Header Graphic
Great Days In Dayton
Dayton's Hundredth Birthday

“Great Days in Dayton”

Reproduced on these pages is the full script of a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast.  All music and sound effect “cues” are indicated just as they appear on the working scripts used by the cast.  The sponsor hopes that you will find interesting these dramatized episodes from the life story of your city.


“Great Days in Dayton” is a Presentation Sponsored by







     [Theme.  Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…]


ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton”


    MUSIC: [Swells and fades behind…]


ANNOUNCER:  The Dayton Power and Light Company presents another drama from the long record of our city’s history.  Again we see reflected in the words and deeds of our civic forefathers the conscious and determined will toward community betterment which has built the Dayton we know today.  Surely a large part of that advancement is to be found in the field of services to the public, and for this reason our sponsors are proud of the part they have played through many years in supplying natural gas, electric light and power, and city steam to the homes, businesses and industries of Dayton.  But beyond that pride there is a sense of duty toward Dayton’s future development, and consequently The Dayton Power and Light Company’s policy is one of planning far in advance of the community’s service needs.  Even now, its plants and equipment are capable of meeting demands and emergencies which may arise only in the relatively distant future.  (PAUSE.)   And now…here is your narrator, Mr. Charles McLean, who will introduce the play we present today.


     MUSIC  [Swells and fades behind…]


NARRATOR:  On the first of April, 1796, a small band of settlers …thirteen in all, including men, women and children…arrived at the junction of the Miami and Mad Rovers, in the virgin wilderness of the Northwest Territory.  The tiny cluster of log cabins, which they built, a mere frontier outpost, was named Dayton.  Drama, romance, and sometimes tragedy marked the story of the little community as it shared in the growth and progress of a new nation.  Within the span of a generation it had become a thriving village. The Civil War years found it a town of twenty thousand, a center of agriculture and trading.  During the next few decades large manufacturing industries made their appearance.  As the Nineteenth Century drew toward its close the one-time frontier settlement had become a city of sixty thousand inhabitants, a blending of native American stock with the peoples of foreign lands.  The names and deeds of the earliest settlers were forgotten by all save a few of their descendants.  Yet, among these few, memory was alive and strong.  And so, as the hundredth anniversary of the city’s founding approached, they launched a movement to celebrate fittingly the first century of Dayton’s progress.  (PAUSE.)  Our plan today deals with that celebration.  It opened in the early spring of 1896.  The scene is the office of the Evening News.  Charles Reed, the editor, is at his desk.


   MUSIC [Fades out.]

[Telegraph, typewriters, mixed voices…off.]

[Telephone rings.]

REED:  Hello…Oh, yes, Miss Steele…Is that so?…Yes…Yes…Of course,  I’ll send a reporter over right away…Thank you.  [Hangs us.]  Dan Price!  Dan!  Come here!

DAN:  [Coming on.] Yes, Mr. Reed.

REED:  Miss Mary Steele just called up.  She’s the one who’s written a lot about early Dayton history.

DAN:  Yes, I know her.

REED:  She says there’s some danger that the old Newcom Tavern may be torn down.  It’s a log cabin on the southwest corner of Main and Monument.

DAN:  A log cabin?  Why, that’s a frame building, a grocery store.

REED:  That’s what I thought.  But Miss Steele says it’s just frame siding, covering the old logs.  Anyway, it’s owned by Charles Williams, the architect, and he’s getting ready to put up an apartment house on that corner.  Miss Steele has interested John Patterson and Judge Charles Dustin in trying to save the old building, and they’re over in Mr. Williams’ office now.  I want you to go over and get the story.

DAN:  All right.  [Fade out and in.]



WILLIAMS:  Yes, of course, Mr. Price.  Sit down.  We’re just talking about it now.  Go ahead, Mr. Patterson.

PATTERSON:  Dayton simply must not lose it, Mr. Williams.  It’s one of the first houses built in Dayton, and the only one left.

WILLIAMS:  I had no idea of that.  Had you Judge Dustin?

DUSTIN:  Yes, as a member of the Dayton Historical Society I’ve known about it for some time.  And it’s more than a mere building, even an early one.  Newcom’s Tavern served as the town’s first meeting place, first church, school and courthouse.  It was the very cradle of Dayton’s community life.

