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Tips from a Fellow OTR Fan Issue 10: Patriotic Recordings for Fourth of July

By Steve Atlas

Old RadioHi. My name is Steve Atlas. Like most of you, I am a lover of Old Time Radio (OTR).

My problem is there are so many OTR programs that even if I buy a collection, I am not sure which individual programs I would enjoy most. What collections are good choices if you can only pick a few? Do any of you have similar dilemmas?

Then this newsletter is for you. Here, I recommend some of my favorite OTR collections, and a few of my favorite programs, as well as tips and suggestions from other OTR fans. I hope you too will share some of your favorites with other OTR listeners. This article is issue #10.  (By the way, I may be recommending a few programs that I have already mentioned, but only if there is a good reason.) This month will feature an Outstanding Program that All of Us Need to Hear before we celebrate July 4)

As our July 4 Independence Day celebration approaches, we need to ask ourselves what are we celebrating?

Lest We Forget AdvertisementDuring World War II, other countries questioned what democratic values our country stands for. One old time radio program that tried to answer this question was Lest We Forget. This program, created by the Institute for Democratic Education and Boston University Radio Institute, is dedicated to showing Americans the type of country in which we want to live, and how we can overcome our prejudices and other limitations. Begun during World War II, this show lasted until the late 1940s.

Each fifteen minute program addresses a core value that makes our country special. The first three programs are introductory shows for the three mini-series that follow. The first episode, called "Youth Marches" features a boy who is eager to join the Armed Forces, but doesn’t know what he is fighting for:

The second episode, "Blow That Whistle," tackles our instinct to destroy or attack anyone who belongs to a different group than ourselves. It should be required listening for anyone who might be driven by fear or prejudice to considering lynching or attacking anyone.

The third show, "Education for Democracy," shows how the Nazis excluded Jewish students from schools in countries that they occupied.

After the first three episodes, there are three mini-series within Lest We Forget.  The first mini-series is called Stories to Remember includes stories about real people who are dealing with the type of challenges you or I might face, even today.  

In "Yes Your Honesty," is a story of an immigrant who is summoned to court for something he didn’t do. He pleads "Not Guilty," and the judge believes him and dismisses the case. (How many judges today would believe someone’s story?)

"Seasoned Timber" confronts’ the issue of a big cash gift offered to a school if it expels all its Jewish students.

In "Birthday Gift," a boy wants to celebrate his birthday by inviting many of his friends. Unfortunately, his parents require him to "dis-invite" a friend who is black. The way the story is resolved is heart-warming.  

The second mini-series, "The American Dream," is anti-discrimination themed and teaches acceptance and tolerance for racial and religious difference.  Here is the first episodes of this mini-series:

The third min-series, "Great Americans," features past U.S. presidents and other great Americans who have made a difference.  Here is the first episode of the "Great Americans" mini-series:

Take a few minutes to sample a few of the Lest We Forget programs and then enjoy your July 4 celebration with a better understanding of what our country’s values really mean.

Lest We Forget CD

Next month, I will share summer OTR programs. Until next issue, I wish each of you Happy Listening!

What are your favorite Old-Time Radio programs? Do you have a few favorite programs or individual episodes that you would enjoy sharing with other OTR listeners? If you would like to include some of your favorites and why you like them in "Tips from a Fellow OTR" fan, leave a comment below. Do you have requests for other themes or programs you would like me to include in a future article? If so, please also leave a comment below.


What a delightful series. I really enjoyed the descriptions and streaming the actual shows!


Thanks so much Brenda. I am so glad you enjoyed these programs. Do you have any favorite OTR programs that you would like me to feature in an upcoming Tips column?


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