September 13, 1954 - May 27, 1970
A portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the 150th anniversary of his birth. This program concentrates on the final four years of Lincoln's life and his presidency. Thomas Mitchell introduces the program, and does one commercial for the sponsor, (The Lincoln Life Insurance Company). This presentation was a repeat of its premiere airing one year before, February 11, 1959. Alexander Scourby narrates from Richard Hanser's script, quoting mostly in the words of Abraham Lincoln. Robert Russell Bennett's score incorporates songs of the time. Donald B. Hyatt produced and directed. This broadcast received many outstanding awards but was never aired again.
For this extraordinary documentary producer Donald B. Hyatt developed the "stills-in-motion" technique which involved the animation of thousands of still photographs and non filmed visual materials. However, just listening to the narrative sound track by Alexander Scourby, the incredible score, using music of the times, orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett, coupled with the narrative written by Richard Hanser, including salient quotations expressed by President Abraham Lincoln, makes for an exhilarating interpretation, insight and appreciation of Lincoln's presidency, and what he endured during his administration during the Civil War (1861-1865).
In 1954 Henry Solomon, along with Donald B. Hyatt, Issac Kleinerman, Richard Hanser, and Robert Russell Bennett, began production on a group of compilation documentaries they named PROJECT 20. Salomon and company periodically produced special broadcasts for NBC recreating the lives, events, periods, and trends of the 1900's through an effective marriage of archival news film and still photos, long before contemporary Ken Burns picked up the baton to do similar approach documentaries broadcast on PBS beginning in the 1980's.
There were 33 produced Project 20 NBC Specials in the series. Eleven of them were enhanced with narration provided by the mellifluous Alexander Scourby. The series became universally recognized as one of American television's most enduring and honored series, winning hundreds of national and international awards for broadcasts, including two prime time Emmy Awards.
February 7 - May 15, 1960 (Sundays 2:30-3:00pm)
READING OUT LOUD was a filmed series comprised of 15 shows. Famous people read favorite literary selections aloud to a small group of children, often relatives of the reader.
Jackie Robinson recites the Gettysburg Address to his son David Robinson, daughter Sharon Robinson and wife Rachel Robinson.
NOTE: Letter dated Feb. 26, 2008, sent by Rachel Robinson, related to this TV Audio Air Check recorded off the air by Phil Gries on May 1, 1960.
THE JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
One Hudson Square
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
February 26, 2008
Archival Television Audio, Inc.
209 Sea Cliff Avenue
Sea Cliff, NY 11579
My apologies for the long delay in responding to your kindness in sending me the exciting television audio air check of "Reading Out Loud" the TV program where Jack read the Gettysburg Address. The Jackie Robinson Foundation has moved and we are still locating material sent to us as we reorganize the archives.
I listened to the tape with ABSOLUE AMAZEMENT and DELIGHT. Sharon and I remember vividly the family trip to Washington, and we have one photo taken on that occasion. Unfortunately, I do not have any memory of the recording session.
It is thrilling for us to hear Jackie's reading of this profound speech, and we shall cherish and preserve it in our archives. Most importantly, we will share it with our visitors to the Jackie Robinson Museum now being designed.
Phil, I am deeply grateful to you for this historic gift, and we will appropriately attribute it's preservation to you.
cc: Della Britton Baeza
In 1960, Virginia Winslow Hopper Mathews created the children's TV series Reading Out Loud with Westinghouse Broadcasting executive Mike Santangelo. Produced by Westinghouse for syndication, the show featured notable figures reading aloud their favorite books to children. It debuted February 7, 1960 on the five TV stations owned by Westinghouse in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. READING OUT LOUD also opened on WNTA-TV, prior it becoming a Public Television Station (WNET-TV) in New York City and 46 educational TV stations around the U.S. It ran as a half-hour show for 15 episodes.