PATTERSON:  We’d be very glad to buy it from you, Mr. Williams, at whatever price you think is right.

WILLIAMS:  I wouldn’t think of selling it.

DUSTIN:  Oh, come now!

WILLIAMS:  [Chuckles.]  I mean I’ll give it to you…give it to Dayton. But what will you do with it?

PATTERSON:  We have that all arranged.  There’s a long strip of ground between Monument Avenue and the river, east of the Main Street bridge…the very ground where the first settlers landed from their boat.  It’s owned now by Richard Anderson, James Campbell and Samuel Smith.  They’re willing to give it to the city, and we plan to move the old tavern over there.

DUSTIN:  We plan to name the ground Van Cleve Park, in honor of one of early Dayton’s most prominent citizens.

WILLIAMS:  That sounds fine!

PATTERSON:  We’d like to move the building right away, Mr. Williams, because we have some other plans in mind.  It will be just one hundred years, the first of this coming April, since Dayton was founded.  We think the whole city should celebrate that anniversary.  We want to get Governor Bushnell here to make an address.   We want to have a parade representing all the city’s organizations and industries…a pageant of Dayton history…and a lot of other events.

WILLIAMS:  I think it’s a splendid idea, Mr. Patterson, and I’ll do anything I can to help.  You can have your workmen move the building whenever you want.

PATTERSON:  Thank you.  We’ll start tomorrow morning.

DUSTIN:  This is very good of you, Mr. Williams.

WILLIAMS:  Don’t mention it, Judge Dustin.  I’m glad to do it.  [Fades out and in.]



HARLEY:  The first thing to do, Ben, is rip this siding off.  Then we can tell better what we’ve got to move.  [Wood sounds.]

LEE:  All right, George, but it sure beats me, the ideas these leading citizens get in their head.  This place is no more than a shack, yet they say we got to handle it as careful as if it was the White House.

HARLEY:  Historic associations; that’s what they say it’s got.

LEE:  Maybe so, but I’d burn it down if it was mine.  [Loud wood sounds.]  (PAUSE.)

HARLEY:  You say this is a shack, Ben?  Why, look at the timbers under this siding!  Solid as the day they was laid up!  I’ll bet the men who had this built…Newcom, I think his name was…must have been mighty particular.

LEE:  Yep, she’s still good and sound.  [Music: In softly, holding behind…]



[“Ghost” scene.]  [Voices faint off.]

NEWCOMB:  Now, Mr. Edgar, what I got in mind ain’t no ordinary house.  I want a tavern, and I want her big.  Two stories high, with windows downstairs and up.  Choicest logs you can find, heavy clapboard roof, split puncheon floor, and the biggest stone fireplace in Dayton.

EDGAR:  Well, Colonel Newcom, I can build her as solid as you want.

NEWCOM:  S-a-y-, this tavern of mine can’t be too solid.  A hundred years form now…yes, a hundred and fifty…I want folks to look at her and say, “There’s a house was built to last!”  [Music: Fades out slowly.]



MRS. CARR:  I think Mrs. Price should give the first report tour meeting, since her husband’s articles in the News have had so much to do with the whole plan.

SALLY:  Thank you, Mrs. Carr.  I hope Dan’s articles have helped, but I know it’s the work of the women here today that has accomplished so much.  Since the Tavern has been moved over to Van Cleve Park, we’ve found all sorts of things that were in the first homes in Dayton, and some that were in the Tavern itself.  I located another spinning wheel and a cradle just this morning.

CARR:  And you have something, too, haven’t you, Mrs. Thresher?

THRESHER:  Yes, a lovely old corner cupboard and a clock.

CARR:  Mrs. Platt, did you find anything more?

PLATT:  Two beds, a Dutch oven and a three-legged stool.

CARR:  How about you, Mrs. Crane?

CRANE:  I’ve already found some pewter candlesticks and the mould that went with them.  And I think that I’m going to get a hominy mill and a cider press tomorrow.

SALLY:  I think we’re doing splendidly.  Dan was afraid that people might not want to help the Historical Society, or perhaps that we’d find very few old things that really came from the first Dayton homes.  But everyone has been so helpful, given so many things; and we know the actual history of almost everything we have so far.

