33 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
Mr. Weaver Goes (Back) to Washington
The economist Robert Weaver criticizes the New Deal, and then joins it. With some discussion of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the relation of the New Deal to the South. Music: “Hoist Up the John B Sail,” Theodore Rolle, WPA; “The More You Scratch,” Theodore Rolle, WPA; “Welfare Blues,” Calvin Frazier and Sampson Pittman, Lomax Recordings; “Turkey in the Straw,” Mrs. Ben Stott and Myrtle B. Wilkinson, WPA Recordings; “Year of Jubilee,” John Selleck, WPA Recordings; “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt (Weren’t No Kin),” Otis Jackson, sampled from YouTube. Sounds: Street sounds, crickets, children laughing, slide whistles and pops, typewriter all freesound user craigsmith; slide whistle freesound user sheepfilms; cash register freesound user kiddpark; murmuring freesound user splicesound; C-SPAN gavel bang freesound user zerolagtime. Voices: FDR fireside chat of May 7, 1933, and Detroit speech of October 2, 1932, from the Master Speech File of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library; Robert Weaver interview with Blackside, 1992, sampled from YouTube page of the Washington University archives. Recommended reading: The Black Cabinet by Jill Watts.
19 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Ernie Pyle Reports on the TVA
The reporter Ernie Pyle drives to the nearly finished Norris Dam in 1935, and writes about the Tennesee Valley Authority. Music: “Kickin’ Mule,” played by the King Family, FSA recording, Library of Congress; “Non troppo lento” from piano quartet by Aaron Copland, by BannerArts, from Washington Musica Viva; “Arkansas Traveler,” by Mrs. Ben Scott and Myrtle B. Wilkinson, from the WPA California Folk Music Project, Library of Congress; “Traveling to Louisiana,” by Lobo Loco, from the Free Music Archive, freemusicarchive.org. Sounds from freesound.org: users craigsmith (wind, red-tailed hawk, construction site, typewriter, army convoy, machine guns, rain and thunder); equiloud (creek sounds); heyheymaimai (frogs and cicadas of Tennessee);inchadney (mountain stream); rtb45 (hydroelectric turbines); ivolipa (high voltage) Special appearance by Franklin D. Roosevelt as himself, radio address on the Democratic Party platform, July 20, 1932, from the Master Speech File of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Research covers a lot of ground but for further reading I recommend especially Sarah T. Phillips, This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal (2007). For le Corbusier and Norris Dam, see Mardges Bacon, “Le Corbusier and Postwar America: The TVA and Béton Brut,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (March 2015). Donald Davidson’s history of the Tennessee River, part of the old Rivers of America series, is quite remarkable, if you can stand reading the unreconstructed white southern point of view; the woodcuts of TVA power lines and dams by Theresa Sherrer Davidson are remarkable. J. Saunders Redding’s record of his travel in the South is No Day of Triumph (1942). Ernie Pyle’s columns appear in Scripps-Howard newspapers of the era; I got them from the Pittsburgh Press on newspapers.com.
24 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
The Bonus Army
The arrival and eviction of the Bonus Expeditionary Force in Washington, DC, in 1932, and its return in 1933. Music: "Solace" by Scott Joplin played by Carl Banner from Washington Musica Viva. "Haste to the Wedding," by Thomas Mann; "Chamarita" by Louise Franco and Clifford Franco; "Coming Round the Mountain" by Mrs. Ben Scott and Myrtle Wilkinson; "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" by Byron Coffin Sr., Mrs. Byron Coffin Sr., and Byron Coffin Jr.; Square dance calling by Walter Harp all from Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell for the WPA. Sounds from freesound.org: users craigsmith (crowd, crashes, tank, trucks); deleted_user_7146007 (construction); diegolar (riot); fractalstudios (fire); gadzooks (steam train); jknitter (outdoor ambience); josecruz98 (marching); Ornery (horses); splicesound (murmur); thewebbster (footsteps); zerolagtime (gavel, C-SPAN); zwei2stein (paper shuffling).