy Helton remarks in this connection, when one is grown up one can no longer indulge with impunity in the follies of youth. While the bellows of speculation and credit inflation blew, the fires of prosperity burned brightly; but once the bellows stopped blowing, the fires dimmed.
And when they dimmed in the United States, they dimmed all the more rapidly in Europe, where since the war they had burned only feebly. As the contraction of one national economy after another set in, men became frantic.
The traditional economic laws and customs no longer seemed to work; the men of learning were as baffled as anybody else; nobody seemed to know the answer to the economic riddle. Russia offered an alterna tive set of laws and customs, but enthusiasm for the Marx ian way as exemplified in Russia was limited.
What else was there for men to fasten their hopes upon? Nobody knew, for this emergency was unprecedented. So it hap pened that the world entered upon a period of bewilder ment, mutual suspicion, and readiness for desperate meas ures. Nor was the United States, falling from such a pinnacle of apparent economic success, to escape the confusion and dismay of readjustment. The department-store advertisements were begin ning to display Eugenie hats, heralding a fashion en thusiastic but brief; Wiley Post and Harold Gatty were pre paring for their flight round the world in the monoplane " Winnie Mae"; and newspaper readers were agog over the finding, on Long Beach near New York, of the dead body of a pretty girl with the singularly lyrical name of Starr Faithfull.
Buck s The Good Earth, which led the best-seller lists. The sporting heroes of the nineteen-twenties had nearly all passed from the scenes of their triumphs: Bobby Jones had turned profes sional the preceding fall; Tilden had lost the tennis cham pionship the preceding summer; Dempsey and Tunney had long since relinquished their crowns, and boxing was falling into uncertain repute; Knute Rockne, the Notre Dame football coach, had recently been killed in an air- 45 46 SINCE YESTERDAY plane crash; and even Babe Ruth was no longer the undis puted Sultan of Swat: Lou Gehrig was now matching him home run for home run.
During that month of June, , there was a foretaste and a sour oneof many a financial scandal to come, when three officers of the Bank of United States were con victed by a jury in New York, after shocking disclosures of the mismanagement of the bank s funds during the specula tive saturnalia of and There was the inception of a romance that was to shake an empire to its founda tions: on June 10 a young American woman living in London, a Mrs.
Ernest Simpson, was presented at Court and met for the first time the Prince of Wales. At Hopewell, New Jersey, the scene was being unwittingly set for the most tragic crime of the decade: Colonel Lindbergh s new house described in newspaper captions as "A Nest for the Lone Eagle" was under construction, the scaffolding up, the first floor partly completed.
During that month a young man from St. Louis came on to New York, with arrangements all made, as he sup posed, for the transfer to him of a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. But one detail had been neglected: the Exchange was virtually a club, and a candidate for mem bership must have a proposer and seconder. There was some delay before the young man from St. Louis, whose name was William McC.
Martin, Jr. The gentlemen of Wall Street, having no inkling of the changes in store for them during the next few years, would have been thunderstruck if they had been told that before the decade was out, this unknown youth would be President of an Exchange operating under close govern mental supervision. On a Sunday morning in June, , two men spent some busy hours in a small room in a very big house in Hyde Park, New York, poring over maps of the United States and railroad timetables and lists of names.
Farley had conceived the idea of attending the forthcoming Elks Convention at Seattle, and he and Governor Roosevelt were planning how he might make the most of the expedition, covering eighteen states in nineteen days and talking with innumerable Dem ocratic leaders, with most of whom he had already been corresponding profusely and cordially. The object of this prophetic journey, needless to say, was to sound out Demo cratic sentiment in the West and to suggest as disarmingly as possible that the leaders might do well to unite behind.
Governor Roosevelt in And it was during that month of June, , that Presi dent Hoover gave up waiting for economic conditions to improve of their own accord and began his real offensive against the Depression began it with a statesmanlike stroke in international finance which seemed briefly to be vic torious, and which failed in the end only because the proc esses of economic destruction were too powerful and too far developed to be overcome by any weapon in the Hoover armory.
On the hot afternoon of Saturday, June 20, Hoover proposed an international moratorium in war reparations and war debts. Debts national and private which had once seemed bearable burdens had now become intolerably heavy; new financial credits were hardly being extended ex cept to shore up the old ones; prices fell, anxiety spread, and the whole system slowed almost to a standstill. During the spring of the paralysis had become acute. It is ironical, in retrospect, to note that what made it acute was an attempt on the part of Germany and Austria to combine for limited economic purposes to achieve a customs union and the fierce opposition of the French to any such scheme.
Anything which might bring Germany and Austria together and strengthen them was anathema to the French, who little realized then the possible conse quences of Central European bankruptcy. Already the biggest bank in Austria, the Credit Anstalt, had been in a tight fix. When the altercation over the customs union still further increased the general uncer tainty, the Credit Anstalt had been obliged to appeal to the none-too-solvent Austrian government for aid. Imme diately panic was under way.
Quickly it spread to Ger many. In May and June, , capital was fleeing both countries, foreign loans were being withdrawn, and a gen eral collapse seemed imminent a collapse which might cause the downfall of Germany s democratic government. For that cloud on the German horizon which in had seemed no bigger than a man s hand was now growing fast: Hitler s Brown Shirts were becoming more and more powerful. Note Mrs. Jones s helmet-like hut and the almost perpen dicular windshield of the car.
Hoover had then begun a long period of consultation with members of his Cabinet, with Federal Reserve offi cials, with ambassadors, with bankers. Always a terrific worker at his desk before eight-thirty, taking only fifteen minutes for lunch unless he had White House guests, and often burning the lights in the Lincoln study late into the night he now concentrated all the more fiercely. Before long he had drafted tentatively a moratorium statement, laboring over it so grimly that he broke pencil point after pencil point in the writing.