The following is a list of READING OUT LOUD guest appearances detailing the 15 broadcasts aired, and the dates when they were broadcast.
-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (reading Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling to a group of children)-March 13, 1960.
-Actress Julie Harris (reading selections from Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in The Willows")-May 8, 1960.
-Actor José Ferrer (reading Huckleberry Finn)-March 20, 1960.
-Brooklyn Dodger baseball player (1947-1956) Jackie Robinson (reading excerpts from Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage" & Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" to his family)-May 1, 1960.
-Entertainer Garry Moore (reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)-Feb. 28, 1960.
-Novelist Pearl S. Buck (reading Chinese fables)-April 17, 1960.
-Actor Cyril Ritchard (reading "Alice in Wonderland")-Feb. 14 or 21(?)1960.
-Singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte (reading a collection of Jamaican folk tale about Anansi the Spider Man)-April 10, 1960.
-Senator John F. Kennedy (reading The Emergence of Lincoln)-March 27, 1960.
-Pulitzer Prize poet and author, Archibald MacLeish (reading poems of Walter de la Mare to his grandchildren)-Feb. 7, 1960
-Stage Actress Eva Le Gallienne (reading Hans Christian Anderson's "The Ugly Duckling.")-March 6, 1960.
-Vice President Richard M. Nixon (reading Carl Sandburg's "Abe Lincoln Grows Up" to his daughter Julie and her friends)-April 3, 1960.
-UCLA English Professor / TV Educator Dr. Frank Baxter (reading the poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.")-April 24, 1960.
-Industrialist Charles H. Percy (reading from James Daugherty's "Poor Richard" to his children)-May 15, 1960.
-Actor Richard Boone (reading Bret Harte's story "How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar.")-February 21, 1960.
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower converses with Civil War scholar, Pulitzer Prize historian Bruce Catton on the Lincoln Civil War years. Music by Robert Russell Bennett.
As stated, the careers of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln present an interesting contrast. Ike had been a military man all his adult life when he found the Presidency all but thrust upon him. Abe, on the other hand, a man of very little military experience, found the Civil War thrust upon him only a month after his inauguration.
Eisenhower offers a professional soldier's view of how Lincoln handled his role of Commander in Chief. He analyzes Mead's action against Lee in the Battle of Gettysburg, and the generalship of McClellan and Grant. Also covered in conversation are the changes in the functions of the Commander in Chief over the past 100 years, and Ike's admiration for General Robert R. Lee.
This Special NBC half hour broadcast was produced at the library of the Eisenhower residence in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.
"As The World Turns," TV soap opera, is interrupted by Walter Cronkite at 1:40pm EST, who gives bulletins describing the attempt on the life of President John F. Kennedy. From KLRD in Dallas, Eddie Barker reports on the condition of the President: "He is dead... shot by an assassin." Cronkite continues coverage from the CBS Studio newsroom in New York; he confirms at 2:38pm EST that 38 minutes ago at 2:00 PM EST President Kennedy died. Cronkite has a difficult time composing himself and after a brief moment continues his report. CBS continuous coverage of the assassination begins with picture transmission at 2:00 PM EST and the following broadcast excerpts follow the events as they happened.
The facts reveal that Kennedy was shot at 1:30 PM EST and pronounced dead at 2:00 PM EST. The motorcade approached the Texas School Book Depository, and then made a sharp 135 degree left turn onto Elm Street, a downward-sloping road that extends through the plaza and under a railroad bridge at a location known as the "triple underpass." The giant Hertz Rent-a-Car clock on top of the Schoolbook Depository building was seen to change from 12:29 to 12:30 as the limousine turned into Elm Street.
Most of the witnesses recalled that the first shot was fired after the president had started waving with his right hand. After the third shot, the limo driver and police motorcycles turned on their sirens and raced at high speeds to Parkland Hospital, passing their intended destination of the Dallas Trade Mart along the way, and arriving at about 1:38 p.m. (EST).