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AMERICA'S TOWN MEETINGS OF THE AIR

$7.00

70 reward points

OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 39 mp3

Total Time: 31:05:41

America’s Town Meeting of the Air was a public affairs discussion broadcast on radio from 1935 to 1956, mainly on the NBC Blue Network and its successor, ABC Radio. One of radio's first talk shows, it began as a six-week experiment, and NBC itself didn't expect much from it.
Broadcast live from New York City's Town Hall, America's Town Meeting of the Air debuted on Thursday May 30, 1935, and only 18 of NBC's affiliates carried it. The topic for that first show was "Which Way America: Fascism, Communism, Socialism or Democracy?”  The moderator was George V. Denny Jr., executive director of the League for Political Education, which produced the program. Denny moderated the program from 1935 to 1952 and had a major role in choosing weekly topics. Denny and the League wanted to create a program that would replicate the Town Meetings that were held in the early days of the United States.
The show's introduction tried to evoke the old town meetings, as the voice of the mythical town crier announced, “Town meeting tonight! Come to the old Town Hall and talk it over!” Denny and the League believed that a radio town meeting could enhance the public's interest in current events. Denny worried that an uninformed public was bad for democracy; and he believed society had become so polarized that the average person didn't listen to other points of view.

His goal was to create a new kind of educational program, one that would be entertaining as well as mentally challenging, while exposing listeners to various perspectives on the issues of the day. Explaining the rationale behind a radio town meeting, Denny wrote that it was "... a device which is designed to attract [the average American's] attention and stimulate his [sic] interest in the complex economic, social and political problems which he must have a hand in solving."
The show succeeded beyond NBC's expectations, and the six-week trial became permanent. As Denny had hoped, listeners not only enjoyed hearing famous newsmakers engaging in discussion but they also enjoyed hearing members of the audience challenging these newsmakers. It wasn't long before Denny was receiving fan mail: His first broadcast received about 3,000 letters, much to his surprise.
By the 1937-8 season, mail averaged between 2,000 and 4,000 letters a week, an amazing number for an educational program. It also inspired listeners to form "listener clubs," where members would listen as a group and then discuss the topic themselves.

America's Town Meeting became so popular in the public discourse that during the late 1930s and into the early 40s, Denny wrote a monthly column for Current History magazine, in which he gave summaries of the major points made by some of his Town Meeting guests, and then gave readers news quizzes. And educators found it so useful that Denny and NBC put program listings and what the speakers had said into booklet form, which was disseminated to public school civics teachers.

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EPISODES LIST

America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 35-06-13 - Will The Demands Of Organized Labor Promote Recovery
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 35-12-05 - Has The New Deal Promoted Or Retarded Business Recovery
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 35-12-12 - Personal Liberty And The Modern State
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 35-12-19 - Should We Plan For Social Security
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 36-03-19 - The Supreme Court And The Constitution
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 36-04-02 - Will Unionization Promote Industrial Recovery
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 36-04-16 - Will The Machine Dominate Man
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 36-11-05 - Public Opinion And The Town Meeting Idea
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 36-11-26 - What Does The Public Want In Music
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 37-12-23 - What System of Medical Care Should We Have
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 38-02-03 - What Does Democracy Mean
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 38-12-01 - Is An Economic Plan For World Peace Available
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 38-12-08 - How Should The Democracies Deal With The Dictatorships
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-01-12 - Do We Have A Free Press
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-02-16 - Reinhold Niebuhr On Progress In Technology And Morality (excerpt)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-03-02 - Are The Schools Doing Their Job
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-10-19 - What Are The Real Issues In The European War
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-11-16 - Should We Ignore Racial Differences
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-11-23 - What Does American Democracy Mean To Me (excerpt)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 39-12-07 - Can Business And Government Work Together Today
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-01-18 - Does America Need Compulsory Health Insurance
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-01-25 - Should The President's National Defense Program Be Adopted
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-03-07 - What Should America Do For The Joads
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-04-11 - What Are The Essential Differences Between The Republican And Democratic Parties
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-12-12 - What Are We Preparing To Defend
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 40-12-26 - What Is Youth's Role In The Defense Of Democracy
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 41-11-13 - What Kind Of Peace Must We Have (clip)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 46-01-17 - What Does The Returning GI Expect At Home (excerpt)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 46-10-24 - Earl Browder On Relationship Between Communists And Organized Labor (excerpt)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 46-10-31 - Should The U.S. Open It's Doors To Displaced Persons Now
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 47-04-03 - Should The Communist Party Be Outlawed In The US (partial)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 47-04-10 - Do We Really Elect Our Own President (first quarter only)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 47-09-23 - Should We Accept The New Fashions For Women
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 47-10-07 - What Can We Do To Improve Race And Religious Relationships In America
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 48-03-23 - Should The Presidents Civil Rights Program Be Adopted
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 48-06-22 - Are You Preparing To Grow Old Successfully
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 49-06-07 - Lemuel Boulware On Profit Sharing (excerpt)
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 49-12-20 - Will A $100 Pension Provide Real Security
America's Town Hall Meeting of the Air 52-05-27 - Who Are The Troublemakers In Our Democracy (incomplete)


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 31 May, 2012.

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