The Cavalcade of America is a well-done, factual
show, and is a wonderful resource for all those who are
interested in historical highlights and lesser-known episodes.
It was the product of one of America's major industrial
giants, the DuPont Company, and so it was written, acted
and directed by some of the best people in the radio business.
According to John Dunning in "On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio", DuPont wanted to create Cavalcade of America for two reasons. The first was to present and share the details of American history. The second reason was to quell criticism of DuPont after profiteering from the sale of gunpowder during WWI.
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Controversy aside, it is a top-notch old time radio show famed historians and writers worked on the show, and the
actors were many of the best from the stage, screen and
radio. Full orchestra accompanied the action, and often
were featured in segments or entire shows about American
music, from brass band music right up to movie music of
the 30s, and music historians will be very appreciative
of many lesser-heard works that are featured on this show.
The show star star-studded including performances by Agnes Moorehead, Alan Ladd, Arch Oboler, Basil Rathbone, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope,
Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Dane Clark,
Douglas Fairbanks, Edward G. Robinson, Ethyl Barrymore, Frances Langford,Frank Morgan, Ginger Rogers,
Gregory Peck, Helen Hayes, Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Irene Dunne, Joan Fontaine, June Lockhart, Loretta Young, Lynn Fontanne, Mickey Rooney, Orson Welles, Richard Widmark, Robert Young, Ronald Reagan, William Bendix, and many more!
The shows weren't made to thrill and chill, or churn
up adrenaline like Escape. All
the episodes are interesting, however, and some are amazing.
Authors, playwrights, artists, inventors, industrialists are biographed.Later, in the early 40s, the war in Europe
was dealt with. And throughout the show's run, inventions
and scientific developments both past and present are
featured.There is never any enacted violence on this
show, as DuPont used it as a reputation vehicle, and only
did a 2 minute "commercial" at the end of the
show - probably the only company in commercial radio that
The Cavalcade of America might well be considered
as the old time radio equivalent to the current A&E
Biography channel, and History channel's offerings. It
can be a wonderful show to listen to with grade schoolers,
or the entire family gathered 'round, like in radio's
See also: Scarlet
Pimpernel and for more American history see also American Adventure, Better Living Radio Theater, An
American in England, American Trail, Democracy in America,Frontier Fighters, Horizons West, Norman Corwin Collection, Inheritance, Mr President, Science
, You Are There, We Came This Way, and The American History Collection.
For other cavalcades, see also: Cavalcade of Kings and Cavalcade of Music.