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Listen to the land profile of a nation in terms of its living language. This week a salute to the American press. Part two. By sharing aloud the writings of our country past and present. We can come to a fuller appreciation of those things which are meaningful to us as Americans. And perhaps of the nature of our role in the contemporary world. This week's program is the second of two successive programs which will take their content from the newspapers of our nation. Listen to the land is produced by station W.H. y y Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Now here is your host on a regular Richard S. Burdick. I think I am the friend of the family the bringer of tidings
from other friends. I speak to the home in the evening of summer's vine clad porch where the glow of the winter's lamp. I hope to make this evening our our record the great and the small. The varied acts of the days and weeks that go to make up life. I am for end of the home. I follow those who leave humble beginnings whether they go to greatness or to the gutter I take to them the thrill of old days with wholesome messages. I speak the language of the common man. My words are fitted to his understanding. My congregation is larger than that of any church in my town. My readers are more than those in the school. Young and old alike find in me stimulation solace or comfort. I am the chronicler of man's existence. I bring together buyer and seller for the benefit of both. I am part of the marketplace of the world into the home I carry word of the goods which feed and clothe and shelter and
which minister comfort words of health and happiness. I am the word of the week. The history of the year the record of my community in the archives of state and nation. I am the lives of my readers. I am the country newspaper. That sincere ode to country journalism was written by a man who is speaking from experience. Bristow Adams writing in the Canton Sentinel this week as Jim Keeler has told you we offer part two of our salute to the American press the press that plays so vital a role in forming and helping to serve and clarify our philosophies our politics and our attitudes toward one another and the world in general. And it seemed appropriate to devote part of our attention in this second program to the country newspaper. In our previous program we listened to the land mostly in terms of outstanding editorials from the big metropolitan daily
but no portrait of American journalism would be complete without bringing attention to bear upon those some 8000 newspapers some of them weeklies or bi weekly which freckle the face of a nation in which as Bristol Adams says speak the language of the common man. The country newspaper builds its readership on the same set of human values as those of the metropolitan daily but reflected in more earthy terms the instinct of curiosity for example is just as strong in rural readers as in urban readers. Hardly a week passes that the country editor doesn't hear of some freak in the vegetable or animal kingdom which is interesting because of its variation from the norm. As for example this item from an issue of the Monroe City semi Weekly News titled large sunflower leaf Charles E.
Steele near Indian Creek brought a large sunflower leaf to the news office and he wonders if anyone in the community has one that can beat it in size. That leaves measured 19 inches across and 18 inches from stem to tip. If anyone has one larger the news would like to be informed about it. Where the country editor frequently really shines in his own special light is in the article or editorial of humor. The informal nature of country journalism where everybody knows everybody gives him a lot of tude and immediate depreciatory response denied the city editor Good Humor is hard to get and still harder to convey to others through the medium of the printed page. The editor of the Rawlings Wyoming Republican recounted an incident which might have proved fatal but which proved to be very humorous given his tongue in cheek treatment of it. The headline reads
long shot won muddy lake game preserve. Harry Breton Stein affectionately known to a million friends as Bret former banker NRA president of the Parco Chamber of Commerce wild duck hunting in the vicinity of Mudd late last Wednesday afternoon was accidentally shot by a gun in the hands of a CI Dunlap Perry free Glen Decker. Frank Breton Stein John Doe RICHARD ROWE and other persons whose names are at this writing on OWN. As soon as the alarm announcing the accident had been sounded which was done by the victim himself who claimed to a cockeyed solar system in a calm subdued tone which could not have been heard more than a mile that he was as full of the lad as Mark Twains Jumping Frog members of the hunting party gathered around the unfortunate man in order to render first aid or to hear any final words he might wish to utter. Solicitous friends made a hasty examination which disclosed the fact that the principal wound appeared to be in the lip of the moving target as being a vital