CARR:  It will make a fine museum of early Dayton relics, I’m sure.

SALLY:  It’s more than that, Mrs. Carr.  That old, old place is early Dayton.  Filled now with furnishings as old as the house itself, it shuts out our world of today and takes you back completely into its own times.  I was there all alone for a little while late yesterday afternoon.  The daylight was fading and…and … well, I know it sounds foolish, but it seemed to me that all the years of this past century had rolled away, and that the very first settlers were there with me…George and Mary Newcom, Sam and Kate Thompson, Ben Van Cleve and Mary Whitten, who was to be the first bride in Dayton, and all the others who… [Music: Fades in and out.] [Newspaper sounds.]



REED:  But, Dan, I’ve already told Harry Feight that you’d do it.  And there it is, right in today’s paper.  I just added a paragraph to your own story on the Centennial plans.

DAN:  Helpful of you.  What gave you the idea that I can write a script for a pageant…about Dayton or anything else?

REED:  You write dramatic reviews for the paper, don’t you, whenever a show comes to the opera house?

DAN:  Sure.  But anyone can write what he thinks a bout a play.  Writing the play itself is something different.

REED:  But you’ll have help, I tell you.

DAN:  Who?

REED:  Mrs. Oscar Mills and Wilbur Dennis.  Harry Feight says they have some ideas.

DAN:  That’s just what I’m afraid of.  Harry will do a good job of directing any show, but he’ll have to have something to direct.  [Fade out and in.]



  [Table sounds.]

SALLY:  I think it’s nice of them to ask you to help write the pageant, Dan.  Really, it’s a compliment.

DAN:  Thanks, Sally, dear.  I suppose I have myself to blame.  Charley Reed assigned me to cover the moving of Newcom’s Tavern and all of the Centennial plans.  So, instead of turning in a run-of-the-mine job, I’ve really worked on it…read all the Dayton history I could find, and written at least a column every day for weeks.  And now, I have the script for this pageant unloaded on me.

ARTHUR:  What’s a pageant, Mother?

SALLY:  It’s a show, Arthur.

ARTHUR:  Like a minstrel show, or a circus?

DAN:  No, this won’t be a circus…at least not for me.

SALLY:  It’s a show about history, Arthur…Dayton history.  There’ll be acts and tableaux showing the early settlers and the Indians and everything.

ARTHUR:  Gee, Indians!  Can I be in it, Dad?  Can I be an Indian?

DAN:  You’re one now, and a wild one at that.

SALLY:  Dan, I believe you’re really glad you’re going to write it.  You’ve always said you were going to write a play, or a novel.

DAN:  What newspaper man hasn’t said that?  And what one has done it?  Anyway, I understand I’m to have help…Cora Mills and Wilbur Dennis.

SALLY:  Oh, Dan!

DAN:  Yes, Cora with her dramatic readings, and dear, dear Wilbur with his poetry.  Maybe I could just let Wilbur write the whole thing…in blank verse.  I hadn’t thought of that.

SALLY:  Now, Dan, you will help them, won’t you?

DAN:  I suppose so.  And I have to start tonight.  There’s a meeting at Harry Feight’s house.  Cora and Wilbur and I, with Harry as referee, I suppose.  A meeting of minds, a communion of artistic souls, a pooling of genius.  Unless it breaks up in a fight, I’ll probably not be home until late.  [Fade out and in.]



  [Door opens.]

FEIGHT:  Come right in, Dan.  We’re waiting for you.

DAN:  Hello, Harry.  How are you, Mrs. Mills?  And you, Wilbur?

CORA:  Oh, good evening, Mr. Price.

WILBUR:  Hello, Dan.

FEIGHT:  Now, Dan, as I explained to Charley Reed, this is to be a collaboration.  I’ll make what suggestions I can from the director’s point of view, but you and Mrs. Mills and Wilbur are to work out the script.

DAN:  Charley said they had some ideas.

WILBUR:  Well, I think the whole thing should be…well, heroic.  And so…

CORA:  Yes, yes, of course, heroic, and allegorical, and at the same time a sort of…of fantasy…if you know what I mean.

DAN:  I’m afraid I do.