Yet he had delayed issuing it. The dangers of the scheme were apparent. Congress might object, and this would be fatal. Other nations, particularly proud and jealous France, might object. The budget-balancing on which he had set his heart might be imperiled by cutting off the debt pay ments to America. Furthermore such a proposal, by calling attention to the international panic, might accentuate rather than ease it.
Meanwhile the storm in Europe spread. Hoover s advisers were pleading with him to act, but still he would not. He waited. In mid-June he was scheduled to go on a speaking trip through the Middle West which included the somewhat dubious pleasure of speaking at the dedication of a memorial to President Harding ; he went off with the proposal yet unmade, while almost hourly the inside news was relayed to him from Washington: the European collapse was accelerating.
He began telephoning senators and representatives to get their ad vance approval. Congress was not sitting, and the telephone operators had to catch for him men widely dispersed all over the country, on speaking trips, on motor trips, on golf courses, on fishing trips deep in the woods; one lawmaker, hearing that the White House wanted him, called it from a Canadian drugstore; another was reached just as he was about to rise for an after-dinner speech.
Hour after hour the indefatigable Hoover sat at the telephone explaining to man after man what he wanted to do and fearing that the news would leak before he could act. At last, on that broil ing Saturday, June 20, the news was already leaking and he had to give out the announcement with France still unconsulted. He called the newspaper men to the White House and read them a long statement which contained both his proposal for an international moratorium and the names of 21 senators and 18 representatives who had already ap proved it.
The newspaper men grabbed their copies and rushed for the telephones. When the news was flashed over the world a chorus of wild enthusiasm arose. The stock market in New York leaped, stock markets in Europe rallied, bankers praised Hoover, editorial writers cheered; the sedate London Econ omist came out with a panegyric entitled "The Break in the Clouds" which called the proposal "the gesture of a great man"; and millions of Americans who had felt, how ever vaguely, that the government ought to "do something" and who had blamed Hoover for his inactivity, joined in the applause.
Little as they might know about the inter national financial situation which had been getting no where near as much space in the press as the Starr Faithfull mystery , this was action at last and they liked it. It was the high moment of his Presidency. Only the French demurred. Hoover sent his seventy- seven-year-old Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon, to reason with them, and exhausted the old man with con stant consultations by transatlantic. After a long delay over two weeks the French agreed to the plan with modifications, and the day appeared to have been saved.
But it was not saved at all. Presently panic in Germany became intensified; the big Danat Bank was closed. The panic spread to England. The pound sterling was now in danger. A new National Gov ernment, headed by the Laborite MacDonald but com posed mostly of Tories, took office to save the pound and presently abandoned it.
When England went off the gold standard, every nation still on gold felt the shock, and most of them followed England into the new adventure of a managed currency. In the United States this new shock of September, , was sharp. The archaic American banking system, which had never been too strong even in more prosperous days, was gravely affected; all over the United States banks were collapsing banks which had invested heavily in bonds and mortgages and now found the prices of their foreign bonds cascading, the prices of their domestic bonds sliding down in the general rush of liquidation, and their mortgages frozen solid.
In the month of September, , a total of American banks closed; in October, a total of Frightened capitalists were hoarding gold now, lest the United States too should go off the gold standard; safe- deposit boxes were being crammed full of coins, and many a mattress was stuffed with gold certificates.
Farrell, had hitherto steadfastly re fused to cut the wage-rateannounced a ten-per-cent cut; other corporations followed; during that autumn, all over the United States, men were coming home from the office or the factory to tell their wives that the next pay check would be a little smaller, and that they must think up new econo mies. The ranks of the unemployed received new recruits; by the end of the year their numbers were in the neigh borhood of ten millions.
So far, in a few months, had the ripples of panic and renewed depression spread from Vienna. Again Hoover acted, and again his action was financial. Something must be done to save the American banking sys tem, and the bankers were not doing it; the spirit of the day was sauve qui pent. Hoover called fifteen of the overlords of the banking world to a secret evening meeting with him and his financial aides at Secretary Mellon s apartment in Washington, and proposed to them that the strong banks of the country form a credit pool to help the weak ones.
When it became clear that this would not suffice for the strong banks were taking no chances and this pool, the National Credit Corporation, lent almost no money at all- Hoover recommended the formation of a big governmental credit agency, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, with two billion dollars to lend to banks, railroads, insurance companies. As the winter of arrived and the run on the country s gold continued, and it seemed as if the United States might presently be forced off the gold standard, Hoover issued a public appeal against hoarding and then proposed an alteration in Federal Reserve requirements which embodied in the Glass-Steagall Act eased this sit uation.
Already the pressure of events had pushed the apostle of rugged individualism much further toward state socialism than any previous president had gone in time of peace. Hoover s Reconstruction Finance Corporation had put the government deeply into business. But it was state socialism of a very limited and special sort. What was happening may perhaps be summed up in this way: Hoover had tried to keep hands off the economic machin ery of the country, to permit a supposedly flexible system to make its own adjustments of supply and demand. At two points he had intervened, to be sure: he had tried to hold up the prices of wheat and cotton, unsuccessfully, and he had tried to hold up wage-rates, with partial and temporary suc cess; but otherwise he had mainly stood aside to let prices and profits and wages follow their natural course.
