Saturday, December 8, 2012

Radio Goes To War

With Americans observing this week's anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it's appropriate to feature some airchecks made in the wake of the incident that launched the United States into World War II. The first segment is a partial recording of an NBC news roundup of the events of December 8, 1941, 71 years ago today. An unidentified announcer summarizes the Japanese attack on Manila, President Franklin Roosevelt's address to Congress and the subsequent vote to declare war on Japan. This broadcast, which was captured on a Wilcox-Gay home recording disc and eventually discovered by the editor, appears to have been made in the late afternoon or early evening of December 8th. While it's not clear which NBC affiliate was recorded here, this program was undoubtedly heard in northeast Ohio. WTAM in Cleveland was an affiliate of NBC's Red Network, while WAKR in Akron and WFMJ in Youngstown were affiliates of the Blue Network.

The second aircheck was found on the flip side of the same disc. A different announcer on an unnamed network provides a similar account of December 8th. Any assistance with identifying either announcer or pinning down the time of broadcast would be greatly appreciated by the editor.

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