Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain – trying out that new thing called Shuttle Diplomacy.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News of the Crisis in Czechoslovakia NBC Blue Network – September 13, 1938
September it seems, is a crisis month in history. On this September 13th in 1938, crisis was looming in Europe over a piece of disputed land belonging to Czechoslovakia, yet claiming to be part of Nazi Germany.
With a tenuous peace in Europe for a little under 20 years, this new flareup brought memories of 1914 to many. Disputes, squabbles and demands – and the end result being war.
And so this day in September of 1938 was about saber-rattling and the fears of a war looming, and the scramble to negotiate a peaceful settlement in the brewing conflict.
An interesting point in history. First – the new use of the airplane as a means of bringing about Shuttle Diplomacy; something that was not around in 1914 (other than small bi-planes). And second – the first real use of radio as a means of transmitting information. It was The Munich Crisis (as this was to be called) that really brought about the birth of Radio News on a grand scale. The idea that a person in Los Angeles could be as informed as the person in Belgrade, at roughly the same time, was a fascinating technological leap. And it signaled a whole new way of communicating and, most likely, probably aided in ending the conflict quicker than it would have in 1914.
But on this day in 1938 the crisis was new and the crisis was deadly and there was no clear end in sight.
History unfolding, as it was presented by the Blue Network of NBC and by shortwave relays by the BBC on September 13, 1938. Starting off with a program at the time, a bulletin breaking into the program and the rest is history.
Laos – January 1961 – Writing on the wall, harbinger of things to come – you name it.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for January 24, 1961
Four days after his Inaugural and six days before his first State of The Union, President Kennedy was already presented with a full plate of crises, this January 24th in 1961.
Moscow‘s gesture at returning captured U.S. flyers, coupled with increased tensions in Laos, the situation in Cuba – the unsettling European financial situation brewing, the situation in the Congo – all of these presented enough challenges to occupy the White House for a good long time. But then there were domestic issues to deal with. Strikes within the Defense establishment were cause for concern on Capitol Hill, our own economic woes weren’t going away anytime soon.
And all of that on the first official meeting of President Kennedy’s cabinet, who had been sworn in only two days earlier.
A full plate indeed – and a plate only destined to become overflowing in the weeks and days ahead.
And that was The New Frontier as reported and analyzed by NBC Radio reporters on January 24, 1961.
. . .and so ended Prague Spring.
Click on the link here for audio player: Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia – 1968
Even though news during this August in 1968 was primarily about the upcoming Democratic Convention in Chicago, the just finished Republican Convention in Miami and the ongoing protests to the Vietnam War, news for this August 20th was all about the swift and sudden invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army and Eastern bloc allies. In what had been an experiment in democratic reforms, the government of Alexander Dubceck ran afoul of Moscow and a quick end to Prague Spring ensued.
As tanks crossed the Czech border on the night of August 20th and the airport in Prague was overrun with Soviet planes, word of the crisis quickly flashed across just about every news outlet teletype and broadcast facility throughout the world.
Here is a CBS Radio Netalert Bulletin, taking up the better part of an hour, as originally broadcast on the evening of August 20th, 1968. News as it was happening.
The political winds in Paris were blowing in an Easterly direction.
Click on the Link: News for July 23, 1947
News for this July 23rd in 1947 had to do with the delicate balance being struck throughout Europe, and fears the unity was falling apart. The Big Three Conference was underway with discussions regarding the proposed Marshall Plan and the work-slowdown by Coal Miners in the Ruhr Valley of Germany and the fear generated from France that Germany’s industrial revival would lead to a return to German nationalism. The Communist Party in France was gaining a strong foothold in French society and the concern was the current government in Paris would topple, being replaced by a Communist one with leanings towards Moscow.
The Coal production from the Ruhr Valley was crucial in the reconstruction of Europe and the work slowdown meant much needed shipments of coal weren’t coming, and that the U.S. was now having to ship some 35 million tons in order to aid the crisis.
While the Big 3 Conference was tackling the crucial issues in Europe, life on Capitol Hill was far from sublime and the scheduled recess until September left a lot of issues hanging. Talk of a scandal brewing in the area of Withholding Tax by companies, with many companies not turning over the taxed income to the government. A housing crisis was developing in California over Migrant workers and government funding to continue providing shelter for farm workers was to stop on September 30th. Already, there were some 30,000 homeless migrants camped out along highways in California’s Central Valley. If nothing was done to reverse the deadline, the number of homeless would grow substantially higher.
Meanwhile, Georgia was awash with tobacco on the occasion of the annual auction which brought farmers from all over the state looking for good prices. The prices fluctuated over the course of the day, but it was a yearly ritual nonetheless.
All that, and a lot more, from this broadcast of NBC’s News Of The World for July 23, 1947.