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You can now listen to a radio play of the classic story of George Bailey co-sponsored by American Heritage.

Historic microphone used by Edward Murrow for London broadcasts to be loaned to the National Press Club 

On a sunny and crisp Saturday morning last month, at a rest stop on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, there was a clandestine handoff of “the Holy Grail of broadcast journalism.” 

Edward R. Murrow’s radio broadcasts from London, aired live while Nazi bombs fell around him, are classics of journalism – and literature. 

Editor's Note: Bob Edwards is a Peabody Award-winning journalist formerly with NPR and Sirius/XM Radio. He is author of Edward R.
Correll and Gosden—later to become famous as Amos ’n Andy—were originally song pluggers in Chicago.

When former President Hoover was secretary of commerce under Harding and Coolidge, he was called upon to cope with a new and perplexing activity.

A pioneer amateur operator as well as an able engineer in the radio field, Mr. Little was a Signal Corps second lieutenant, assigned to the Bureau of Standards, when his story begins.

An unpublished story from the files of the Oral History Project

Not the least remarkable characteristic of our accelerated times is the astonishing speed with which the most fantastic scientific developments are accepted as commonplace. Such is the story of the invention and growth of radio.
25 Years Ago

Reginald Fessenden made the first radio broadcast in 1906 employing principles still in use today.

On December 24, 1906, in a wooden shack crammed with equipment in the seaside Massachusetts community of Brant Rock, a 40-year-old inventor named Reginald Fessenden made the world’s first radio broadcast.

The dour radio comedian regarded his work as totally ephemeral, but a new generation of comics has built upon his foundations

Satire, according to the playwright George S. Kaufman, “is what closes Saturday night,” but for seventeen years Fred Allen used his satiric brand of humor to create some of the nation’s most popular radio comedy.

In 1938 the European correspondent for CBS was in Austria when the Nazis marched in. He wanted to tell the world about it—but first he had to help invent a whole new kind of broadcasting.

I FIRST MET ED MURROW at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin on Friday, August 27, 1937. He had sent me a telegram three days earlier inviting me to dinner. I was not in the best of moods.

How the novelty item of 1920 became the world-straddling colossus of 1940

In 1921 Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who was charged with what meager regulation of the airwaves there was, called radio “an instrument of beauty and learning.” Waldemar Kaempffert, who, as editor of

American Heritage interviews Lowell Thomas, the journalist whom Damon Runyon described as “the beau ideal of the radio fraternity, first for his complete artistry and second for his personality. 

As the lights of London’s Covent Garden dimmed that early August evening in 1919, few people, including the young narrator waiting nervously in the wings, sensed the historic nature of the occasion.

The story of the world’s longest-running radio program and the extraordinary American music it helped make popular

The Nashville winter of 1974 was the Grand Ole Opry’s last season at the Ryman Auditorium, its home for thirty-three years.

The Sunday afternoon broadcasts of Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, once described as the "voice of God," were avidly followed by a radio audience of thirty to fifty million Americans during the Thirties.

About 1935, anno Domini, the Reverend Charles E. Coughlin, pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, was perhaps the most beloved and most hated, the most respected and most feared man in the United States.

The tremendous response to his radio shows led to standing-room-only theatre performances and cross-country tours, but Rudy Vallée claimed it was just good luck and timing.

One night in February, 1928, a technician from WABC, a pioneer radio station in New York City, finished adjusting his amplifying equipment in a nightclub at 35 East Fifty-third Street and signalled his readiness to the bandleader.

The author recalls the early years of radio in the 1920s. He was one of the first people to sing on radio and later became an editor at KDKA, the first commercial radio station in the U.S.

Gladys King was the most beautiful woman on earth within tricycling distance of Callowhill Street. She was born in 1902 and was now fourteen years old, which would make it five years old for me.  

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