But no natural adjustment could be reached unless the burdens of debt could also be naturally reduced through bankruptcies. And in America, as in other parts of the world, the economic sys tem had now become so complex and interdependent that the possible consequences of widespread bankruptcy to the banks, the insurance companies, the great holding-company systems, and the multitudes of people dependent upon them had become too appalling to contemplate.
Therefore Hoover was driven to the point of intervening to protect the debt structure first by easing temporarily the pressure of international debts without can celing them, and second by buttressing the banks and big corporations with Federal funds. Thus a theoretically flexible economic structure became rigid at a vital point. The debt burden remained almost undiminished. Bowing under the weight of debt and other rigid costs business thereupon slowed still further. As it slowed, it discharged workers or put them on reduced hours, thereby reducing purchasing power and intensifying the crisis.
It is almost useless to ask whether Hoover was right or wrong. Probably the method he was driven by circum stances to adopt would have brought recovery very slowly, if at all, unless devaluation of the currency had given a fillip to recovery and devaluation to Hoover was unthink able. It is also almost useless to ask whether Hoover was acting with a tory heartlessness in permitting financial executives to come to Washington for a corporate dole when men and women on the edge of starvation were denied a personal dole.
What is certain is that at a time of such widespread suffering no democratic government could seem to be aiding the financiers and seem to be simultaneously disregarding the plight of its humbler citizens without losing the confidence of the public. For the days had passed when men who lost their jobs could take their working tools elsewhere and contrive an independent living, or cul tivate a garden patch and thus keep body and soul to gether, or go West and begin again on the frontier. When they lost their jobs they were helpless.
Desperately they turned for aid to the only agency responsible to them for righting the wrongs done them by a blindly operating eco nomic society: they turned to the government. The capitalist system had become so altered that it could not function in its accustomed ways, and the consequences of its failure to function had become too cruel to be borne by free men. Events were marching, and Herbert Hoover was to be among their victims, along with the traditional economic theories of which he was the obstinate and tragic spokesman.
Drucker has said, "shows man as a senseless cog in a senselessly whirling machine which is beyond human understanding and has ceased to serve any purpose but its own. As one by one the supposedly fixed principles of busi ness and economics and government went down in ruins, people who had taken these fixed principles for granted, and had shown little interest in politics except at election time, began to try to educate themselves.
For not even the comparatively prosperous could any longer deny that some thing momentous was happening. The circulation departments of the public libraries were reporting an increased business, not only in the anodyne of fiction, but also in books of solid fact and discussion. As a business man of "Middletown" later told the Lynds, "Big things were happening that were upsetting us, our businesses, and some of our ideas, and we wanted to try to understand them. Lecturers on Russia were in demand; Maurice Hindus s Humanity Uprooted and New Russia s Primer were thumbed and puzzled over; Ray Long, editor of Hearst s usually frivolous Cosmopolitan magazine, had gone to Mos cow to sign up Soviet writers and gave a big dinner to a Russian novelist at the massively capitalistic Metropolitan Club in New York; gentle liberals who prided themselves on their open-mindedness were assuring one another that "after all we had something to learn from Russia," espe cially about "planning"; many of the more forthright lib erals were tumbling head over heels into communism.
For more orthodox men and women, the consumption of Walter Lippmann s daily analysis of events written for the New York Herald Tribune and syndicated all over the country was becoming a matutinal rite as inevitable as coffee and orange juice. When the New York World famous for its liberalism and the wit of its columnists had ceased publication in February, , Lippmann, its edi tor, had gone over to the Herald Tribune and to sudden national fame.
Clear, cool, and orderly in his thinking, he seemed to be able to reduce a senseless sequence of events to sense; he brought first aid to men and women groping in the dark for opinions and also to men and women who foresaw themselves else tongue-tied and helpless when the conversation at the dinner party should turn from the great Lenz-Culbertson bridge match to the Reconstruction Fi nance Corporation and the gold standard.
The autumn of brought also an outburst of laugh ter. When old certainties topple, when old prophets are discredited, one can at least enjoy their downfall. Don t make it serious. Life s too mysterious. Relief money was scarce, for charitable organizations were hard beset and cities and towns had either used up their available funds or were on the point of doing so.
A few statistical facts and estimates are necessary, how ever, to an understanding of the scope and impact of the Depression. For example: Although the amount of money paid out in interest during the year was only 3. Simon Kuznets for die National Bureau of Economic Research, on the other hand the amount of money paid out in salaries had dropped 40 per cent, dividends had dropped Thus had the debt structure remained comparatively rigid while other ele ments in the economy were subjected to fierce deflation.
Do not imagine, however, that the continuation of in terest payments and the partial continuation of dividend payments meant that business as a whole was making money. Business as a whole lost between five and six billion dollars in To be sure, most of the larger and better- managed companies did much better than that.
Yet one must add that "better managed" is here used in a special sense. Not only had labor-saving devices and speed-ups increased the output per man-hour in man ufacturing industries by an estimated 18 per cent since , but employees had been laid off in quantity. Every time one of the giants of industry, to keep its financial head above water, threw off a new group of workers, many little corporations roundabout sank further into the red. While existing businesses shrank, new ones were not being undertaken. The total of domestic corporate issues issues of securities floated to provide capital for American corporationshad dropped in to just about one twenty-fourth of the figure.
But these cold statistics give us little sense of the human realities of the economic paralysis of Let us try an other approach. Walking through an American city, you might find few signs of the Depression visible or at least conspicuous to the casual eye. You might notice that a great many shops were untenanted, with dusty plate-glass windows and signs indicating that they were ready to lease; that few factory chimneys were smoking; that the streets were not so crowded with trucks as in earlier years, that there was no uproar of riveters to assail the ear, that beggars and panhandlers were on the sidewalks in unprecedented numbers in the Park Avenue district of New York a man might be asked for money four or five times in a ten-block walk.
