Today’s technological advances make it simple to get global news in the click of a button.
Turning on the television, logging on to the Internet or even going to your Facebook page provides a plethora of details about events happening entire continents away.
However, in 1944, obtaining breaking news or daily entertainment meant tuning into a radio station. And on one day in particular in 1944, June 6, to be exact, radio was how most Americans learned of D-Day, the day in which some 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, overtook German forces and eventually led to the defeat of Hitler in World War II.
Local listeners will be able to go back in time on Friday and Saturday as WCOR AM 1490 broadcasts 24 hours of original programing from D-Day on June 6, 1944. Friday will mark D-Day’s 70th anniversary.
WCOR AM 1490 owner Susie James said her stepfather, Bill Barry, purchased the radio program 20 years ago to air for D-Day’s 50th anniversary on the WAMB radio station in Nashville. “When it aired in 1994, he said WAMB was the only station in the country that he was aware of that was running the broadcast,” she said.
The programming is a complete day in the life of war-time America, including soap operas broadcast on D-Day like “Big Sister” and “The Romance of Helen Trent, dramas like “The New Adventures of Perry Mason” and comedies like the “George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.”
The shows will be interrupted, as they originally were, to give live news reports from the Allied Invasion of Europe with Edward R. Murrow, Memil Muller, Robert Trout, John Daly and Douglas Edwards, as well as statements by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchhill and Tennessee Congressman Albert Gore Sr.
James said that many people in the community were alive in 1944 and can remember hearing the news as it happened.
“There are so many in that generation that would remember hearing that bombs were being dropped,” she said.
WCOR AM 1490 will broadcast the first 12 hours of recordings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and the final 12 hours of recordings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The broadcast is sponsored by Cumberland University, Fakes and Hooker Lumber, Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home, Wilson County Motors and the 2nd annual Honor Ride for Veterans.
Editor’s Note: Information for this article was obtained from www.army.mil/d-day/.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.