WILBUR:  the title is very, very important.  I should be something that identifies and expresses the whole pageant in a single word.  And I think I have it. Daytonia!

CORA:  Wilbur, how wonderful!  Think how it will sound from the stage.  Daytonia!

DAN:  I can just hear it.  How do you like it, Harry?

FEIGHT:  Well, I…

DAN:  All right, all right. We’ll come to blows soon enough, anyway.  What’s the next idea?

WILBUR:  There must be five acts. That’s to maintain the classic tradition.

DAN:  Oh, sure, five acts.  But what are we gong to have in them?

CORA:  We have a list here.  Wilbur and I made it up this afternoon.

WILBUR:  It’s really stupendous, Dan.

DAN:  I’ll bet.  Fire away.

CORA:  Act. One is the beginning of everything…that is, everything in Dayton.  It shows the forest primeval, with its…its flora and fauna.  It is dawn.  Through the early mist the settlers come forward from the depths of the forest, garbed in their quaint costumes, the men bearing heavy travelers’ packs and the women carrying flowers which they have picked by the wayside.

DAN:  The first settlers came by boat, and the women carried children instead of flowers.

CORA:  They did?  Well, anyway, here they are at Dayton.  Now …we have a scenic transformation.  Before the settlers’ eyes there rises Newcom’s Tavern, its door open hospitably, smoke rising form its chimney.  The settlers gesture gratefully and enter the Tavern. We see them entering upon the tasks of their simple daily life.

DAN:  I don’t think it was quite that simple, but then what happens?

WILBUR:  The savage redskins come, brandishing their tomahawks, shouting their war cries.  They surround the Tavern.  The settlers resist heroically.  And just as it seems that all is lost, a troop of United States soldiers appears.  The Indians are repulsed.  The settlers are saved.

DAN:  That’s heroic, all right, Wilbur, but it’s not historic.

WILBUR:  But we must have drama, Dan!

CORA:  Of course! And the, after the Indian battle, we have another scenic transformation.
The moon rises, and the settlers see a vision of the future Dayton, a view of Main Street, with the trolley cars passing our new Steele High School.

DAN:  What act are we in now?

WILBUR:  Oh, that’s just Act One.  We must proceed by epochs.

CORA:  Yes, indeed, and besides we want to give all of our splendid local talent a chance to perform.  Acting, dancing, singing, everything.  For instance, in Act Two we’ll show the gay social life of the Forties…A May Day celebration, with songs by a double quartette and a minuet danced by the happy citizens.

DAN:  Yes, I want a minuet…led by old Colonel Newcom.

WILBUR:  And, of course, the Civil War.  You know what I mean.  Breaking Home Ties…Off for the War…A Sanguinary Battlefield…The Hero’s Death…Visions of Mother. I can just see each scene.

DAN:  So can I.

CORA:  Act Five is to consist entirely of allegorical transformations, one for each period of Dayton’s history, leading up to the final one…Dayton of Today, the Gem City of America!

WILBUR:  Won’t it be perfectly wonderful, Dan?

DAN:  Well, I never heard anything like it.  You’re right, Harry, Mrs. Mills and Wilbur certainly have some ideas.

FEIGHT:  Yes, I may have a little trouble with the directions, but…

DAN:  That’s your problem.  We are just writers.  Let’s get some pencils and paper and start writing Act One.

CORA:  Well, now, Mr. Price, of course I want to help in every way I can.  I feel that since I’ve done a great deal of dramatic reading in our literary club…Shakespeare and …er…yes, Shakespeare…that perhaps I could interpret some of the …the more important roles, but…

WILBUR:  And, of course, I’ll be glad to write the lyrics for some of the songs, but we really feel, Cora and I, that what we’ve given you here tonight is the whole meat of the pageant program, everything you’ll need.  All you’ll have to do is write it.

DAN:  It’s funny, the way I always get the easy jobs.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



  [Buzz of conversation.]

VOICES:  I think Mr. John Patterson should preside at this meeting…That’s right…Mr. Patterson!  Mr. Patterson!  [Applause.]  [Gavel.]

PATTERSON:  It isn’t so much a mater of who presides as of making our plans for the Centennial in full detail, and then seeing that those plans are carried out promptly and well.  I want to call first on Judge Charles Dustin for a report on the speaking programs to be held at the opening of the ceremonies.

