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Mourning the Radio President on the West Coast

FDR prepares for a radio broadcast.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
While this coming Tuesday, April 12 will mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, it was also on April 12 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt died (some 84 years later in 1945).

The public and especially the broadcast media aspects of FDR's death would foreshadow much of how JFK would be mourned a little more than 18 years later. President McKinley's 1901 assassination came many years before the rise of broadcast, and President Harding's death in 1923 predated the major radio networks (and the ability to easily link stations for a transcontinental broadcast of proceedings in the nation's capital).

Thus, it's worth looking back at how the announcement of FDR's death and the ceremonies that followed were shared nationwide by radio. Many newsreels and audio recordings are available online, and I last year for Crosscut.com wrote this account of how Seattle took (and, first, received) the news.

(Posted by Feliks Banel)




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