Hanging On An Empty Promise – September 24, 1938
Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio News reports on Munich Crisis – September 24, 1938 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
News for this day in 1938 was about the crisis over German demands for land belonging to Czechoslovakia. The Munich crisis over the Sudetenland, as it was known, was slowly turning into a flash-point for all-out war and last ditch attempts to prevent it were going on feverishly.
In a series of historic firsts – the first being Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain‘s shuttle diplomacy of flying back and forth between London and Berlin for talks with Hitler, which had never happened before, and signaled the first time Chamberlain had actually flown in an airplane. The other being the first time such a crisis was covered by Radio worldwide and was a form of instantly carrying news of the crisis. Both of these probably helped ease the crisis to a degree.
But the bottom line was, for all the proclamations and pledges of support for the Czech people, the end-result negotiations were far from satisfactory for Czechoslovakia.
On September 24th in 1938 the world was still hanging in the balance and details of negotiations were not yet revealed. Prime Minister Chamberlain was heading off to Munich again for what would be the last round of talks before “Peace In Our Time” was declared (which he actually never said, but those clever headline writers . . . . .)
Here is the latest news on the crisis, as reported by CBS Radio and its around-the-clock coverage, including talks by H.V. Kaltenborn and an interview in London between Edward R. Murrow and Czech diplomat Jan Masaryk.
And that’s what September 24th sounded like in 1938.