With visions of Orange Groves dancing in their heads.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: 20th Century Nomads – 1959
There was a time, if you lived in Los Angeles, that you would invariably say you actually weren’t born in Los Angeles, but born somewhere, most likely the East Coast. The Great Migration West in the 1950s threatened to lay waste to most of the formerly industrial cities in the East for the balmy climate and open spaces of the West. The new industry was Aerospace and the former Defense plants that populated Southern California were being re-tooled to accomodate the Space Race, The Cold War and the promised wonders of new technology.
So people arrived in the millions, and what had been sprawling agricultural centers and vast orange groves were now being eroded away in favor of a sprawling Suburbia of tract homes and bedroom communities dotting every area of Southern California, from Santa Monica to Palm Springs.
By 1959 the Migration had reached fever-pitch. And this radio documentary, produced by CBS News and narrated by veteran newsman Howard K.Smith, attempts to put this migration mania in perspective; what it meant for many to pull up stakes and leave ancestral homes in favor of the promise of endless sun and eternal Summer.
Ironically, the broadcast aired on January 4, 1959 – smack in the middle of Winter. No doubt the message of year-round Summer wasn’t lost on many who tuned in from frozen points East. And it was probably responsible for several thousand more West Coast converts, if they hadn’t already been converted watching The Rose Parade a few days earlier.
Ike and Press Secretary Hagerty – first it was Steel, and then it was Longshoremen.
Click on the link here for Audio Player:News for October 1, 1959
October 1, 1959 was no box of chocolates. First was the ongoing Steel Strike, becoming the longest in history. President Eisenhower ordered everyone back to the bargaining table to keep trying for a resolution. And then, literally overnight, The Longshoremen went on strike, idling some 100,000 dock workers and spreading up and down the East Coast of the U.S.
The South was still digging out from the aftermath of Hurricane Gracie and a Gas tank explosion sent some 2 1/2 million gallons of gasoline in a wall of flame across what would have been a busy highway, had it not been early in the morning when only 9 minor injuries resulted.
That, and a lot more via this edition of the legendary Lowell Thomas And The News for October 1, 1959.
And you think today is bad . . . .
Eisenhower and Khruschev at Camp David – Signs of a thaw had many people giddy.
Click on the link here for Audio Player:Khruschev In America – Sept. 25, 1959
As a hopefully cautious sign of a thaw in East-West relations, Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev, at the invitation of President Eisenhower, visited the United States for a summit meeting at Camp David to discuss a wide range of topics.
Since it was an eagerly anticipated visit, all eyes were on the comings and goings of Khruschev and the press reported frequently, and issued bulletins the second anything of remote interest surfaced.
Here is Report Number 11 from NBC Radio covering the Khruschev visit and the summit meeting at Camp David on September 25, 1959.
And they were worried in 1959 . . . .?
Click on the Link: The Great Challenge – March 3, 1959
You’d think, after 53 years a subject like this would be a moot point. Problem recognized. Problem addressed. Problem solved.
But sadly, no. If anything, the problem has only become magnified, these past 53 years. And rather than listen to this broadcast with a sense of quaint antiquity, it’s listened to with a goodly sense of shock that we were actually more intellectually curious in 1959 than we are in 2012. Certainly, technologically we’ve made huge strides in that time. But from a strictly intelligent human being sense, I’m afraid we’ve fallen way behind. We are in the midst of a dumbed-down culture, slowly chipped away at for decades, not years.
In short, we’re in trouble and we have to turn it around. But then, we’ve been in trouble for a long time and maybe it’s too late.
In the meantime, here is an episode of the CBS Radio series The Great Challenge, first broadcast on March 3, 1959. It’s moderated by veteran CBS Newsman Eric Sevareid, and features Dean of Arts and Sciences McGeorge Bundy from Harvard. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith. Dr. Robert M. Hutchens and Dr. Edward H. Litchfield.
20th Century Nomads In 1959..
To the frozen, this looked like Heaven.
The Cold War Era – Can Democracy Meet The Space Age Challenge? 1959.
The Senator from Massachusets - On the one hand, the New Age - on the other, The Cold War.