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Welcome to Historic Voices Podcast: Global History and Culture. Learn from the past through voices that made history. The podcast brings voices from the past that make history alive through their personal accounts, public speeches, and entertainment programs.  The voices are of political leaders, common citizens who lived during extraordinary times, and entertainers who helped Americans live through difficult times.  I provide a short introduction to the recording and another at the end to provide historical context.

This podcast is part of the LifePodcast Network composed of family-friendly podcasts that bring a positive message of hope and inspiration. Check out the LifePodcast Network by clicking on this link, http://lifepodcast.net.  Let me know what speakers you would like to hear in the future and I will work to find the recordings.  I am a professor of history at the University of Minnesota.  Check out my personal website at http://arendale.org to learn more about me.

This podcast is available through the following podcast directories and apps: iTunes, Libsyn, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Google Play, Castbox.fm,Player FM, Overcast, Spotify, Pocket Casts, iCatcher, RSSRadio, and Castamatic. It is available through the following websites: Arendale.org and the HistoricVoicesPodcast Facebook page. Follow our Twitter account, @historicvoices  

Please post comments to the individual episodes, post to the iTunes podcast review and rating section, and email to me. Thanks for listening, David Arendale, arendale@umn.edu 

May 1, 2017

In this final episode in this two-part series, we feature Mr. Walter Winchell, an American broadcast journalist who focused on often exploitive celebrity news and his interpretation of the day’s news. His rapid-fire delivery of the news was mesmerizing. He separated the short news stories from each other by pressing a telegraph key to create urgency and importance as if to communicate he was reading breaking news stories coming across the news wires.

Winchell is recognized as the first successful gossip columnist that drew fifty million readers for his news stories and radio broadcasts each week. He enjoyed reporting exciting or embarrassing information about people and especially entertainers. He was highly feared in Hollywood where scandals could wreck an aspiring movie or theatre actor. In the 1950s, Winchell joined forces with Senator McCarthy’s quest to identify Communists in the entertainment field. When Senator McCarthy was exposed for having little or no information on supposed Communist infiltration, Winchell lost respect by the general public and his listenership plummeted. For those of you who have watched the old Untouchables TV show, Winchell was the narrator at the beginning and throughout the episodes.  I have included a PDF from Wikipedia on the career and life of Mr. Winchell.

Let us now tune our radio dial to May 6, 1945 and listen to Mr. Winchell report on his mix of sensational celebrity news, odd collection of world news, and reports from World War Two.