DUSTIN:  Our committee is able to report that governor Bushnell has accepted our invitation.  He will arrive in Dayton on the morning of September 14, accompanied by members of his staff, and will make an address at two o’clock in the afternoon from the platform in front of the Newcom Tavern.  [Applause.]  Mayor Linxweiler will make the address of welcome and the Governor will be followed by Mr. W. C. Kennedy, who will deliver the Centennial oration.

VOICE: [Woman.]  Who will preside, Judge Dustin?

DUSTIN:  Your committee feels that that honor should go to someone who has had a large part in promoting the Centennial movement.  And for that reason we have chosen the chairman of this present meeting…Mr. John Patterson.  [Applause.]

PATTERSON:  Thank you, Judge Dustin, and I assure you that I shall consider it a great honor.  (PAUSE.)  May we hear now from Mr. Frank Conover, the chairman of the parade committee?

CONOVER:  The main question about this parade is going to be whether Dayton is big enough to hold it.  [Laughter.]  In fact, we have so many people chosen to be in the parade that we’re beginning to wonder who’s going to watch it.  [Laughter.]  It would take me all night to make a full report for our committee, but here are the main facts.  We’ll have the Dayton Guards, of course, in full uniform and with their own band.  Then there’ll be the police force.  How many of them, Chief Farrell?

FARRELL:  As many as we can possibly spare…though I’ll want to be pretty sure that some of the citizens I see here tonight are on their good behavior at the time.  [Laughter.]

CONOVER:  And then the fire department.  You’ll be out in force, won’t you, Chief Larkin?

LARKIN:  We’ll have the whole department in line…engines, hook-and–ladder trucks, hose carts…everything.

CONOVER:  Now, Mr. Patterson, I’d like to call on Mrs. Daniel Price for a report on the school plans.

SALLY:  Our committee has had several meetings with the board of education, and we can promise that every school in Dayton will participate.  All classes have already had special instruction in Dayton’s early history, and each school will have its own ceremonies.  Also, the schools as a whole will be in the parade. The smaller children will ride on the floats provided by the various industries and other organizations, and the larger ones will march.  In all there will be eleven thousand Dayton school children in the parade.  [Applause.]

CONOVER:  As you all know, the war veterans and all lodges and clubs will be strongly represented.  So will business and industry.  I’m not going to read the long list of Dayton firms that will have floats, but they will all be there.  We’re expecting to have about a hundred.  [Applause.]

MARKEY:  Mr. Patterson.

PATTERSON:  Mr. Markey.

MARKEY:  I know there’s going to be a lot of noise connected with this celebration, but I’m afraid there won’t be enough.  [Laughter.]  I suggest that we have a long row of locomotive bells hung along the south wall of the old courthouse, and have volunteer crews of bell-ringers keep them going day and night.

PATTERSON: I thought we might have enough noise with the factory whistles, bands and the cannon firing salutes, but maybe Mr. Markey is right.  Do I hear a second to his suggestion?

VOICES:  I second it…That’s right, we can’t have too much noise.  [Laughter and applause.]

PATTERSON:  Now, at our next meeting, which we’ll hold a week from tonight, we’ll have reports from the committee which is planning the Venetian Carnival to be held on the river, and also from the committee in charge of the pageant that will be presented at the Grand Opera House.  In the meantime, I’d like to see all committee chairmen as soon as this meeting is adjourned.  [Buzz of conversation.]   [Fade out and in.]  [Table sounds.]



SALLY:  Arthur, do eat your supper.  He’s so excited, Dan, over being in both the parade and the pageant, that I haven’t been able to do anything with him for a week.

ARTHUR:  I get to march in the parade, Daddy, instead of riding like the little kids.  And I get to carry a flag, too.

DAN:  You’ll be pretty tired when it’s over, won’t you?

ARTHUR:  Oh, No! And I’m going to be in three different things in the pageant.  I’m going to be one of the first settlers little boys, and a Brownie in the May Day festival, and a drummer boy in the Civil War.

SALLY:  He’s just wild about the pageant, Dan.  He says that when he grows up he’s going to be an actor.

ARTHUR:  I am, Daddy.

