Happy Thanksgiving, 1939-style!

This 1939 home movie footage of the 1939 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has everything short of a soundtrack. It features Pinocchio, Donald Duck, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Old King Cole, Uncle Sam and much more.

Here’s wishing all Cladrite Radio readers and listeners a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving; we’re thankful for each and every one of you.

Next stop: New York City, ca. 1939!

Longtime readers know we love vintage footage of our favorite cities—especially our favorite city of all, New York.

So when we came across these 1939 scenes—shot in color, no less—we knew we had to share them with you.

We just wish the folks who posted the video had gone with music of the era instead of the clumsy pastiche of musical styles they chose to use, but that’s a niggling complaint. Enjoy!

And now… the rest of the story

You’ve seen the design, we’re sure—on posters, postcards, t-shirts, coffee mugs. And, like us, you’ve no doubt been led to understand that the original posters from which the design was taken appeared throughout England for the duration of World War II.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

You’ve seen it, right?

Well, the thing is, the above account of the design’s history isn’t quite correct. This design was created in the lead-up to World War II, and it was selected by the British government, along with a couple of other designs, to be used on a series of propaganda posters meant to help foster a sense of confidence, optimism, and yes, calm during a time fraught with worry and danger.

Only it was the other two designs that got used; they were distributed throughout the country in September 1939. The design so familiar today, the one pictured to the right, was designated by the government to be used in case of extreme emergency—in case of a Nazi invasion of English soil, for example.

As such, the design was never put into wide use and was all but forgotten until the year 2000, when Stuart and Mary Manley, the owners of Barter Books, a used book shop in the northeast of England—Alnwick, Northumberland, to be precise—found one of the posters in a box of old books.

We’ll hold off on telling you the rest of the delightful story. You can watch it for yourself in the following video. The footage of the Manleys’ shop alone makes the video well worth watching, but you’ll also learn what bits of copy were used in the other two poster designs. They’re effective enough, but they fall short of the to-the-point pithiness of “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

Next stop–September 21, 1939!

This is cool. It’s bounced around the net a bit in recent months, so perhaps you’ve already come across it, but in case any Cladrite Radio fans have missed it, we thought we’d share it here: It’s an audio transcription of a complete broadcast day for station WJSV in Washington, D.C., from September 21, 1939, in the form of 19 one-hour mp3 files that can be streamed or downloaded.

As one poster on the site states, “You’ll never get any closer to a time machine than taking a day off, starting this up promptly at 6:00am and listening to the whole thing.”

Here’s the lineup:

6:00 Prerecorded music to start your day
6:30 Sundial with Arthur Godfrey (music)
8:30 Certified Magic Carpet (quiz show)
8:45 Bachelor’s Children (soap)
9:00 Pretty Kitty Kelly (soap)
9:15 The Story of Myrt & Marge (soap)
9:30 Hilltop House (soap)
9:45 Stepmother (soap)
10:00 Mary Lee Taylor (soap)
10:15 Brenda Curtis (soap, featuring Agnes Moorehead)
10:30 Big Sister (soap)
10:45 Aunt Jenny’s True Life Stories (soap that Bob & Ray loved to parody)
11:00 Jean Abbey (news for women)
11:15 When a Girl Marries (soap)
11:30 The Romance of Helen Trent (soap)
11:45 Our Gal Sunday (soap)
12:00 The Goldbergs (comedy)
12:15 Life Can Be Beautiful (soap)
12:30 Road of Life (soap)
12:45 This Day Is Ours (soap)
1:00 Sunshine Report (news)
1:15 The Life & Love of Dr. Susan (soap)
1:30 Your Family and Mine (soap)
1:45 News
2:00 President Roosevelt’s Address to Congress (speech)
2:40 Premier Edouard Daladier
3:00 Address Commentary (news)
3:15 The Career of Alice Blair (soap)
3:30 News (news)
3:42 Rhythm & Romance
3:45 Scattergood Baines
4:00 Baseball: Cleveland Indians at Washington Senators (sports)
5:15 The World Dances (music)
5:30 News (news)
5:45 Sports News (news)
6:00 Amos and Andy (comedy)
6:15 The Parker Family (comedy)
6:30 Joe E. Brown (comedy)
7:00 Ask-It Basket (quiz)
7:30 Strange as it Seems (true stories)
8:00 Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour (variety)
9:00 The Columbia Workshop – “Now It’s Summer” (drama)
9:30 Americans at Work (true stories)
10:00 News (news)
10:15 Music (music)
10:30 Albert Warner (news)
11:30 Teddy Powell Band (music)
12:00 Louis Prima Orchestra (music)
12:30 Bob Chester Orchestra (music)