Flagship News Program's Portrait of DC Antiwar Protests Entered Into the National Recording Registry
Wednesday, March 29, 2017; Washington D.C. - The inaugural broadcast of All Things Considered on May 3, 1971, NPR's first national news program, has been inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for its place in US audio heritage.
The NPR broadcast has been named to the archive with 24 other culturally, historically and aesthetically significant recordings, including Judy Garland's "Over The Rainbow," David Bowie's "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"; and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family." See a full list of inductees at the Library of Congress.
"It is such an honor and a privilege to be brought into this distinguished company," said Susan Stamberg, who has been on staff since NPR began in 1971 and hosted All Things Considered for 14 years, beginning in 1972. "For the sounds that we made on the first day to be right up there with Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech or Neil Armstrong's first words spoken by a human being on the moon — that's very lofty company for us."
"All Things Considered's distinctive sound and storytelling continues to be a critical component of American media. We are immensely proud the program has been recognized and now sits alongside the country's most significant audio moments and culture," said NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn.
All Things Considered debuted on May 3, 1971; the same day, over 20,000 protesters gathered in Washington, DC to demonstrate against the Vietnam War. All Things Considered documented all sides of the antiwar protest with a visceral 24-minute sound portrait, taking listeners to the heart of America's agonies over the war in Vietnam. Against an aural backdrop of helicopters, motorcycle engines and police sirens, NPR reporters recorded the voices of protesters, police officers, veterans and office workers on the streets of Washington.
"All Things Considered brings listeners authentic voices, conversations and reporting that can't be heard anywhere else. What is striking when you listen to that first program, is that the vision for the show was crystal clear from day one. We have tried to stay true to it ever since," said Chris Turpin, VP of news programming and operations, who was executive producer of All Things Considered from 2002 to 2014.
"The real credit goes to [those] who made and make the ideas real every day," said Bill Siemering, NPR's first programming director who crafted the mission that shaped this first episode of All Things Considered. "The NPR staff's commitment to the highest standards of broadcast journalism are valued more now than ever."
"NPR is a big part of my life because it provides wonderful commentary and thoughtful discussions while I'm driving from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. everyday," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "It's like having my own theater."
Learn more about NPR's fellow inductees from our archive
In the spoken word categories, All Things Considered joins historic news moments like Edward R. Murrow's eyewitness news broadcasts of the Battle of Britain (September 21, 1940) and George Hicks' D-Day account, recorded from the deck of a ship carrying troops to the beaches of France (June 5-6, 1944).
About the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans everyday—on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public—one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at npr.org/aboutnpr and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About All Things Considered
All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, is hosted by Audie Cornish, Kelly McEvers, Ari Shapiro and Robert Siegel on week days and by Michel Martin on weekends. All Things Considered has earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Overseas Press Club Award. To find local stations and broadcast times for the program, visit npr.org/stations.
Sheryl Cannady, Library of Congress
Isabel Lara and Allyssa Pollard, NPR