DAN:  To think that a son of mine should sink so low!

SALLY:  Daddy doesn’t really mean that, Arthur.  Come, now, do hurry with your supper.  We’ll be late for the rehearsal.  You’re going, too, aren’t you, Dan?

DAN:  Yes, I want to see if it’s any worse than I thought it was when I wrote it.

SALLY:  Arthur, you haven’t finished your dessert.  [Fade out and in.]


  [Mixed voices and hammering off.]

  [Note: In this scene Feight and Dan are on.  All other voices are off unless indicated.]

HANK:  How does the moon look, now, Mr. Feight?

FEIGHT: Terrible, Hank.  It’s blue instead of yellow, and it’s swinging back and forth like a lantern.  What’s the matter with it?

HANK:  What’s the matter with the moon, Joe?

JOE:  [Farther off.]  The what?

HANK: The moon.

JOE:  Don’t know.  I’ll climb up and see.

DAN:  How’s it going, Harry?

FEIGHT:  You, Dan Price, should ask me that!  Did you stop to think where any of these characters might be on the stage when he has to deliver one of your priceless lines?

DAN:  In a general sort of way.

  [Woman’s voice and piano, off.]

FEIGHT:  Not that it would make much difference…not with amateurs.  They’re never where they should be.  I’ve tried…[Woman’s voice up to screech.]  Bill, will you go over and choke that woman?

BILL:  Sure, Harry.

FEIGHT:  And there goes my assistant director. He’s sweet on one of the girls in the May Pole dance, and when I want him…

WOMAN:  [Coming on.]  Mr. Feight, I insist that you put my little Nancy in the front row of her dance.  I’m not going to have her hidden from the whole audience.

   [Woman’s singing stops.]


FEIGHT:  Yes, yes, I’ll see if I…

HANK:  How’s the moon now, Mr. Feight?

FEIGHT:  It’ll have to do, I suppose.  Get those Indian warriors and bicycle girls off the stage so I can see the setting.

DAN:  That’s a nice looking virgin wilderness you have there, Harry.

FEIGHT:  It’ll not look so bad when the stage is full of people.

WOMAN:  [Coming on.]  Mr. Feight, the costumes for the canal-boat scene have arrived.  But someone must have made a mistake in listing the sizes, because scarcely anything fits the boys and girls. What shall I do?

FEIGHT:  I wish I could tell you madame.  Anyway, that’s not till the next act.  I’ll see about it then.  [Voice up.]  Hank!  Hank!  Move that cider barrel closer to the door of the Tavern.  (PAUSE.)  That’s it. And get that telephone off stage.  This scene is 1798.  Now, the next thing I want is…

WOMAN:  [Coming on.]  Mr. Feight, Polly Black is sick. Someone will have to take her place as a war nurse.

FEIGHT:  Good!  Good!  She was awful.  [Voice up.]  All right, now, we’ll have the scene between Sam and Kate Thompson.  Mrs. Mills!  Mr. Baxter!  Where…Oh, there you are.  All right, Mrs. Mills, go ahead.

CORA:  Sam, dear, do you think the Indians will come?  I’m so frightened, Sam!

FEIGHT:  You’re not Lady Vere de Vere, Mrs. Mills.  You’re just a plain frontier woman, a settler’s wife.  Try it again.

CORA:  Sam, dear, do you think the Indians will come?  I’m so frightened, Sam!

FEIGHT:  And you’re not Lady Macbeth, either.  Once again.

CORA:  Sam, dear do you thing the Indians will come? I’m so frightened, Sam!  (PAUSE.)

FEIGHT:  All right, Mr. Baxter, that’s you cue!

BAXTER:  I was waiting.  I thought she was still pretty bad.

FEIGHT:  Never mind what you thought.  Let’s have your line.

BAXTER:  We must be brave, Kate, all of us.

FEIGHT:  No, no, not that way.  You’re a little worried about it, yourself.  Again.

BAXTER:  We must be brave, Kate, all of us.

FEIGHT:  That would frighten her still more. Once again.

BAXTER:  We must be brave…[Fades out and in.]

FEIGHT:  All right, Hank, if you’re ready, we’ll have the Brownie dance.  Miss Willis! Get your Brownies on stage!