Traveling by railroad, you might notice that the trains were shorter, the Pullman cars fewer and that fewer freight trains were on the line. Traveling overnight, you might find only two or three other passengers in your sleeping car. By contrast, there were more filling stations by the motor highways 60 SINCE YESTERDAY than ever before, and of all the retail businesses in "Mid dle town" only the filling stations showed no large drop in business during the black years; for although few new automobiles were being bought, those which would still stand up were being used more than ever to the dismay of the railroads.
Otherwise things might seem to you to be going on much as usual. The major phenomena of the Depression were mostly negative and did not assail the eye. But if you knew where to look, some of them would begin to appear. First, the breadlines in the poorer dis tricts. Second, those bleak settlements ironically known as "Hoovervilles" in the outskirts of the cities and on vacant lots groups of makeshift shacks constructed out of packing boxes, scrap iron, anything that could be picked up free in a diligent combing of the city dumps: shacks in which men and sometimes whole families of evicted people were sleep ing on automobile seats carried from auto-graveyards, warm ing themselves before fires of rubbish in grease drums.
Third, the homeless people sleeping in doorways or on park benches, and going the rounds of the restaurants for left over half-eaten biscuits, piecrusts, anything to keep the fires of life burning. Fourth, the vastly increased number of thumbers on the highways, and particularly of freight-car transients on the railroads: a huge army of drifters ever on the move, searching half-aimlessly for a place where there might be a job.
According to Jonathan Norton Leon ard, the Missouri Pacific Railroad in had " taken offi cial cognizance" of 13, migrants; by the figure had already jumped to , It was estimated that by the beginning of , the country over, there were a million of these transients on the move. A brave solider is discharged by a wicked King and set out into the world for adventure. Wesley the Wailing Whale swallows the star; Penelope the Pelican. Presto the Magician; the Candy Pirates.
Sustaining, ABC. Riley in a seasonal broadcast. Riley invites Gillis to Thanksgiving dinner. The house of the Wintergreen Witch; into the Enchanted Forest. In a sketch, the boys portray John Alden and Miles Standish. All the Christmas presents are locked inside the hall closet and Fibber has lost the keys! The entire show is written in rhyme as Terry and all his gang extend Christmas greeting to listeners.
Bob Hastings is Archie. Joe Friday and his partner searching fora statue stolen from a Church on Christmas Eve. Jack Webb, Ben Alexander. Chapter 15 — Snapper Stick, the crocodile. Navy Chorus, and Ray Noble and his orchestra. Jack tries to convince Eve that there is a Santa. Christmas Seals. Norge Appliances, CBS. Story by Damon Runyon. Signal Oil Co. Rexall, NBC. A suspenseful holiday story. Boynton; Jane Morgan as Mrs. Miss Brooks is unable to visit her relatives for Christmas, so she decides to spend a quite holiday at home. Colgate Products, CBS.
Do our heroes find the star for the Christmas tree? Kraft Foods, NBC. On this day after Christmas, Charlie tells about a dream he had when Hoppy saved Christmas by avoiding a Reindeer strike! Coca Cola, CBS. Lux Soap, CBS. Nussbaum and Ajax Cassidy. Interesting and moving wartime broadcast following Pearl Harbor. The first episode of this ten-part adventure begins a tale of ancient Chicoda mysticism. Ben Grauer announces. Guest is Dave Elman. Crisco, NBC. JIVE s G. Armed Forces Radio Service. Colgate, NBC. The new manager of a lumber yard turns it into an illegal gambling joint.
AutoLite, CBS. Tender shipboard romance between a con-man and a fatally ill young woman. Gruen Watch Co. Reagan, Crosby and Martin take a look at radio soap operas! In Second Lieutenant Grant falls in love with the daughter of a Colonel. DuPont, NBC. A witness is charged with murder. Archie wants to change the Tavern into an exclusive club for actors. Raymond opens the creeking door. In part one of this six-part interview, Mr.
Balzer recalls a typical work week for the Benny writing staff and discusses the running gags which were a trademark of the show. A woman is accused of killing her stepfather. And, later, Melchior tries to get into radio. In this segment, he recaps his personal writing background, reveals how he got his job with Jack Benny, and tells of an hilarious Benny press conference in Jack has insomnia.
Josefsberg recalls a particular Jack Benny sketch and talks about radio censorship. Jack goes to his vault to get some money for the trip, then goes to the train station. An adaptation for radio of the famous story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Petri Wines, MBS. Kreml Shampoo, ABC. Sustaining, BBC. Many flashbacks including comedy scenes with W. Presented in tribute to Mr. Baldwin who died November 17, Selections from popular and semi-classical music and an operatic aria. Raleigh Cigarettes, NBC. Raymond opens the creaking door for a chilling drama. International Silver Co. Brian , Harlow Wilcox, Mrs.
Carstairs Bea Benadaret. Marlin Hurt as Beulah. Benjamin Ordway, the Crime Doctor, criminal psychiatrist. A safecracker goes to jail while his partner promises to hold the loot for him. Announcer is Ken Roberts. John Conrad announces. An hilarious courtroom scene! Blue B.
