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The best understanding of America begins or so it seems to us with the realisation that this nation is young yet but she still knew when I'd finished that even though America is man's greatest adventure and time and space. The University of North Carolina through a grant and aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters presents American Adventure a study of mine in the New World a series made possible by the fund for adult education and independent agency established by the Ford Foundation. Written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton today's recorded program is the rat on Lincoln Avenue. This is the story of a block of avenue and the people who were on it on the evening of July 22nd
1930 the street is named Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and I have heard of it. The number of the block is twenty four hundred. There was a theater a national company store two garages a restaurant as a loon. It's just a piece of street in Chicago you're. One of the people and they were real people that night in 1034. But real people speak without being recorded and without reporters there were no reporters there at 8:40 p.m. the reporters came later so we can use the real people but the street is real. The night is real. The theater is lighted in the bar's open. What happened that night is real. And the people will not Rio. Are as alive as we can make them.
Collins. What are those men doing in Adams Street I don't know. Come here to the window and look for them. I am going to get a shadow. Standing right there in front of the theater. Yeah fasten the sleep button for me bro. They always braking I have brakes take off the shirt now so it for you. Who do you reckon those men are calling. Can a few men stand on the sidewalk. Hard looking is assured and that is about. Maybe they're part of a game. Maybe they're killing our pretty badly. They do look like gangsters or policeman. Well it's hard to tell which. Family down there. Well I can see eight or nine. And look across the street over the garage. Yeah well they seem to be watching the theater and there are two more crossing the street towards us going in the
restaurant downstairs. I tell you Collins they look like part of a game. Let's get this table by the window right on the set over here where I can see the car you watch down the street. What time you get about a 45 to what you mean about my watch says eight forty seven p.m. Central Standard Time. Somebody mentioned 850 you know three minutes more but the boss don't know he's in the car. Talking to somebody who has done it get here. If they go I don't know. We'll get him if he does. You gentlemen want to order now. I will wait. We close the main part of the kitchen and 8:30 you know no I didn't but now remember what I mean by that. No dinners ordered after
8:30. But if you want to dinner I'll get your order there's a man in a gray suit. Good gent Johnny anywhere maybe look you gentlemen hear me. We got roast beef and some fried chicken leg if you want to or not you want to do it again. No I am not hungry. I'll take the roast beef on the dinner you want to Sandwich. I want the dinner and the glass of now. I'll bring it just as soon as I can. Want younger kid all nervous. Sure why. This is big you know that this will make every paper in the country papers all over the world. You just wait with the statements on the net right here. U.S.. It's my go she told me if I came on this way with there's a man coming on the sidewalk not a coat was he wearing a white shirt light blue gray pants. It's not Johnny Johnny wears a tie. I can't let an go can I when I was young just a kid and was older. I liked him but she was older than they you know how it is. Sure. Just like you said older boys
she got married made a park no good. Let's talk about some. She's divorced now she likes me. He ought to see the way she takes on about me and when you consider that when she was a kid all the boys liked it. And this afternoon she gets squeamish on don't tell me all your troubles. We got a job to do. I know about that. There's a man coming along with two other fellas. I didn't Johnny then. Look when Johnny comes and the boss gives a signal what do we do. Take it with you. That's up to Johnny. Probably not going to through this one should get a break but through the door screen is better. Say 50 now you want it so you know who try to shake them out of Durham need I don't want any song good. No there's a man come in come in with the women. And that could be Johnny no coat white shoes don't stay and you're going to be looking for the signal that's wrong.
