News bulletins and reports on this day in September 1938, regarding the Munich Crisis and Germany's annexation of the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia.
The crisis that became a harbinger of things to come in Europe. German territorial demands for annexation of the Sudeten (or perceived as rightfully German) region of Czechoslovakia by Adolf Hitler immediately set off alarms throughout Europe and the U.S. that war may be in the wings. Adamant in their refusal to yield an inch, the Czechs mobilized, fearing an armed invasion by the Nazis.
As diplomatic channels went into overdrive, speculation on just when a shooting war would erupt became the buzz of most commentators throughout the world. Analogies were drawn with the days prior to World War 1. Breathless reporters scrambling from State Department Press Rooms to report whatever shred of information they could on this quickly escalating story.
As a piece of broadcasting history, this event was significant as it became the initial foray into International on-the-spot reporting from a number of different worldwide locations. Prior to this, news came via written dispatches which were read hours and even days after an important event had taken place. Because of the Transatlantic cable and Shortwave, news could be gathered quickly and changed at a moments notice and it was the Munich Crisis of 1938 that heralded a significant innovation in news reporting. One which changed the entire landscape of journalism forever.
Here are the initial bulletins and reports as given on September 12th and 13th (the time difference between Europe and the U.S.) by the Red Network of NBC Radio.