spot. The discovery caused much anxiety at the clinic for it was feared that the stricken man's loudspeaker might get full of static and cause a total loss or partial abridgement of the power of speech. This however proved to be groundless for as soon as Mr. Breton Stein regained his mental equilibrium he launched forth into an oration so forceful eloquent and fluent as to make Spartacus address to the gladiators sound like a practiced lesson in a school for stammerers. This discourse was directed to all and sundry who carry guns large a small loaded or unloaded in war or in peace but more particularly while hunting ducks. As soon as it became clear that the wounds were unlikely to prove fatal The other two friendly Huntsman fell into a violent quarrel over the question of who fired the shot that caused the commotion. Each claiming the credit and each their right to shoot Mr. Breton Stein as if he was to be shot at all. This heated argument broke up the
party was continued after returning to town and is still unsettled. Ward Greene and his very fine book Star reporters and 34 of their stories writes a Lindbergh story will be done someday and it's bright and grim entirety by historians. Let us hope informed unprejudiced and sensitive to all its drama. Edwin L. James was the Paris correspondent for The Times in 1927. He had been a great war correspondent and he was destined to become the Time's managing editor. On May 21st 1927 he filed a story recounting the arrival of lucky Lynn day at the airfield in Paris. The last guy in one of the most dramatic hero establishing
dramas in history. Here are the highlights of that story by Edwin L. James Paris May 21st 1927 Lindbergh did it 20 minutes after 10 o'clock tonight suddenly and softly there slipped out of the darkness a gray white airplane as 25000 pairs of eyes strained toward it. Ten twenty four The Spirit of St. Louis landed and lines of soldiers ranks of policemen and stout steel fences went down before a mad rush as irresistible as the tides of the ocean. Well I made it smile Lindbergh as the little white monoplane came to a halt in the middle of the field in the first Vanguard reached the plane. Lindbergh made a move to jump out 20 hands reached for him and lifted him out as if he were a baby. Several thousands in a minute were around the plane. Thousands more broke the barriers of iron rails around the field cheering wildly as he
was lifted to the ground. Lindbergh was pale and with his hair unkempt. He looked completely worn out. He had strength enough however to smile and waved his hand at the crowd. It was high drama. Picture the scene almost if not quite 100000 people were massed on the east side of Laura Bush II version a airfield. Some of them had been there six and seven hours. Off to the left the giant flare lighthouse of Mt. Villareal flashed its guiding light three hundred miles into the air closer on the left. Their version a lighthouse twinkled and off to the right another giant revolving flare sent its beams high into the heavens big arc lights on all sides with an enormous electric glare as were flooding the landing field. From time to time rockets rose and burst in varied lights over the field. 7:30 the hour announced for the arrival had come and gone. Then eight o'clock came Knollenberg at 9 o'clock the sun had set
but then came reports that Lindbergh had been seen over Cork than he had been seen over Valencia in Ireland and then over Plymouth. Suddenly a message spread like lightning the obviated had been seen over shipboard. However remembering the messages telling of Captain one guessers flight the crowd was skeptical. One chance in a thousand Oh he cannot do it without navigating instruments. It is a pity he was such a brave boy. Pessimism had spread over the great throng by 10 o'clock. The stars came out and a chill wind blew. Suddenly the field lights flooded their glares under the landing ground and there came the roar of an airplane's motor. The crowd was still and began to cheer. But two minutes later the landing glares went dark for the searchlight had identified the plane and it was not captain Lindbergh's stamping their feet in the cold. The crowd waited patiently. It seemed quite apparent that nearly everyone was willing to wait all night hoping against hope. Suddenly it was 10 16 Exactly.
