The People Act radio program originated with Elmore McKee. With the host, Ben Grower, The People Act radio show spotlights communities around America that make a difference in their world, and for others around them. The people of these locales are the heart and breath of the country we all appreciate. The show delved into the strength of character and singleness of purpose of smalltown America. The people, the characters that make up this radio drama, are the stars and the supporting cast. Americana was the stage and the airwaves the rapt audience.
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A Prairie Noel
This episode focused on Morganville,Kansas. The show related from the words of the populace of the prairie town about their beginning to relate with a foreign town. The community of Morganville, population 250, were excited about their new opportunity to share a yuletide and other ways of uniting with the progressive world around them. So as they communicated with Operation Democracy, an organization devoted to unite American communities with foreign provinces. The episode shared the voices of some of the “cast” populace beginning to glow with appreciation in choosing a small town in France. However, it grew from correspondence to a realization that the children of the French town needed daily necessities. This episode proved to be a true way in how “people act”.
The Sylvania Story
Cabot, Arkansas is the location for this episode that spoke on the Sylvania Story. This is a community of simple farmers...simple in need not in mind. Through the words of members of the Reed family, they spoke on how there was land of plenty, but lack of proper care in farming the terrain. The farmer practices were haphazard...simply gaining the days needs. The Reeds and Appletons, and others shared how they handled the farming and gathering...and the land was paying the price. So what made a change of direction...the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made the change. They came through and helped the community learn how to use sound farming practices and work with experts in agriculture. The farmers made the difference.
As the Children Go
Children have to be taught...that is a basic and known commodity. Haddon Township, New Jersey was seeing a dearth in schools and proper educational tools. The population of Haddon was seeing “total confusion” in the overcrowded and understaffed schools. When efforts to add school rooms, by additional taxes, saw defeat the school board decided to sit back and wait. The idea was to have the citizens step to make the changes that were needed. Until 2 housewifes got busy and started making phone calls...trying to raise awareness and ideas to change the educational situation. So when the people got together to make the alterations and new ideas...things began to happen.
These, and other episodes on The People Act, simply gave only a few of the many stories that make up America. The series was part of NBC News' 'LIVING' series. The show demonstrated that for Democracy to work, the people have to act.
See also: Lands of the Free and The Patriotic Collection.