Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Radio President, the Radio Commission: The Way It Was, 23 February

1927: SPEAKING OF CALVIN COOLIDGE . . .Said President, who will become known as the Radio President for his easy way with the comparatively young medium, signs into law the 1927 Radio Act, formally creating the Federal Radio Commission---the forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.


1910: CREDIT OR BLAME IT ON PHILADELPHIA---It is the first known radio contest.

1942: "DON'T SLOW OUR EFFORT"---With the United States at war around the anniversary of George Washington, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Americans not to allow "our effort" to be slowed by "sniping at each other," thus retorting none too subtly against critics questioning both the reality of the New Deal and the actuality of the war, in tonight's Fireside Chat. (All networks.)

For eight years, General Washington and his Continental Army were faced continually with formidable odds and recurring defeats. Supplies and equipment were lacking. In a sense, every winter was a Valley Forge. Throughout the thirteen states there existed fifth columnists and selfish men, jealous men, fearful men, who proclaimed that Washington's cause was hopeless, and that he should ask for a negotiated peace.

Comprehending and embracing radio to a greater extent than perhaps any American politician of his era (Calvin Coolidge was merely the first President to appreciate the medium's potential), Roosevelt introduced the Fireside Chats during his first year in office, when he went on the air 12 March 1933 at the height of the Depression-seeded bank crisis.

Whether they concurred or demurred from his pronouncements or stated plans, whenever he stated them, Roosevelt's listeners responded broadly enough that the Fireside Chats have been a longtime, semi-regular feature of the Roosevelt presidency. The final Fireside Chat, concurrent to the opening of the fifth War Drive, was broadcast 12 June 1944 . . . six days after D-Day launched. (The night before D-Day, Roosevelt's Fireside Chat celebrated the liberation of Rome from Axis control.)

The Fireside Chats were broadcast live at 10 p.m. Eastern standard/daylight/war time, the late hour allowing Roosevelt to transcend the time difference and reach West Coast families. Roosevelt gave four such Chats in 1933, 1942, and 1943; two each in 1934, 1937 (in one of which Roosevelt discussed his controversial and rightly doomed plan to pack the Supreme Court), 1938, 1940, 1941, and 1944; and, one each in 1935, 1936, and 1939.


1948: GIVE HIM THE SIMPLE LIFE---A benign, content family business treasurer heretofore content in his work takes a course toward murder, after his uncle and cousin rebuff his partnership bid and his avaricious wife gives him an ultimatum, on tonight's edition of Diary of Fate. (Syndicated.)

Cast unknown: Writer/director/producer: Larry Finley.

1949: ARCHIE WANTS TO PATENT ELECTRICITY---The only problem Archie (Ed Gardner) has is, he's only a few decades late and about five dollars short---it's what he owes the electric company---on tonight's edition of Duffy's Tavern. (NBC.)

Finnegan: Charles Cantor. Miss Duffy: Sandra Gould. Eddie: Eddie Green. Clancy: Alan Reed. Writers: Ed Gardner, Larry Gelbart, Larry Marks, Manny Sachs.


1883---Victor Fleming (director: Gulf Screen Theatre), Pasadena, California
1899---Norman Taurog (director: Biography in Sound, Bud's Bandwagon), Chicago.
1904---William L. Shirer (reporter/analyst, CBS European News, CBS World News Roundup, William L. Shirer: News and Comment), Chicago.
1909---Anthony Ross (actor: Broadway Is My Beat), New York City.
1913---Jon Hall (actor: Texaco Star Theater, Screen Guild Theater), Fresno, California.
1935---Gerrianne Raphael (actress Let's Pretend), New York City.


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