Another motor roared over the heads of the crowd in the sky one caught a glimpse of a white gray plane and for an instant heard the sound of one. Then it did end and the idea spread that it was yet another disappointment again landing lights glared and almost by the time they had flooded the field the gray white plane had lighted on the far side nearly half a mile from the crowd. It seemed to stop almost as it hit the ground so gently did it land. And then occurred a scene which almost passes description two companies of soldiers with fixed bayonets and the libbers hayfield police reinforced by Paris agents had held the crowd in good order. But as the lights showed the plane landing much as if a picture had been thrown on a moving picture screen there was a mad rush. The movement of humanity swept over soldiers and by Policeman. And there was the wild sight of thousands of men and women rushing madly across a half mile of the not to even ground. Soldiers and police tried for one small moment to stem the tide and they joined it rushing as madly as any one
else toward the ivy at her and his plane. The first people to reach the plane were two workmen of the Abbey ation field and half a dozen Frenchmen said they cried. This time it's done. Captain Lindbergh answered. Well I made it. An instant later he was on the shoulders of half a dozen persons who tried to bury him from the field. The crowd crushed about the obviate or in his progress was halted until a squad of soldiers with fixed bayonets cleared a way for him. I could have gone on half again as much he said. Not since the Armistice of 1918 as Paris witnessed a downright demonstration of popular enthusiasm and excitement equal to that displayed by the throngs flocking to the boulevards for news of the American Flyer whose personality has captured the hearts of the Parisian multitude. French papers estimated that at midnight one hundred and fifty thousand people were trying to get to or
from their Bushay and there were frequent exhibitions of temper which acted as a great contrast to the enthusiastic joy which greeted the arrival of the American hero soon after Lindbergh landed an employee of the Bourse. The telegraph office arrived with more than 700 cablegrams for him but the employee was unable to get within half a mile of the addressee. So concludes the story of Lindbergh's arrival at their birthday airfield in Paris filed by Edwin L. James of The New York Times Paris edition May 21st one thousand twenty seven. It will come as a news flash to no one that newspapers exist because of the revenue they receive from advertising. There was a paper in New York PM some years ago which tried to exist without it but folded. This is one of the prime examples of the system of free enterprise occurring and recurring day in and day out
in cities and towns all over the country from giant metropolitan dailies to the tiny hole in the wall country weeklies. The first American newspaper advertisement appeared in the Boston newsletter a weekly first published in seventeen hundred four. The ad was an eight line item offering for sale on Long Island plantation of all things inserted by William Bradford who 21 years later founded New York's first newspaper The New York Gazette. Here's an ad from the classified section of the West Los Angeles independent. Quote for sale new riding clothes mans Western pants size 31 shoes size 9 womens jobbers size 14 shoes size medium. I've been worn one hour only. As we said press advertising is not a modern innovation. Here's an
advertisement for a slave that appeared in the Greensboro patriot Greensboro North Carolina October 22nd 1834. For us today it is more than just an advertisement. It is also a commentary wanted immediately a large negro boy from the country large enough to cut wood build fires fatten horses without feed fodder the cattle not the cows wash the dishes scold the children kick the dog play marbles on Sunday live on the wind look glum when told to do anything. The always lively when I stay long one son in a hurry and frame a lie to excuse himself when he returns and a thousand other little etceteras in a family. I mostly have a few extra seconds here so I'll insert one. It's always been a favorite of my little dated knowledge for television viewers but from a number of TV seasons ago a short ad from the Greenwich Time in New York lost and found apartment lost brindle
Boxer listens to Howdy Doody. Greenwich in New Jersey license killer. Rich Richard Harding Davis was without doubt the most romantic figure in American journalism. And some sophisticated rakish. He covered the world including five major wars and countless scraps usually a pipe clay helmet and a kit like a movie stars. The following story the death of Rodriguez was written by Richard Harding Davis following an episode he witnessed in the hills outside Santa Clara Cuba in January 1897. Davis was 33 years old at the time and on assignment by Hearst to cover the plight and Flight of the insurgent Cubans. This was published in The New York Journal February 2nd 1897. Adolfo All right regrets was the only son of a Cuban farmer who lived nine miles
outside of Santa Clara beyond the hills that surround that city to the north. When the revolution in Cuba broke out young Rodriguez joined the insurgents leaving his father and mother and two sisters at the farm. He was taken in December of 1896 by a force of the Gardasil feel the cord elite of the Spanish army and defended himself when they tried to capture him wounding three of them with his machine. He was tried by a military court for bearing arms against the government and sentenced to be shot by a fuselage some morning before sunrise. Previous to execution he was confined in the military prison of Santa Clara with 30 other insurgents all of whom were sentenced to be shot one after the other. On mornings following the execution of Rodriguez his execution took place the morning of the 19th of January 1897 at a place a half mile distant from the city on the great plain that stretches from the forts up to the hills beyond which Rodriguez had lived for 19 years. At the time of his death he was 20 years old.
