Happy New Year from the American Archive!

Greetings and Happy New Year! In celebration of the new year, today we are sharing a highlight from the American Archive collection, contributed by WGBH. This six-minute audio clip was taken from an episode of the Children’s Circle daily radio program, which in 1951 was launched and hosted by Nancy Harper. This episode aired on New Year’s Eve in 1952, during which Nancy held a birthday party for the new year.

Nancy Harper served as the producer and writer of Children’s Circle and eventually moved on to become an editor for the textbook companies McGraw-Hill and MacMillan. She later became associate editor of Curator, a journal published by the American Museum of Natural History. She died in 2007 at the age of 91. We appreciate her contributions to public media and are excited to share this audio clip with you today.

Originally recorded on 1/4 inch audio magnetic tape, a format typically used from the 1950s through the 1980s, the program was digitized as part of the first 40,000 hours of American Archive material. It is now being preserved for future generations at the Library of Congress.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO CLIP

From the American Archive: President Nelson Mandela

Today, South Africa and the rest of the world mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, the revered South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary who spent 27 years in prison. Serving as South Africa’s first black president, he ended apartheid, the government platform, which for nearly five decades had enforced racial segregation, denying non-whites any economic or political power. During his five-year presidency, Nelson Mandela led his country to democracy, tackling racism, poverty, and inequality, and fostering reconciliation.

Upon hearing news of his death yesterday, we contacted our American Archive partnering station WHUT, located on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Today they have given us permission to share with you a video from the American Archive, featuring President Nelson Mandela at Howard University in October of 1994, the day on which he received an honorary doctorate degree from the university.

“Our cause became your cause, and so shall it remain, for us to work together to improve the quality of life of especially black people, and other disadvantaged communities — in South Africa, in Africa, in the United States, and other parts of the world.” –South Africa President Nelson Mandela, upon receiving an honorary doctorate at Howard University, October 7, 1994