August 28, 2011

John Maragon (L) - The man who appeared from nowhere.

The Dog Days of Summer in history appear to be anything but, when looking at the goings on this particular week in 1949.

Congressional Hearings over a mysterious character named John Maragon, who managed to get himself in high positions for seemingly no apparent reason, yielded as much as his reputation did in his repeated use of the fifth Amendment. The hearings ended knowing less about the highly influential man than when they started. Our tax dollars at work.

In other Congressional news, the much promised Civil Rights Legislation brought down the wrath of the South, in the form of the Dixiecrats, who swore up and down they would defeat any bills brought before Congress having anything to do with Civil Rights. At one point, the DNC met and tossed a number of highly visible Dixiecrats out of the party, and even President Truman weighed in on the fracas.

Hurricane season was starting - then as now, the East Coast was braced for whatever was coming their way. Of course, in 1949 there were no satellites and no way of predicting where or when they would arrive. Everyone just nervously watched the skies and tides.

The FCC this week ruled no more giveaway programs on Radio which was, up until the point, a staple in the diet of most Networks.

Veteran entertainer and legendary star from Vaudeville Harry Lauder was near death in Glasgow. And controversy erupted among the press on both sides of the Atlantic over the economic recovery in Britain and the lean towards Socialism taking place. Both the right and left wings of the Fourth Estate got their digs in.

And this week marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2 (at least the war in Europe), and a goodly chunk of the program is given over to historic recordings of Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain and the ominous days ten years earlier. Good historic stuff. Interesting too, are the contrasts with Germany today and the voices of present-day (in 1949) Germany.

Everything that happened this week in 1949, which just so happened August 28th was a Sunday too, via NBC Radio's "unique experiment in News" Voices and Events.

Just thought you'd like to hear what it was all about.

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