Monday, May 07, 2007

Researching Days: Day Two

Have you ever tried to find the transcript for a radio broadcast that happened sixty years ago?

I had to as I wrote Canteen Dreams. The pivot point in the story is Pearl Harbor. It launches everything else that happens in the story, so I wanted to figure out what the folks around North Platte would have heard on December 7, 1941.

Where to start?

Google, of course. I entered Pearl Harbor radio broadcasts and found fantastic resources. One was a University of Missouri - Kansas City page. It contains a good history of what people in different parts of the country heard and when. It also told what broadcasts were cut into. Because of that information, I was able to have my hero's father trying to find the Dodgers FOOTBALL game and settling for another program which is then interrupted.

My editor and I also went back and forth a bit, because originally I summarized and quoted different broadcasts. I also included information that was broadcast, but later in the day. While all of that information was released on December 6, folks in North Platte would not have necessarily heard it. So we decided to stick to a direct quote of the NBC broadcast. I also loved the information on this site. This one has hot links to the actual broadcasts. Therefore, when we were going back and forth, I could send her the actual broadcasts. And then I know I wasn't relying on someone's recounting of the broadcasts. There's nothing like going directly to the source.

So there are websites out there which can connect you directly to the source. Hunt until you find them because it's worth it.

2 comments:

Pam Meyers said...

What a cool site, Cara! The audio of the president's prayer for the nation on the home page is certainly telling. Can you imagine the president today doing that. Bush takes it on the chin already for his faith, if he were to actually pray in a speech to the nation, what an uproar that would bring. I'm going to have great fun going over this site.

Jim said...

Thanks for the link to my web site - Radio Days. I'm glad I was able to provide help for your book, Canteen Dreams.

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