In 1942, a new radio program debuted, entitled Lands of the Free. The Lands of the Free radio series was created by Inter-American University of the air and was a patriotic look at peoples; former prisoners of war, refugees and political prisoners; escaping countries that denied them personal freedoms and their establishing roots in the western hemisphere. People of lands that denied freedom to their very existence, escaped their downtrodden lives and came to America.
The host spoke of how President Roosevelt and England Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed "The Charter Of Freedom". This charter was a declaration of how all people must have lives that were free of oppression and allowed to live lives that were free. This charter became the basis for the program, Lands of the Free. The charter addressed specific points of economic, protection, and peace that all men shall enjoy. Although the premise and promise of the charter has not always held true, the radio programs that followed addressed the portrayal of these intangibles.
Different programs by NBC of Lands of the Free illustrated various historical stories of how these charter points were addressed in various Western Hemisphere countries.
One of the points was freedom of trade and Spain was inhibiting that freedom with some countries in South America. In 1640, Buenas Aires is the setting for this story that showcased Spain's control over New World cargo and the laws and taxes that applied to the shipping of goods from Spain's colonies to Seville, Spain. The monopoly that Seville held upon all trade, affected the public well-being and health of many citizens in South America. The storyline followed a young man going to Spain seeking to change the laws of trade.
"The Barbary Coast" focused on the many countries in the Mediterranean region that had to pay tolls, or tributes, to the move about on the seas. The Charter addressed the free travel on the seas and 18th Century America was paying these tolls to the Barbary pirates. To combat these tributes, America was going to have to deal with Tripoli. The program told the story of an American soldier's efforts to gain the aid of indigenous people of the Mediterranean to launch a land attack, while U.S. naval forces would strike from sea. The story that followed was an exciting portrayal of the capture of the Philadelphia and the rest is... well...history.
"Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" followed the course of Venezuelan Francisco De Miranda, spokesman and statesman, and begins with him on a ship headed to Spain. The story followed his activities, through many countries. The man of renown had friends in many courts and governments...including friends with American heros Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Threatened with prison and title being removed, Miranda's story is intrigue at its best.
Although the Lands of the Free radio programs were short-lived, their message looms for posterity. Just as the Charter for Freedom prescribed how men should be free, so too the program carried these and many amazing stories of lands demanding and fighting for their respective rights of liberty.