The People Speak to the President: Public comment on the U.S. entry into World War II
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:: Description ::
A play (with some music) in the form of an audio letter to President Roosevelt comprising voices of citizens from all over the country on the impact of World War II on their lives, produced by the radio section of the Office for Emergency Management in cooperation with the radio section of the Library of Congress. It includes interviews with a farmer from North Carolina, a widow with two children from Massachusetts, a new York City cabbie, and others, and features snippets of songs.
:: Note 1 ::
This program is in two parts. There are various fragments of songs interspersed with the interviews and narration.
Public commentary on U.S. entry into World War II
Last summer people felt we didn't need to get involved in international affairs, but some, like Mr. Leighton from Delaware were "ahead of the game." A man working in a tank factory talks about how hard they worked to get the first tanks off the assembly line.
Woman sings "Daddy, I Want a Brand New Car." Then Hawaian singers introduce Pearl Harbor. Chorus becomes mournful. Irish building inspector and NY cabdriver say we need to give this fella Hilter a licking. WWI Cabdriver volunteers to fight again. Even Roosevelt's former opponents (in the Southern states) have joined behind him, one says rattlesnakes are too much of a gentleman to be compared to our enemy, because they give warning of their presence.
Chorus sings "The Martins and the Coys have joined together."
A nation at war needs songs and a lot of other things.
Notes read: Office for Emergency Management; The People Speak to the President, Part 1. Public comment on the U.S. entry into WWII (December, 1941).
Public commentary on U.S. entry into World War II (continued)
A housewife in Bloomington Indiana talks about the high price of food. A black man says although the Negroes are going to fight, the president must do something about job discrimination. A mother talks about her son who has gone to serve in the army and she wonders what kind of a society he will return to. A millworker from North Carolina talks about his concern about the future of his job if his mill closes down.
Yes, Mr. President, we have all kinds of worries, but the fact that we complain shows that we have a free country with a tradition of town meeting. Pete Seeger sings a talking blues about how we need to beat Hilter.
An American Indian from Arizona talks about his dislike of war. The Americans have not changed our customs, but the Japs and the Germans want to change our customs. We are buying war bonds -- sings an Indian song "Keep 'em Flying."
A Polish-American lawyer from Michigan says he is behind the president and the war.
An recent Austrian refugee with a law degree, who is now working as a hat check clerk in a night club talks about what freedom means to her.
A Detroit bank manager talks about how he is selling war bonds.
A coal miner from Pennsylvania talks about how his work is helping the cause of democracy.
A factory worker tells that he feels "us little guys" are important too.
A barber from Indiana talks about how he talks to his client about buying defense bonds.
Other voices from people talking about their feelings. A recording of a sermon from a black church service from the Pine Woods of Georgia praying for the courage and strength of the President, and asking God's blessing on the soldiers. Hymn singing.
130 million people say, "We've got our problems, but the big problem is how we're going to win." Humming chorus.
Notes read: Office for Emergency Management; The People Speak to the President, Part 2. Public comment on the U.S. Entry into WWII (December, 1941).