About This Collection
The John R. Hickman Collection consists of more than 10,000 broadcast quality audio recordings of vintage radio news and entertainment programs, from the 1920s through the 1970s. It contains reel-to-reel tapes, metal and vinyl discs, electronic transcripts from studio masters, wax cylinders, and books. The Hickman Collection includes a wide variety of entertainment programs, including comedies, detective shows, dramas, mysteries, quiz shows, soap operas, talk shows, and westerns. It features episodes of major series from the Golden Age of Radio, including Amos 'n' Andy, Biography in Sound, Burns & Allen, The Cavalcade of America, Dragnet, The Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show, Gunsmoke, and The Lone Ranger.
The collection also boasts historic radio news broadcasts, including eyewitness accounts of the Hindenburg airship crash in 1937, Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, the first reports of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, comprehensive coverage of the D-Day invasion in 1944, the funeral of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, live remotes from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London in 1953, and day-of analysis of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. News programs include commentary from such notable broadcasters as Edward R. Murrow, H.V. Kaltenborn, Robert (Bob) Trout, Mary Margaret McBride, Robert Baukhage, and Fulton Lewis Jr.
The digitization of this collection is a work in progress. To date (April 2007) select reel-to-reel tapes of major news events from 1939 - 1953, and episodes from Amos 'n' Andy, Biography in Sound, The Cavalcade of America, The Goldbergs, Hear It Now, Life Can Be Beautiful, Lux Radio Theatre, Mary Margaret McBride, One Man's Family, Our Gal Sunday, The Original Amateur Hour, and The Romance of Helen Trent have been digitized. Several of these programs were part of the WJSV (Washington, D.C.) Broadcast Day from September 21, 1939. The Hickman Collection includes all of the WJSV news, sports, and entertainment broadcasting from this date, offering insight into American life in the late 1930s. All the recordings also feature period advertisements, public service announcements, and news bulletins.
The John R. Hickman Digital Collection web site and radio broadcasts are best experienced using Internet Explorer. In addition, there may be five to ten seconds of silence at the start of each audio clip before the recording begins
For further information, please contact American University Archives and Special Collections at 202-885-3256, or send an email to email@example.com.