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Colgate Palmolive, CBS. Henry story. Louis Blues. Sustaining, WBBM. Cast features Ed Begley, Herb Ellis. Novak gets a warning to stay away from prize fighter Rory Malone. Pete is forced to marry the girlfriend of a hoodlum. Working out of Narcotics, Friday and Smith try to break up an organized gang of heroin dealers. Friday goes undercover. Chesterfield Cigarettes, NBC. Dowd, Circuit Attorney. Barbara Eiler is his girlfriend Mildred and Bea Benadaret is her mother. The bad guys are in big trouble. Ovaltine, MBS. These interviews were made on June 16, , less than eight weeks after the first TWTD program, at a party for Chicago radio personalities at Sages East restaurant in Chicago.
Bill Goodwin announces. The opener tells how Jane and Irma met for the first time. Buddy Cole and the Trio assist. Bing sings and comments. Ken Carpenter announces. Excellent radio version of the exciting pirate story by Robert Louis Stevenson. A gold dealer offers Lime a chance to make a fortune. Judy gets the long-awaited invitation to the dance from Oogie, but laments that she has nothing to wear.
Tums, NBC. Miss Brooks hopes she is not the recipient of the Home Economy class clothing award. Judy arranges for a blind date for Lois. Needing a new location for their store, the boys try to outwit a real estate agent. Ford, CBS. Dick Powell co-stars in the story about a vaudeville couple determined to play the Palace. Bert Parks announces. Broadcast interrupted by the first unofficial news bulletin of the invasion of Normandy: D-Day, Sustaining, MBS. EWT, First official announcement of the Allied invasion. Murrow report. Announcement by Gen. Dwight D. George gets a telegram to sing at a War Bond Rally.
Swan Soap, CBS. Roosevelt speaks to the nation on D-Day, reading a prayer he wrote the night before, after he had been notified of the start of the invasion. Pepsodent, NBC. Reported via wire recorder by George Hicks. Actual battle sounds are heard. Introduced by Robert Trout. John from New York with more news flashes on the invasion. Old Gold, CBS. Cast includes Hans Conried as ham actor Jonathan Mildew. A man with a dual personality records his thoughts in a diary, admitting that he is two people. A tour de force for Jim Backus. Colgate, Halo, CBS. Paladin lends assistance to a colony of Mennonites.
Luke comes to the aid of an army buddy who has been accused of cattle slaughtering. Lee Quince of the U. Calvalry with Vic Perrin as Sgt. During a widespread drought, a pond-owner charges cattlemen one dollar a head for water. Frank wants to get out of his contract with Cass. Morgan the Agriculturist!
A mindreader finds that his partner can read minds. Auto-Light, CBS. As Jack and Mary prepare for a trip to Chicago, Mr. House of Squibb, CBS. A millionaire alumnus plane to give an endowment to the College. Voice of America Rebroadcast. Bonita Hume Mrs. Colman co-stars in this romantic adventure of intrigue. Syndicated, ABC. Original broadcast from p.
Eastern Time. John Daly interrupts the concert with the official announcement from the White House. Reports from Honolulu and Washington and an announcement that all Armed Forces personnel are ordered to report for duty in the morning. Roosevelt asks for a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan.
Originally broadcast at p. Eastern time. He describes the events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor, warns the public to beware of rumors and tells listeners he does not yet know the full extent of the damage at Pearl Harbor. Originally broadcast at 10 p.
Junior the Mean Little Kid visits Santa at the department store. Three spirits try to convince him otherwise. Latest news developments precede the program. The spirit of the holiday saves them from disaster. Many WW II references throughout. A cross-section of the U. A pacifist, drafted during the first World War, realizes the purpose of fighting and becomes a hero.
First of two consecutive and related programs. PLUS — Necrology of , recalling the loss of favorite performers during the past year. Prior to the show, it is announced that the familiar siren of the sponsor Texaco will not sound as usual so as not to alarm a tense nation. Douglas MacArthur.
Fulton Lewis Jr. What the gang did on their summer vacation. Guest is Maurice Evans. A mini-cavalcade of the career of Fred Allen. Jack gets a physical exam. Pacific War Time this morning. Jack is off to the Hillcrest Country Club to play some golf. Army Presidio in San Francisco before an all-soldier audience. The program is being short-waved to military audiences around the world, including General MacArthur and his men in the Philippines.
Jack is still looking for his golf ball at the Hillcrest Country Club. WW II program. Marine Corps base in San Diego, California. Joan Bennett guests. WW II flavor throughout. Radio version of film. A wrongly-diagnosed small-town girl expresses a last wish to see New York City before she dies. An enemy agent is out to bomb a defense plant eight months before Pearl Harbor.
WW II related. A sound engineer and his wife rent a house in the country. An all-star cast participates in this dramatic production written and directed by Norman Corwin. Cast includes Cpl. President Roosevelt makes significant remarks one week after the U. Declaration of War on Japan and just a few days after entering into war with Germany. A lodger at an English home is suspected of a strange murder. Young listeners are asked to send in their pledges to buy War Stamps. Cast members recall Paul Rhymer and the program they all love. Complete story in five parts.
Cobb and Vanessa Brown in a radio version of the film. Host is Sunny Meadows. James H. WW II theme. Joe — A man is convinced that his dead father is talking to him. Haley tries to get Fred to go back to Vaudeville with him. Eddie goes for a physical to join the Marines! Clara finds 10 pounds of sugar she did not declare to the war ration board.
Robinbson hosts this shortwave broadcast for WW II military audiences. Benny Goodman and the orchestra appear with Peggy Lee. This is the first of 32 consecutive minute chapters from Books 79 and 80 by Carlton E. In the first episode, Teddy Barbour is returning from Korea, Elwood is setting up housekeeping alone and Jack has some problems at the office. WW II flavor. WW II framework. Remote broadcast from the Astor Hotel. Part one of a two-part drama.
