Talk to the People

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Mayor Fiorello H. Laguardia reads the comics on the radio, 1945

In a slightly-belated celebration of Fiorello H. LaGuardia’s 130th birthday (December 11, 1882), I would like to remember one of the many things that made him a most memorable mayor of New York City during his 12 year tenure from 1934-1945.  Known as much for his strength and determination to stamp our corruption in New York City as his gentle kindness and compassion for New York citizens, LaGuardia is often remembered for reading the Sunday funnies on the radio.

Mayor LaGuardia had a weekly Sunday radio show on WNYC called “Talk to the People,” his own version of the FDR “Firesides Chats,” where he would discuss current events and the state of affairs.  He talked about national and international concerns, especially the war, and would also tell listeners where to get the best prices on vegetables and inform them that there would be shoe rationing.  Radio was the dominant electronic medium of the day, as television was in its infancy, and Laguardia had a large and diverse listenership. Read the rest of this entry »

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