There had been a full moon the night preceding the execution and when a squad of soldiers marched from town it was still shining brightly through the mists. It lighted a plane two miles in extent broken by ridges and gullies and covered with thick high grass and with bunches of cactus and palmetto. A few men and boys who had been dragged out of their beds by the sound of quick step music moved about the ridges behind the soldiers have closed unshaven sleepy eyed yawning stretching themselves nervously and shivering in the cold damp air of the morning either owing to discipline or on account of the nature of their errand or because the men were still but half awake there was no talking in the ranks and the soldiers stood motionless leaning on their rifles though their backs turned to the town looking out across the plain to the hills. As the light increased a mass of people came hurrying from the town with two black figures leading them and the
soldiers drew up at attention and part of the double line fell back and left an opening in the square. With us a condemned man walks only a short distance from his cell to the scaffold or to the electric chair shielded from sight by the prison walls. And it often occurs even then the short journey is too much for his strength and courage. But the Spaniards on this morning made the prisoner walk for over half a mile across the broken surface of the fields. I expected to find the man no matter what his strength at other times might be stumbling and faltering on this cruel journey journey. But as he came nearer I saw that he let all the others that the priests on either side of him were tripping on their guns and stumbling over the hollows in their efforts to keep pace with him as he walked erect and soldierly at a quick step in advance of them. Yet I had some gentle face of the peasant type. A light pointed beard great wistful eyes and a mass of curly black hair. He was shockingly young for such a sacrifice and looked more like a Neapolitan than Cuban. You could imagine him
sitting on the quay at Naples or Genoa lolling in the sun and showing his white teeth when he laughed. Around his neck hanging outside his linen blouse. He wore a new scapular. It seems a petty thing to have been pleased with at such a time but I confess to a felt a thrill of satisfaction when I saw as the Cuban passed me that he held a cigarette between his lips not arrogantly you know with bravado but with the nonchalance of a man who meets his punishment fearlessly and will let his enemies see what they can kill but cannot frightening. The Cuban walked to where the officer directed him to stand and turning his back on the square faced the hills on the road across them which led to his father's farm. As the officer gave the first command Rodrigues straightened himself as far as the cords would allow and held up his head and fixed his eyes immovably on the morning light which had just begun to show above the hills. He made a picture of such pathetic helplessness but of such courage and dignity that it reminded me on the instant of that statue of Nathan
Hale which stands in the City Hall Park above the roar of Broadway the Cuban's arms were bound as are those of the statue and he stood firmly with his weight resting on his heels like a soldier on parade and his face held up fearlessly as as that of the statue. But there was this difference that Rodriguez Wilde probably is willing to give six lives or his country as well as the American rebel being only a peasant did not think to say so and he will not in consequence live in bronze during the lives of many men. But it will be remembered only as one of thirty Cubans one of whom was shot at Santa Clara on each succeeding day at sunrise. The officer had given the order the men had raised their pieces in the condemned man had heard the clicks of the triggers as they were pulled back in the not moved then happened one of the most cruelly refined though unintentional acts of torture that one can very well imagine.