Graham McNamee covers the arrival of Charles A. Lindberg at the Washington Navy Yard as he returns to the U. Army audience at Camp Haan, Riverside, California. Guest is actress Veronica Lake. Expanded version of the original recording. Fields and Mae West this afternoon with a special segment devoted to those two guest stars. Announcer is Mike Wallace. First of two consecutive and related broadcasts. Navy submarine chaser to fight Axis U-Boats. Second of two consecutive and related shows. New Orleans police investigate the murder of a woman who was beaten to death.
Features singer Jack Fulton and comic Yogi Yorgesson. WW II program saluting the nd anniversary of the U. Coast Guard and a tribute to Irving Berlin on his 54 th birthday. The orchestra offers a salute to the armed forces. More to come next summer. Joe Kelly, Pat Buttram, all the regular stars. Jack drives the gang to the studio in his Maxwell. Many WW II references. WW II presentation. Charlie plays Columbus and Linda is Queen Isabella. Tourists from Maine are warned of traveling in Arabia. A wealthy man inherits property from a long-forgotten uncle.
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A disease drives animals wild in darkest Africa, changing domestic dogs to wild demons. Gubernatorial election returns from around the country conclude this WW II program. Address by President Roosevelt. WW II broadcast with Fred talking about wartime shortages and restrictions. Plus a sketch about how American radio programs would sound in England.
Coast Guard. Jackson Beck narrates. Gildersleeve welcomes Fibber McGee and Molly to his home. Written and directed by Norman Corwin. Uppington announces that she is going to join the WACS. A lost child is taken in by a reporter. WWII setting. Eleanor Roosevelt. Guest is Oscar Levant. Jack recalls his days in the Navy in Hop and his sidekick are being held at gunpoint by a Japanese agent. Jack and company are at Fort Custer, Michigan where military police receive their training. WW II broadcast. Welles takes the gang to his studio to see a picture being made.
Kildare helps a teen-age girl who is an alcoholic. Program MR. WW II travel restrictions. WW II content. Car theft during wartime is a Federal offense. Frank Lovejoy Joan Banks. A former Korean war jet pilot is offered a job that will contribute to world betterment. An opera star falls in love with a penniless singer in Paris, but her husband interferes. WW II feature. A man, convicted of the axe-murder of his wife, dreams that he has escaped the train taking him to prison and execution. Program As we complete 23 years of Those Were The Days broadcasts, we fondly remember how it all began on that watt daytime station in Evanston.
WW II setting. Congress offering a detailed report on WW II. WW I I show. WW II show. This is the first of 28 consecutive minute chapters from Books 80 and 81 by Carlton E. The story picks up where we left off last summer. Red is involved in murder while trying to succeed as a door-to-door salesman. Don and the gang say goodbye to listeners. Murrow in London.
Naval Training School at the University of Chicago. The criminal, corrupt Fascist regime in Italy is going to pieces. A wealthy man is befriended by someone who wants to rob him. Pot shots have been taken at Mussolini, but bad luck and bad aim prevented their finding a vital spot. Program Arthur Godfrey was born August 31, On the eve of the 90th anniversary of his birth, we remember the popular entertainer with an afternoon of special radio sounds.
Guest is Gene Autry. Arthur reminisces about the year , his coverage of the funeral of President FDR, and his broadcast career. An earlier version of this same story, from , was heard last week on TWTD. Time Marches back to This story was originally broadcast on Suspense Oct. Jack is back from a three-month WW II overseas camp tour. How safe are our destroyer escort ships?
Do parachutes fail to open? An artist paints a picture of a blood-soaked axe murderer. Goodrich plant in Akron, Ohio. Time Marches Back.
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Part 2. Pioneer life in the Northwest Territory is the basis for this Thanksgiving theme broadcast. Guest is Barbara Stanwyck. A young girl tries desperately to get her mother a cuckoo clock for Christmas. Don Wilson is the department store Santa Claus. The show also visits a hospitalized, disabled WW II veteran for a warm-hearted, touching program for the Christmas season. Howard Duff announces. A holiday reveler welcomes in the new year with too much partying. Jerry Gray in the absence of Capt. Glenn Miller, out sick with the flu. Time Marches Back to A gunfighter comes to the aid of homesteaders.
In a cemetery, a man waits to meet a woman who was buried a year ago. Strange things begin to happen when a family arrives in their new home. A writer who witnessed a tragic death is drawn back to the scene of the event. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart in a radio version of their movie. The police allow a murderer to escape and return to the scene of his crime to prove that he is not really insane. Jack recalls his enlistment in the Navy. Guest is actor Robert Taylor.
The cast sings a birthday wish to Jack. The Allies have turned back repeated German counter-attacks at Anzio. The Pacific offensive continues. In a flashback, Jack gets a violin lesson from Professor LeBlanc, then listens to the radio. Jack is planning a tour of military bases. Jack repeats his screen role in this radio version of his infamous movie comedy about an angel sent to Earth to destroy it. Mary suggests arranging the 39 candles in the shape of a question mark! The story of the growth, development and importance of rubber. Our Liberators with fighter escort have continued the air offensive with another sock at German costal installations in France.
In the Pacific, American troops at Los Negros in the Admiralties have killed three thousand Japanese in one of the fiercest battles of the war. X travels to Italy to investigate a circus he believes to be a front for the Mafia. Last show of the series. The story of men taming, controlling and enslaving the forces of Nature.
From the WW II series. Robinson, Gail Patrick and Laird Cregar in an interesting example of alternate casting in this radio version of the screen classic, about the search for the elusive Black Bird. Jack wants to take Mary to the movies and Dennis dreams that he has his own show! Colby, telling him he will inherit a fortune. Cobb and Vanessa Brown in the story of the miraculous apparition of the Blessed Virgin to a poor village girl.
