News and Commentary with Robert St. John + address from General Jonathan Wainright – NBC – August 31, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
News for this day had a lot to do with what was happening in Japan and the upcoming surrender ceremony slated to happen on September 2nd. On hand would be General Jonathan Wainright, who commanded the American forces in the Philippines and surrendered at Corregidor in May 1942. After being held captive in the vicinity of Tokyo some three and a half years, Wainright was freed, along with the surviving members of the Corregidor battle.
Initially, General Wainright was to give an address carried by all the networks, but atmospheric conditions made it impossible at the appointed time. A correspondent in Tokyo read a statement but was cut off mid-way through. So back to Robert St. John who reported on the activities of the day and included a poem written on the occasion of the end of the war.
After the newscast, atmospheric conditions improved and a special broadcast from Tokyo with General Wainright giving his full statement was accomplished.
Since the actual surrender ceremonies weren’t going to be held until September 2nd, the switch to peacetime was slow and the relative dearth of war news made for much improvising on the spot. St. John closes the broadcast with a “human interest story” and then the address by General Wainright comes on.
That’s how it was going, this last day of August in 1945.
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