(Small town America 1950 - yes, it was different then)
In addition to the vast array of interview shows that hit the airwaves from the 1930s on, there was also the introduction of the "week in review" in the late 1940s, largely because of the invention of the tape recorder and the ease of doing documentaries. Prior to that time, weekend roundups consisted of "dramatic recreations" of events during the week and well . . it was more than a little hokey.
In 1948 NBC Radio started their long running series Voices and Events and took the events of the previous week, highlighting the memorable bits and presenting them as a weekend addition to the discussions and interviews that made up most programs on the air at the time.
This particular installment of Voices and Events takes place on April 2, 1950 - sixty years ago this week. The world was, by and large a much different place. But some things have stayed the same - foreign aid, the lack of bi-partisanship in Washington and fear.
In 1950 Sen. Joseph McCarthy was getting warmed up on his anti-communist crusade, promising to rid the government in Washington of communist sympathizers, whom he was convinced inhabited just about every square foot of Capitol Hill. He took aim at the State Department and drew a goodly amount of scorn from former Secretaries of State who were also, as it happened to be, well-respected Republicans.
Henry McGrath, reading a letter from Henry L. Stimson (former Secretary of State): “It seems to me quite clear that the real motive for the accuser in this case is to cast discredit upon the Secretary of State of The United States. This man is not trying to get rid of known Communists in the State Department, he is hoping against hope that he will find some. Fortunately, the Secretary of State needs no defense from me. Signed, Henry L. Stimson, March 24th nineteen hundred and fifty.”
The McCarthy imbroglio would continue for a few years before it ground to a halt. But in 1950, Communism and all things Communist were suspect.
And that was just a sampling of what went on this week, sixty years ago.