Posted In: History Of Radio
Joseph_Gallant OnAugust 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm #175953
Today (August 14th, 2017) is the 72nd anniversary of the announcement that Japan had unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers, thus bringing World War 2 to an end (the actual surrender wasn’t signed until September 2nd, the evening of September 1st on the U.S. mainland.
Below are links to airchecks (from either Archive.org or from Radio Tapes.com) of major newscasts and bulletins in the days leading up to an including the announcement of Japan’s surrender, which broke moments after 7 P.M. Eastern time on August 14th. They run from the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (August 6th) through the events of August 14th, plus the actual surrender ceremony two-and-a-half weeks later.
BBC News bulletin on August 6th, 1945, anchored by Frank Phillips, reporting the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan:
Excerpt from President Truman’s speech of August 9th on the Hiroshima bombing:
CBS News (Radio) Special Report of August 10th, 1945, on which Bob Trout updates listeners on a surrender offer Japan had made a few hours earlier:
NBC News Bulletin that delayed the start of the August 10th, 1945 episode of the soap opera “Pepper Young’s Family”, announcing that the White House had received Japan’s surrender offer and that President Truman and Allied leaders were discussing the offer “through regular diplomatic channels” (that day’s episode of “Pepper Young”, delayed by a little more than a minute for the bulletin, follows the bulletin in the following clip. Typical mid-1940’s radio soap opera):
On the evening of August 12th, the United Press wire service accidentally transmitted a bulletin that Japan had accepted the Allied terms and were surrendering. Below is a clip of Mutual’s Gabriel Heatter breaking into a quiz program (“Double Or Nothing”, although in this clip, the portion of that show in the seconds before the bulletin was edited-out). Heatter soon gets a follow-up “kill” message from the UP, meaning that the bulletin was false and shouldn’t be broadcast (talk about “Fake News”!):
Shortly after 1:30 A.M. Eastern time on August 14th, Japan’s state-owned news agency Domei flashed that Japan accepted the Allied surrender terms (but the Allies wouldn’t confirm this for another seventeen-and-a-half hours). Below is a clip of a Mutual Network remote broadcast of music from Cab Calloway and his orchestra being interrupted twice for news bulletins (within a few moments of each other):
The announcement of Japan’s surrender, as aired on each of the four national radio networks of the era:
NBC newsman Ben Grauer in New York’s Times Square, shortly after the surrender news became official, reporting on crowds celebrating there (Grauer for the rest of his life would get typecast as being the reporter in Times Square in times of major celebrations; he spent decades reporting on the New Year’s Eve “ball drop” for various radio and later television programs):
And finally, the surrender ceremony aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd, 1945 (the evening of September 1st in the United States):
Robert Trout is the voice in the CBS clip of the surrender announcement, Morgan Beatty is who you hear in the NBC clip, and I think Gabriel Heatter is who you hear in the Mutual clip.
The title of this thread is based on what Trout announced on-air (included in the CBS News clip above) once CBS learned that Japan had fully surrendered. In that clip Trout refers to a “switch to London”. While President Truman didn’t go on the air to announce the surrender, then-British prime minister Clement Attlee did go on the air, a speech CBS was planning to carry via shortwave relay from London. But the network also had an open phone line to the White House, and one of it’s reporters got on the phone to New York just seconds before Attlee was to speak, so Trout came on just seconds before Attlee spoke to announce the surrender.
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