Society & Culture:History
Drew Pearson - January 4, 1948
And here’s a final disc of time-shifted network programming from a collection of “throwaway” discs from WHBC in Akron, Ohio, a news broadcast from columnist Drew Pearson.
In the program of January 4, 1948, Drew Pearson is heard via shortwave transcription from Milan, Italy, where he is traveling with the Friendship Train. The show was broadcast on ABC and is sponsored by Lee Hats.
Pearson reports that Russia has sent fighter planes to Albania to help the Communist army in Greece and is concentrating more former Nazi POWs in Belgrade to help with the effort in Greece. The Italian crew of the Friendship Train has threatened to go on strike at Bologna because they didn’t want to switch crews. Franco is concerned about trouble in Spain this winter. Pearson describes the reception of the Friendship Train in Rome, Florence, and Bologna. The Communist mayor of Bologna refused to meet the train because of reports about him by Pearson.
In the last segment of the program, Pearson gives some of his famous predictions. The first is that a bill requiring Senators and Congressmen to register their securities with the SEC will be introduced in the next session of Congress and will be killed in committee by two Republicans. Pearson predicts revolution in Italy, due to the presence of Tito’s Communist forces poised on the Italian border, but that it will not succeed. Pearson encourages Americans to help the fight against Communism by writing to their relatives abroad to dispel the lies being spread about America in Europe.
The Friendship Train was an unusual project that Drew Pearson advocated. The Train was packed with food and supplies from different states as a gift to war-torn Europe. In return, the Europeans sent gifts back to the states. There are still some museums in different states that display these gifts. You can see a short Pathe newsreel clip of the Freedom Train in Italy, taken during the period when our radio broadcast was originally recorded.
This appears to be a previously lost episode of Drew Pearson’s series; Goldin lists thirty that surive from his long-running series.
The program was transferred from an original sixteen inch Audiodisc lacquer recorded at WHBC, Akron.
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