Here's the milk I'll bring the dinner in a minute. Thanks. You want peas or carrots. You want vegetable or fruit salad. You want French fries or mashed mashed. You know your own mind mister. I like that that's when I might pass now. Looks like Johnny from here said he's got black hair. Look is there a signal or not. There let him walk on by. He's stopping at the movie has best I can tell you what to boast on. He's watching. Maybe it's not Johnny. You're. Doesn't look like John to me like Harry. Johnny's Shorter's You know Scott STRAIGHT No but it's Johnny Shorter's it's not Johnny's face. It's Johnny's face and never saw this guy that's him. You can change your face change your hair cut off a scar
you can change him. They are walking away from the box office you say. Yeah looks like John Allen writes him you're going to give the signal. Not too many people on the street now. I didn't see the movie we're going to come in two hours is a long wait because I waited longer than two hours. You got me on the back doors of the theater. But like every door calling the rest of the men put two men on every door tell him he's dyed his hair black and change his face right. You get his description right so Church Mice crate type that gridlock white canvas shoes cradles two men on every door. Yeah. Look. Told me in the car going up to the button on my shirt and selling it you been so on it forever. He's talking to those men over at the graduate because when a car
one of them is walking away and the tall man is going on down the street Collins I'm afraid I think I'll call the place. OK wait a minute you know sometimes people get mixed up in things that go into their business. Cranston I mean maybe the cops play well if they're cops what the cops know well maybe they think up so maybe maybe they're a gang like you said look at it forget it will you know it's the first time in 10 years you called me honey. Look forget it we were going to call the police if I don't tell them who I am. Now I don't know how well I'm going to call them Collins After all somebody might get hurt. If I was down there I'd want somebody to call him. Operator OPERATOR I want to get information we're going to the movies CLAIRE You know Clark Gable you know you like him you know. Miss Clark Gable he's on tomorrow night to the information. I want the nearest police station. I'm on Lincoln Avenue twenty four hundred block. Besides we go to the movies all the time. Movies are you go bowl and never stay home and
start it again would you ring them please operator. This is an emergency that is no emergency they'll laugh at you the cops get dozens of called police stations but this is an unnamed party that lives on Lincoln Avenue. There are 20 or 30 men on the street outside my window. Tough looking man. I'm afraid somebody is going to get hurt. There are 30 minute well offer so you can certainly come to look for yourself if you want to. My husband's right here he'll tell you your cause I want you to come on commentary. Hello. Yes yes. What you see. My wife was looking out the window the traffic as she always does and oh you know those strange men doormen the parked car another standing the door wait around you see. Twenty four hundred Lincoln Avenue that's right now I think that what psychologist he said think any hung up. What did you tell him that's an emergency. What I told him with a look into it I think they had better
call and lock the door. Could you. You think we should lock it. Right. OK what are you doing. Well I'm looking for that duty yes. I put a pistol down oh shoot somebody doesn't have any bullets. You know I didn't feel better with it. Then it went to what comforts me Collins that's all. When you're out bowling at night I always sit here by the window with the door locked. Look at the nice young people go by with a pistol in my hand. I get afraid it's company. You never told me you get afraid. Did not bring your chair up to the window so we can both see it. This is crazy. I know. But isn't it strange. Right in front of our wind just like in the movies. You are.
The men seem nervous. Some of them but they're OK they were joking. What's funny. The move to show that the theater empowers the show John is looking at what's funny. It's a crime picture one of those crimes is not a picture. He sees crime does not pay that he comes out we get. Films over at 10:30. I expect it'll be over before ten thirty five. You're look good for over an hour I had to talk and there's nothing that maybe I don't know or James us of it was a good girl ok ok you just want me to get mixed up in crime stuff like that.
If you shoot a guy like Johnny you mock yourself maybe Babyface pretty boy guys like that. You mock yourself so you mock them. It's a dog eat dog existence. Did you think it was and say cops don't look around what they're doing talking to the boss just walked up to his car. What they want. How do I know. How did they find out who can do things like that. They could really mess it up. Johnny see blue uniform story of a man to take off like a book fast to give him one and he's gone he's magic that guy and he's still talking to the boss. Yeah what do you tell him. Oh he's a talker. Denim is good sisters inside me when I'm driving home anything. I want to be at you know drinking Joe. I'm thirsty. Cops are moving away now going here. Walking up a street. Don't look. Why wouldn't you be in your food. It's going to be it's
cold this food. It didn't come in. Thank you Ana. And when I was coming back you know he's coming and you want me to. Yeah. He's coming over here. Oh hello officer. We got to report what investigators are. I noticed your dinner wasn't hungry. You might show me some agenda they don't have any on me. You want to come to headquarters I want Joe didn't go down a little quick got to report some quotes around what do you mean by that. You see the other two cops outside the window. You want me to call I mean. You know you don't want to just look at Chicago Indiana police specialist I'm sure course that is what your blue collar guys were doing. Let me she sure. What do you do on special assignment mean anything to you. You know the rules buddy
