For the last few years, I’ve made a ritual of listening to this recording of the call-in show that WTIC-AM/FM in Hartford was airing as news of JFK’s murder broke on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. The first news bulletin comes at about the 26-minute mark. But what’s also haunting is the conversation leading up to it: how to make a German chocolate cake, when to trim a maple tree, what the Sigourney-Burk market had for specials that week. So mundane. Then the world changes.
Also on Youtube: Dennis House, then host of the WFSB-TV Sunday morning show “Face the State,” marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination with a look back at how local news organizations covered it:
From 1948 to 1962, the CBS radio network presented a serial drama about a Hartford-based insurance investigator who traveled the country to get to the bottom of suspicious claims, which almost always turned out to center on murder or some other crime. The investigator/title character narrated cases by reading from the expense reports he sent back to Hartford. Thus, at the beginning of each episode, an announcer introduced “the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed expense account, America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator …”
WWUH, the FM radio station operated by the University of Hartford, is marking its 50th anniversary by airing a four-part documentary over four Fridays, at 12:30 p.m. The first installment has aired already; the next three are set for October 26, November 2, and November 9. Listen at 91.3 FM or http://www.wwuh.org/0043-listen-online. The project, produced and edited by WWUH volunteer Brandon Kampe, stems from interviews with more than 90 current and former staff members and a search of archival ta pes.
BTW, longtime WWUH staffter John Ramsey, now the station’s general manager and chief engineer, has created a huge archive of station history at www.wwuhhistory.org.
Anyone interested in the history of Hartford needs to make regular visits to “The Hartfordite,” the blog of longtime WFSB-TV3 news anchor Dennis House. The blog isn’t dedicated exclusively to city history–there’s also plenty about current events, especially when it’s covered on his Sunday morning program, “Face the State.” But House, a native New Englander who’s been with Channel 3 since 1992, clearly enjoys posting items concerning local history. And it’s a treat for readers when delves into his station’s video and photographic vaults, posting nuggets we otherwise wouldn’t see, like photographs of Hartford businesses in the 1970s and the newly opened Constitution Plaza in 1964.
Recently, House posted some great photos from the Ranger Andy Show, a children’s show that aired from 1957 to 1968, in hopes of jogging some memories; he’d like to talk to people who appeared on the station in its early days, as part of an upcoming 60th-anniversary celebration.