As the officer slowly raised his sword preparatory to giving the signals one of the mounted officers rode up to him and pointed out silently that as I had already observed with some satisfaction the firing squad was so placed that when they fired they would shoot several of the soldiers stationed on the extreme end of the square. Their kept in motion as men to lower their pieces and then walked across the grass and laid his hand on the shoulder of the waiting prisoner. It is not pleasant to think what that shock must have been. A man had steeled himself to receive a volley of bullets he believed that in the next instant he would be in another world. It heard the command given it heard the click of the mousers of the locks caught and then at that supremum and a human hand had been laid upon his shoulder and a voice spoke in his ear. You would expect that any man snatch back to life in such a fashion would start and tremble at the reprieve. I would break down altogether but this boy turned his head steadily and followed with his eyes the direction of the officer's sword and nodded gravely
and with his shoulders squared took up the new position straightened his back and once more held himself erect as an exhibition of self-control this should surely rank above feats of heroism performed in battle where there are thousands of comrades to give inspiration. This man was alone in sight of the hills he knew with only enemies about him with no source to draw on for strength but that which lay within himself. The officer of the firing squad mortified by his blunder hastily whipped up his sword and the man once more leveled their rifles. The sword Rose dropped and the men fired at the report the Cubans had snapped back almost between his shoulders but his body fell slowly as though someone had pushed him gently forward from behind and he had stumbled. He sank on his side in the wet grass without a struggle or sound and did not move again.
It was difficult to believe that he meant to lie there that it could be ended so without a word. But the man in the linen suit would not rise to his feet and continue to walk on over the hills as he apparently had started to do to his home. But there was not a mistake somewhere or that at least someone would be sorry to say something or run to pick him up. But everyone seemed to quickly have forgotten the incident except two men who came slowly towards the ridge from town driving a book cart. It bore on plain kaufen each with a cigarette between his lips and with his throat wrapped in a shawl to keep out the morning mists. At that moment the sun which had sown some promise of its coming in the glow above the hills shot up suddenly from behind amid all the splendor of the tropics a fierce red disk of heat and filled the air with warmth and light. The bayonets of the retreating column flashed in it and at the sight a rooster in a farmyard nearby crowed vigorously and a dozen bugles answered the challenge with a brisk
cheery notes of the readily and from all parts of the city the church bells jangled up a call for early mass in the little world of Santa Clara seemed to stretch itself and to wait to welcome the day just begun. But as I fell in at the rear of the procession I looked back. The figure of the young Cuban who was no longer a part of the world of Santa Clara was asleep in the wet grass with his motionless arms still tightly bound behind him with the scapular twisted a rod His across his face and the blood from his breast sinking into the soil. He had tried to free. And so for the past two weeks we have listened to the line by way of the voices that form the body of our nation's press and given
television and radio have added new dimensions to reportage and commentary. But news print retains a special potency that cannot be replaced. To quote from a speech of Queen Katharine and Shakespeare's Henry the Eighth. I wish no other Herald no other speaker of my living actions to keep mine honor from corruption but such an honest chronicler. Next week we're going to devote 30 minutes to suspense and murder. Definitely not a program for the kiddies that have a ghost story. And Ambrose Bierce shock and Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart in its entirety. If your doctor thinks it safely to do so by all means please join us next week same time station. For the fine art of murder. Until then this is the verdict saying thanks for listening and so
long. It will. Listen to the land was produced and recorded at station W.H. why why Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is James Keeler inviting you to be with us next week for the fine art of murder featuring as host and narrator Richard S. Burdick on listen to the land. This is the ne B Radio Network.
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Listen to the land
Salute to American press, part two
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second of two parts, pays tribute to the American press.
Series Description
America's literary heritage is explored through readings of short stories, poems, folklore, journalism and legends. The series is narrated by Richard S. Burdick.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Announcer: Keeler, James
Host: Burdick, Richard S.
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Writer: Adams, Bristow, 1875-1957
Writer: James, Edwin L.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-54-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:35
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Chicago: “Listen to the land; Salute to American press, part two,” 1960-01-22, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Listen to the land; Salute to American press, part two.” 1960-01-22. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Listen to the land; Salute to American press, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from