October 3, 1969 – Radio Peking International (commemorating People’s Republic Of China – October 1, 1949) – Shortwavearchive.com –
Since we’ve been observing the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party, and no one it seems, least of all me, to have any recordings of that event in 1921, the next best thing would be the observance of the day China became The People’s Republic Of China in October of 1949. The original recordings of that declaration don’t come with any translations, and what translations there are have been debated and disputed over accuracy and words. That leaves me with this recording, which I located a few years ago via this really incredible website that focuses on Shortwave broadcasts, https://shortwavearchive.com/.
This is a breathless and highly emotional observance, marred only by the fact that it’s a shortwave broadcast and fairly overflowing with noise, squeaks, fades in and out and muffled proclamations. However, the gist is there and the recording is of such important historic value that the fact that it’s survived at all is miraculous.
I started Past Daily as the result of an attack of disbelief. I was lecturing a College Media class and was making mention of the fact that Americans were being roundly chided by the rest of the world for being woefully uninformed of the world around them in 1949. Case in point; the vast majority of Americans were not aware that China was going through a dramatic upheaval, politically and socially. And the person at the center of this movement was a fellow by the name of Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung as it used to be spelled). And that Mao had changed the face of China and indeed made a enormous impact on the Post-World War 2 world and would become a major factor during the era of Cold War.
Not one single person in the class knew who he was – no one. A college course in Media studies; the average age early to mid twenties – you would think people would have at least a vague passing idea of who Mao Zedong was – but no. Not a clue.
So it was at that point I was determined to at least try and be part of the solution rather than the problem. And so here you have the observance of an event that changed the course of the world and the person responsible for much of it – and I would urge you to read up on who the people and the events were. It’s fascinating stuff – and since China is continuously in the news (as it has been for lo, these past 70+ years) and is such a major figure on the world stage, knowing some of their history can only help.
So strain your ears for the next 14 minutes and then go exploring, starting here: History Of The People’s Republic Of China (thanks Wikipedia). It’s worth it, honest.