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Eyewitness At Kittyhawk In 1903 – December 17, 1957

Kittyhawk - December 17, 1903

Kittyhawk – Dec, 17, 1903 – a game-changer of a day in history.

Kittyhawk flight eyewitness – NBC Radio Nightline – December 17, 1957 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Kittyhawk, North Carolina – December 17, 1903, and the first successful flight by The Wright Brothers, who pioneered aviation and forever changed the course of history. On this broadcast, from the NBC Radio program Nightline (not to be confused with the ABC-TV version of the 1980s) of December 17, 1957, host Walter O’Keefe interviews Alpheus Drinkwater, who witnessed that flight at Kittyhawk and who relayed the first message of that flight to the world.

But there was other news happening on this day in 1957 – the Nightline Program was one of those News Magazine shows looking at daily life and goings on in the world. And among those things were the ever-present/on-going NATO talks in Paris. Ironically, the U.S. Air Force announced it had successfully launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile earlier in the day, and it was thought perhaps the launching of the Atlas Missile would be an important sign to NATO allies that the U.S. was still in the Space-race. Observers in Paris didn’t feel it would have much affect on the talks, most weren’t aware the launch had taken place. But it was the Cold War after all, and any morale boost was an important one, especially in light of the recent Sputnik launch by the USSR. Many at home were asking when the Air Force was going to get serious about catching up to the Russians – and Capitol Hill hearings were tinkering with the suggested idea that a separate Space Agency be implemented for that sole purpose.

On more domestic matters – a report on the latest study from the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency brought up the matter of Juvenile Institutions and what was being done to curb teenage crime in the U.S.

Since this program covered a lot of bases in a lot of areas, there is also an interview with Richard Burton and Susan Strasberg, who were starring in the production of Time Remembered, which had just opened on Broadway. Burton and Strasberg discuss the production and the reviews, which had been coming in and were all predicting the play would be the highlight of the season.

And since it was the holiday season – a visit with a New York school in the midst of Hanukah celebrations, since Hanukah fell on December 17th and end on Christmas Day in 1957.

A lot of areas covered in this 75 minute broadcast, as it was heard on December 17, 1957. A whole different time then. The Music was very corny and the news was highly straightforward. Oh, the choices.

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