Moscow dispatchers say the hour of liberation is near for the Black Sea naval base at Odessa. A newlywed wife, used to preparing huge meals for her husband, invites his health-conscious boss to dinner. Olan Soule died February 1, at age The cast of the Barn Dance did not learn until a few hours before the broadcast that this would be the final show.
The station was changing to a contemporary music format. Time Marches Back to with Bing as a music publisher and Dave as a composer. WW II comedy. A capacity crowd packed the Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center to honor the great comedian on his Centennial birthday. Ken Alexander wrote an original radio script, based upon characters and situations created during the twenty-three year run of one of the most successful programs in the history of radio. Kitzel, Gertrude and Mable, Ed, the Quartet and others.
A light-hearted, but propaganda-filled story about the th Air Fighter Squadron in North Africa features Howard Duff as a sensitive pilot in a war zone. An escaped convict masquerades as a clergyman after terrorizing a real cleric. Merchant Marines. The Pawnees are going to attack Dodge City. Amberfish, a submarine out of Pearl Harbor in on its fourth war patrol. Don and Mary tell him that he might have a split personality, but he is doubtful… until he goes to buy a cigar.
General Stillwell reports that American Liberators have attacked a Japanese island within miles of the Philippines. Guest is Danny Kaye. Program Comedian Fred Allen was born one hundred years ago, on May 31, This show features popular sketches from previous shows. Guest Henry Morgan. The question: What do you like about the circus? Adams welcome guest panelist Fred Allen who assumes the role of emcee for part of the program.
Fred wants Hollywood to make his life story. Guest is Jack Haley. Roosevelt reports to the nation on the capture of Rome. The first of the Axis capitols is now in our hands. First unofficial reports of the invasion, without Allied confirmation. First Allied news that the invasion has begun. Edward R. Correspondent Wright Bryan, first man to return to London from the invasion, offers an eyewitness description of the first parachute drop of the invasion.
Bob Trout brings listeners up to date on invasion news. Major George Fielding Elliott describes the tone of the invasion and mood of the troops. Excerpt from one of the few regularly scheduled programs to be broadcast on this day. Announcer Dwight Weist urges listeners to buy war bonds. Her regular story continues, but at the close of the broadcast Aunt Jenny has a World War II message for wives and mothers. He asks for prayers for peace and victory. Don Hollenback with news bulletins. Storyteller John Nesbitt looks years into the future to June 6, a school teacher in the 21st Century tells his students about the invasion of Europe during World War II.
Wassell describes how wounded are treated; Navy Chaplain Walter Peck, who was at Pearl Harbor, offers a message of hope and faith. George is down in the dumps until he gets a telegram from Kansas City. The president addresses the nation on the evening of the D-Day invasion and asks the nation to join him in prayer. Red, as Junior, the mean little kid, in a touching D-Day sketch. NBC News attempts to pick up a short wave broadcast from London, a wire recording of correspondent George Hicks now famous account of the D-Day landing on the beach.
There are many technical difficulties and while waiting for the report, NBC switches to Chicago for some dance music by Roy Shields and the orchestra. Tom Traynor, war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, has an eyewitness account of the beachhead at France. Papa David has an invasion prayer and comments.
Then on to the continuing storyline. Hottelet in London. Bernardine Flynn talks about reaction on the home front in Chicago. In an Invasion Day sermon, Dr. Gaylord tells his neighbors what D-Day means to the town of Five Points. War Bond messages in place of regular commercials. Chaplain reports from London.
Contestants from the studio audience go thru their paces. This mammoth memorial is dedicated to the two million civilian Jewish dead of Europe. Edward Bromberg. A dramatic, moving presentation. Finally, he tries to give the dog to Junior, the Mean Little Kid. Schrier, H. This is the first of 22 fifteen-minute chapters by Carlton E. Chapter 2 is missing and not available. John, H. News of the assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler and his associates. Wallace, the man who wants to be re-nominated. There are problems with the seating of the Texas delegation; H. Kaltenborn discusses the Hitler assassination attempt and Democratic platform strategy.
Roosevelt his unprecedented fourth term nomination. Robert St. John with news updates.
John with coverage of the opening of the evening session of the convention. President Roosevelt, speaking from a secret undisclosed location, makes his acceptance speech for the nomination to a fourth term as the Democratic candidate for president. The second day of the convention is adjourned.
Kaltenborn comments. A woman waits word from her husband who is overseas during World War II. Jack Benny recalls the Benny-Allen feud. Other American columns are turning eastward toward Paris. More than a thousand of our planes have bombed Berlin and the Hamburg and Kiel areas of Germany. A stirring account of the heroic defense of the island in the Pacific. A boy-meets-girl story. The Allied bag of German prisoners has passed the 23, mark. Paris is swinging back to normalcy despite some enemy sniping and a bombing attack by the Luftwaffe.
When Gracie is told that Meredith plans to get married, she counsels him on how to handle women. Godfrey introduces Willson and the stars of the film. While George is planning a surprise house-warming party for Gracie, she pretends that Meredith is her boyfriend. A woman embezzler hunts for a wealthy man to help her replace the money she stole. NOTE: Chapter 22 is missing from our series. Harold Peary as Gildersleeve.
Part 1: Nazis and Martians — Demonstrates how the Brits respond to the bombing — with humor! Comments by writer George Balzer. Isolated WW II episode from the adventure series. In South China, the Japanese have captured another important American air base. Fibber looks for his hip boots in the hall closet. A young doctor fills in for the vacationing older doctor in a small town and gets involved in the community.
