American Civil Rights Movement
WERD AM – The First Black-Owned Radio Station

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WERD AM in Atlanta, Georgia, began operating on October 3, 1949, becoming the first black-owned radio station in the United States. The radio station was in the same building as the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose leader was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a … Continue reading

The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen
Steve Allen on the Early Days of the Tonight Show


The Tonight Show starring Steve Allen, the first nationally syndicated late-night talk show, began airing in September 1954. In this interview, Allen discusses the role that NBC played in deciding on the show’s content during its early days. Says Allen: “I had learned enough about life at that time never … Continue reading

Richard Nixon
Nixon’s ‘Checkers’ Speech in 1952


On September 23, 1952, Richard Nixon, a California senator at the time, went on air to defend himself against accusations of an established fund–created by his backers–that would reimburse him for his political expenses. He says, “Not one cent of the 18 thousand dollars or any other money of that … Continue reading

Nikita Khrushchev
Walt Disney on Nikita Khrushchev’s Trip to Disneyland

Walt Disney on Nikita Khrushchev’s Trip to Disneyland

Walt Disney comments on the time Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party, tried to visit Disneyland during his United States visit in 1959. With Disneyland having recently opened on July 17, 1955 in Los Angeles, the mayor of Los Angeles felt his county could not guarantee … Continue reading

Buddy Holly
The Everly Brothers Meet Buddy Holly & the Crickets

The Everly Brothers Meet Buddy Holly & The Crickets

Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers describes the first time he met rock and roll legend Buddy Holly and his fellow members in the Crickets while touring in Montreal. Everly describes the large group of musicians that were also gathered there at the time and becomes nostalgic over that time … Continue reading

Billie Holiday
Etta James on Her Jazz Idols Like Billie Holiday

Etta James on Her Jazz Idols Like Billie Holiday

American singer-songwriter Etta James talks about how she sees herself as more than just a r&b singer and discusses the female singers that have inspired her. James says she personally knew Diana Washington and Billie Holiday, claiming, “They led the life they sang about.” She unapologetically explains how her music’s … Continue reading

Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson Reflects on Her Influential Tennis Career


In this documentary narrated by Maya Angelou, tennis player Althea Gibson reflects on her successful career in the late 1950s and beyond. Gibson describes her experience at Wimbledon in 1957, during which she became the first black woman to win the tennis tournament. She reflects on the anxiety she felt while competing … Continue reading