move on. I'm just interested. Who is your buddy. Special special agent FBI. I see Sherry got a call you know funny we don't know about this at the local precinct and it's mostly FBI they ran an appeal of us from Indiana. She thought you might be a crook can't tell the difference and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference buddy. What you meant about Joe that cop. Can't tell the difference if I get him gets under my skin I just criminals for 20 years I end up looking like one. We got the biggest crook of all and they got him surrounded. But you can't tell it from a cop out of school. Get off that kind of talk what do you think this being a cop is a great big beautiful life don't you. I don't know and I agree with you go get out of this racket Sunday night. You ought to be in a church somewhere stood here with me. We did a big plate glass window but
John Dillon did it come out of a theater. You ought to be in bed. I wouldn't worry I'm betting. Let me tell you something. My daughter is 17. She brought home a young kid the other night young phone numbers first ones you brought home. So she introduced us. We set out. I finally said Well what do you do for a living and I said I'm a cop and he looks at me startle sudden like you know like like people look at cops as if you saw them in the kidneys where it would leave a bruise. And we hush money how many criminals call you by your first name and right good get out you mess with criminals you get dirty. That's my job Joe. Maybe I will be. Well I'll tell you who the hero is Johnny. When he dies thousands will stand in line to see his body. Their mom the complet killing wait and see. I don't believe you go down the street to the theater using that mood what's on Manhattan Melodrama. So at Uptown it's a crime that Johnny come all the way to this room down here. Bland had to because somebody tipped off the
FBI that he'd be here come down here to this little theater to see it because he knew that it was going to make him feel good to see you know everybody likes a good solid happy every day except maybe a criminal get out get people don't like UPS. I've seen movies crime movies they say crime doesn't pay. Oh they mustn't say it good or they wouldn't be playing the John Dillon. 10 20. The last time I had Dylan just surrounded and shot his way out remember. Yes. I was appeared to be a few minutes away from taking them and it. Feels alright. Like we're capturing and isolating something that went wrong and never developed. Just ate away at society instead of contributing to it. This ate away
like a rat in a corn bin served no good purpose. It'll be like capturing and isolating something that. Might've been useful but isn't it to save society which is valuable. You're. You're there was a laundry truck that passed a ten twenty two. About the time a young lady who like Clark Gable came out of the theater she gine the movie since four o'clock and had decided she should go home perhaps come back the next afternoon. The waitress in the restaurant said she wanted to go home too but she said that the restaurant was supposed to stay open until 11 o'clock. She'd worked in that restaurant for four years and she was getting tired of it. She said nothing ever happens around here same old routine night after night same dinners she said. Never any action around here. Ten twenty five a strange and interesting hush came over Lincoln Avenue.
The cars moved as always but there were many people who did not hear them whose entire attention was on the theater. Almost time for the movie to be at Collings. Not quite definitely watching the theatre cause you see that man over there with a Coke machine at the garage. That's his movie of Coca-Cola tonight. Even your longtime colleagues don't stand up when I sit down please. I might shoot all sit down please. All right can. You just stay down. If you lean over a little bit to the edge of the window help protect you from water on it. Well I don't know but you have to be protected. It's almost time for the movie to let it out. You're. You're. Don't say people fighting to get one look at him I don't believe in people tearing each other apart. I'm tired of hearing
you talk Joe Horn. Because you see so much of a dirty humanity you think all humanity is dirty. You're looking at me like that boy my daughter brought up lost faith. I've got all the pay people there's no you haven't you just haven't got like you see you have to shoot and the people who show you who the people hero is they'll tear each other apart just to be able to touch Johnny's body just wait around get. Killed. Let's get out of the car and come see me give the signal better if we stand on the sidewalk. And screw in the air. Ten thirty two what are they doing Johnny.
I'm the one that gives a second. It's not easy. Yes and it's Johnny's Shorter's. It's kind of down to Spain looking towards a thing. Is it time it rains for the movie being out. It's past time to let out about 10:30 don't you know how to call a poet and a good player man across the street is coming over to the curb Yeah look down there in the doorway. They're changing their position Yeah. HOLLINGS Yes I'm here holding my hand. Oh oh it's all right. Seems like because of what's going on out there. You and me are closer in this room than we've ever been before. Like it makes everything we've been fighting about seems so little. Are you sure the doors lock that's locked on to remember. Something terrible is going to happen Collins.
