American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Pearl Harbor Bombed!

NBC Program Book
NBC Program Book
Annotated typescript, December 7, 1941;
Microphone, ca. 1938
Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded
Sound Division

In addition to holding the most extensive radio broadcast collection in the country (nearly three-quarters of a million recordings), the Library of Congress offers researchers unparalleled print documentation of the medium. The NBC Radio Collection at the Library includes hundreds of thousands of scripts, business correspondence, bound press releases, and programming documentation.

This annotated script of a December 7, 1941, news report on the bombing of Pearl Harbor includes the announcer's markings for emphasis. The NBC "program analysis" index card outlines all of the network's news broadcasts of that day, including the break in regularly scheduled programming to announce the tragic news from Pearl Harbor.

Other NBC documentation now at the Library outlines nearly every program heard over the network throughout World War II, including the debates which preceded our entry into the war. Described in detail, for example, are programs aired in 1941 devoted to the Fight for Freedom Committee, which promoted intervention and aid to Britain, as well as programs devoted to the isolationist America First Committee.

Recordings of more than half of these programs are also in the collections of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. The Library's radio collections provide not only the means to monitor the progress of World War II as experienced on the home front, but, through the extensive Armed Forces Radio and Television Service Collection, to hear American entertainment and information as heard by the fighting American forces abroad.

The microphone pictured was used by Joseph Nathan Kane to broadcast his Famous First Facts radio series of 1938.

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