We tend to forget what a crucial role railroads played in our society during the 20th century. It was the main source of transportation over long distances for passengers (or medium distances for commuters) and for freight and raw materials. Air travel was still considered a luxury and our highway system was still evolving.
In 1946 the country was crippled from a strike by Railroad workers. Essentially, the entire nation was stranded, and the strike quickly escalated to crisis stage where President Truman addressed the country to declare a national emergency in an effort to bring the warring parties back to the bargaining table.
On May 24th he made a radio address and on May 25th he addressed an emergency session of Congress.
Here is that May 24th address by President Truman from the White House as broadcast over all networks.
Ironically, the strike was settled the next day as Truman addressed Congress. But until then, it was a nail-biter.
April 9, 1947 - Striking Telephone Operators. Striking Coal Miners. Big Four Conference. Henry Wallace in London. Greek Army advancing against rebels. Henry Ford death. David Lilienthal confirmed as head of AEC. Frank Sinatra in court over fist fight. Read more...
Newstalgia Reference Room - "Do We Need Unemployment Insurance?" - a lively debate on the pros and cons of Federally subsidized Unemployment Insurance, as proposed by President Truman and debated by Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin and Senator John W. Bricker (R-Ohio). Broadcast in January 1950. Read more...