Maybe we ought to leave. I can't can you. You know I I know how to leave. I shouldn't watch. It's going to be terrible. I know what it was. I'd like to leave but I thought I don't want I don't either. But there Collins there. Yes people come in thinking that I don't know if you know people it's over they're coming out now cause. The men down there are just standing watch ESPN talking you see their hands in their pockets I mean with AC. Maybe they have a guy. Sheep going to kill somebody but who. I don't I don't I wish I knew I'd yell out any one of those people. Be that nice young man coming out of the theater now. But there were those two pretty girls. The man in the white shirt and pretty tacky nice value reminds me of someone I know might even be him they're going to shoot. They're looking at in color and you see they're moving toward him Collins that nice young man. Yeah well you're all right. Yes yes I'm all right. I was rude boy boy
that stranger I was due for a Fort Collins. I shot it you know like the most terrible thing I ever saw. Don't let me look at Collins. Right overcrowd crazy thing is going out of his hand with your last mistake. You'll never see morning around the end of the lecture. Take care of me as a ring on his left hand. Yes yes I told you it was Johnny. And then what's the matter with it he won't talk to anybody. When Johnny turned on there and started pulling the
gun out the get fired right through the door. And what's the matter with you want to say Hey Harold what's the matter. They're just like you and I said they're animals who people I saw in that dip but no handkerchief down in Johnny's blood just to save some of it. Forget it how can you forget it. They'll be at Johnnie's funeral. Thousands saw and who are we hiding around in doorways setting traps like criminal catch a rat you set a trap. Get to be like them. Sometimes even we can tell a cop from a clergyman can tell himself from a quote. Now snap out don't be too hard on him. Oh his his girl begin somehow and he shot first the very first I know I saw it. Look son listen to me. Maybe I can say something that will help you to understand the people out there. Look at me I said.
If you want to know something about people. You want to know they don't like authority rules and laws. Haven't you ever heard him yell kill the umpire don't you know Americans like Jesse James not the sheriff or the posse. So what. So that's part of the way we are. Course you can't live in a country like this without rules laws police the military. But don't expect people to fall all over us with happiness whenever they see as we represent what binds and restricts and chafes is a way people I think are weeping over Johnny's body and part of it. Then too there's the reason the Dylan tour was colorful famous big number one criminal in America. It's like that'd make them hate emo does it. When I was a boy out on the farm I remember killing a rat. The big biggest I'd ever seen. My mother almost fainted. My father was almost sick. It was the biggest ugliest rat I ever saw. We took that route down the road to Jamieson's and showed it to the old man. He called his sons. It was
the biggest rat they'd ever seen and we took it all over that part of the county. Next day people came from far as way is topped and to see it the biggest rat ever seen white people came I don't know except people are like that. I don't think they liked it. I don't think they wanted one don't think they wanted to be one. Sure there will be thousands at Johnny's funeral for one reason or another. Maybe I'll go. Maybe you ought to go. Me Why. Because he's one of the biggest rats in the world. One of the biggest rats anybody anywhere ever saw. And you cured. You are. Any resemblance in our characters to Chief Melvin Purvis of the late inspectors Samuel
piccoli. Are there FBI men or to the Chicago Indiana policeman who are with them or to any other person as coincidental but basic facts connected with the incident of the Dylan to death are from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Report. American Adventure is written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton produced by the communications center of the University of North Carolina American Adventure is a study of mad men in the New World. His values and his characteristics who he is what he believes. The series is made possible by the National Association of educational broadcasters and the fund for I don't education an independent agency established by the Ford Foundation in the wrapped on Lincoln Avenue Edith Sanford was the woman Charles Hadley was her husband Charles Kuralt was the boss Earl when was
his assistant. Don't want to tell was the Chicago Indiana cop. Johnny Miller was the kid and Joe Grushecky was the waitress. This is Carl Kassel American Inventor is produced and recorded by the University of North Carolina on the campus at Chapel Hill. This is the N E E B network.
American adventure
Rat on Lincoln Avenue
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-ng4gs015).
Episode Description
A study of some attitudes toward authority. The story of the death of an outlaw.
Series Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
Dillinger, John, 1903-1934--Fiction.
Media type
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Actor: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Actor: Wynn, Earl
Actor: Hadley, Charles
Actor: Eder, James
Director: Clayton, John S.
Host: Kasell, Carl
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:24
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Chicago: “American adventure; Rat on Lincoln Avenue,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 8, 2023,
MLA: “American adventure; Rat on Lincoln Avenue.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 8, 2023. <>.
APA: American adventure; Rat on Lincoln Avenue. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from