Guest is Esther Williams in her first radio appearance. He describes his concept of the United Nations organization. An ex-con, going straight, fears for the safety of his family when a killer is sent free. Four Soviet Armies have begun a large scale offensive in Latvia. An incredible broadcast, written, produced and directed by Norman Corwin. The president himself also appears. Program NOTE : As we approach the 50th anniversary of the disappearance of Major Glenn Miller over the English Channel, we devote an entire program to the music of the popular bandleader who lost his life in the war.
Glenn introduces bandleader Hary James who will replace the Miller band on the program next week. Don Briggs announces. Johnny Desmond and the Crew Chiefs. Guest is popular British singing star Ann Shelton. JOE — Comments by Don Wilson and George Balzer. It was the fourth raid in ten days. In Europe, the Americans have crossed the Czar River. Lum, Abner and Grandpappy Spears are headed east out of town to bring supplies to a young couple, Joe and Mary, staying the night in a barn.
Henry has lost his watch, a gift from Aunt Harriet. Also, Jackie Gleason offers impersonations and tells about his love affair with a juke box. A group of U. Jack offers a touching holiday message to our WW II servicemen overseas. American and British planes have continued their attack on German supply points and 52 German fighters were shot down in air battles today. In the Pacific… on Luzon, the Americans are twenty miles inland and looking for a battle with the Japs.
Aspiring entertainers include a classical bass singer, a boy soprano, and Irish step-dancer, a whistler, and a cowboy band. Conversation recorded in Hollywood, California. Cast also includes Macdonald Carey and Wanda Hendrix. Merchant Marines, Fibber and Molly meet a young Merchant Marine who needs a place to stay for the night. Case includes Sheldon Leonard and Joe Kearns. A musical spoof of the comic strip. And from Guam, Admiral Nimitz announces that battleships and cruisers of the great American Fifth Fleet have continued to throw shells at Iwo Jima, miles south of Tokyo.
Paar gets tips from Benny and Allen. Paul Killiam talks with Lt. Bob Crosby, now with the 5th Division in the Pacific. Also: a new Marine song, first time on the air; and a message to Tokyo Rose. Jack and Mary, as themselves, find plenty of mystery at the Baldpate Inn. Host Cecil B. DeMille also has a role in the story, playing himself. FDR seems tired, but relaxed, as he sits, rather than stands, to deliver what would be his last address to congress. B29s have bombed Tokyo again in very great strength. And on Iwo Jima, the Marines have almost split the Japs on the northern end of the island.
In the Pacific, the Iwo Jima battle is going on and Tokyo radio continues to claim the Americans have landed on Mindinao in the Phillippines. Chuck Schaden hosts this panel discussion which was recorded at a Chicago Pioneer Broadcasters meeting. The conversation is presented throughout this TWTD program.
Guests include comedian Garry Moore; shipbuilder Henry J. Program TODAY we present an afternoon of April Foolishness with four hours of fun and surprises drawing on sounds from the world of old time radio and recordings. He was the first world statesman to use the radio as a vital instrument of social power. Servicemen tell their feelings on learning of the death of their commander-in-chief.
Will the Allies now deal with Heinrich Himmler? The three special guest stars were interviewed by Chuck while announcer Ken Alexander added his special talents to the celebration. Eastern War Time, the President announces the unconditional surrender of Germany, the end of the war in Europe. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. Truman reads his formal proclamation, appoints Sunday, May 13, a Day of Prayer. In the Phillipines, two American divisions are fighting up narrow river valleys to join a third division and cut the island of Mindanao in two, but the Japanese are resisting fiercely and the American progress is very slow.
The fighting on Okinawa is still intensely bitter. Germany is to be decentralized, though not dismembered. A tale of gold, greed and human nature at its worst. Cast includes Virginia Bruce and Edgar Buchanan. Second half of this program will be broadcast on TWTD next week.
The second half of this four-hour program on behalf of the Seventh War Loan Drive begins with a minute segment heard from coast-to-coast by NBC. Benny Goodman and his orchestra open the network portion with Milton Berle as emcee. Program GEN. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He tells how America and its allies played their parts in Victory. Eastern War Time. Ike waves to the screaming crowd! A few episodes from Book 84 are missing, but the story will be easy to follow in the 20 chapters that survive. The drama picks up, generally, where we left off last summer. In Chapter 4 of Book 84, Hazel is concerned because it has been a long time since she has heard from her son Pinky in Oregon.
Meanwhile, Margaret is working on a history of the Barbour Family. Paul is in Oregon, checking on Pinky. President Truman addresses the delegates, speaking about the great work done in developing a charter for the U. Carstairs who is coming for tea. The story of a souse and a spinster who travel up the Congo during the first World War. Helping Captain Billy recall those pleasant days are his wife Josephine and his daughter Betty.
In Germany, the Russians are still in complete control of Berlin following the arrival of American, British and French troops. A young amateur actress wants to break into the big time when a flop producer brings his recent Broadway disaster to her small home town.
The Japanese may be overcome in six months. Special guest on the show is comedian Victor Borge who takes over the McGee time period for the summer. Churchill has straight-away resigned and Clement Atlee will be named by the King as the new Prime Minister. Murrow reported from London his belief that one of the principal negotiators at Potsdam has stated that his country will go to war with Japan — and soon. Lots of stories about radio, performers, producers and directors. With every minute that passes it seems more certain that the offer is definite and that there is a nine out of ten chance that it will be accepted.
These reports are still unconfirmed but they have set a whole world in motion.