WILLIS:  Brownies!  Brownies!  Come on!  It’s our turn.  Now, remember what I told you this morning.  [Piano begins to thump.]

DAN:  This is really something to watch, Harry.  I had no idea I’d written such a magnificent extravaganza.

FEIGHT:  Oh!  Oh!  Look at them!  Why did I ever let them talk me into this?  Look at them, will you?  [Voice up.}  Miss Willis, don’t let them crowd together that way.  Spread them out!  Spread them out!  [Voice down.]  A-a-a-h!  Look at that!

DAN:  One of them is my own Arthur.

FEIGHT:  [Piano stops.]  [Voice up.]  All right, Brownies, that’s all for tonight.  Now we’ll…

HANK:  How’s the moon now, Mr. Feight?

FEIGHT:  It’s gone out.  What’s the matter with it?

HANK:  What’s the matter with the moon, Joe?

JOE:  [Farther off.]  The what?

HANK:  The Moon.

JOE:  Don’t know. I’ll climb up and see.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



  [Newspaper sounds.]

REED:  How is the pageant going, Dan?

DAN:  Well, there are only two more rehearsals, but a lot of it still makes my hair stand on end…particularly some of the lines I wrote for the prominent citizens of early Dayton.

REED:  It isn’t that bad, is it?

DAN:  No, I suppose, not really.  You know how these amateur productions are…for charity or anything else…maybe a little short on talent, but always long on community interest.

REED:  Harry Feight tells me that some of it is pretty good.

DAN:  That’s right, and Harry is doing a good job of directing.  But what impresses me is that when you do a thing like this, even if you do it rather badly, there’s still something…I suppose it’s the spirit of the city…that does come to life.  You get a long view of the town’s history.  You see it born; then you see it just able to creep; then finally you see it begin to walk on its own feet and begin to march forward.  And it’s the town itself, not just the people in it. Because people die, like old Colonel Newcom and the rest of the first settlers.  But the city goes on, building and strengthening itself on everything they’ve done.

REED:  Why, Dan, that sounds like a good editorial.  Why don’t you write it for me?

DAN:  No, you don’t!  I’ll have all I can do during the next few days writing the record of Dayton’s hundredth birthday.  [Fade out and in.]



  [Street car sound.]

CONDUCTOR:  Fares!  Fares, please!

DAN:  Two and a half-fare for the boy.  Give me one transfer.

CONDUCTOR:  There you are.

ARTHUR:  Gee, Daddy, won’t this old street car ever get there?

DAN:  There’s plenty of time, Son. They won’t start the parade without you.

SALLY:  Dan, do you think it’s safe for Arthur to change cars by himself, or shall we go with him over to where the children are forming for the parade?

ARTHUR:  Aw, Mother, I’ve changed cars by myself lots of times!

DAN:  He’ll be all right, Sally.

SALLY:  But it’s so crowded today.  Do be careful, Arthur! And remember, you’re to come straight home after the parade so you can rest before the pageant tonight.

CONDUCTOR:  [Off.]  Third and Main! Third and Main!

ARTHUR:  Here we are! Here’s where I change!

SALLY:  Be careful, now!

DAN:  We’ll be watching for you in the parade, Son.  [Fade out and in.]  [Crowd sound.  Guns booming.  Bells.  Band off.]

SALLY:  Oh, Dan, it’s so nice to have seats right in the reviewing stand!

DAN:  We get them because you’re a prominent committee chairman.

SALLY:  And I suppose you’ve done nothing for the Centennial.

DAN:  Just what I was told to.  [Band and cheers up.]

SALLY:  Here comes the governor’s party!  See, there he is!  And there are the Mayor and Mr. Patterson and all the rest of them.  Oh, Dan, this is so exciting!  [Band full up over all other sounds, then fades out.]  [Definite pause.]  [Applause fades in and out.]

SALLY:  Now, Dan, Mr. Patterson is going to speak at last.

PATTERSON:  Ladies and gentlemen:  I know that all of us have enjoyed immensely the addresses given by His Excellency, Governor Bushnell, by Mayor Linxweiler, and by Mr. Kennedy.  And I know that we are anxious to see the great parade which is about to start.  But before we do so, I ask you to pause with me for just a moment.  We are gathered here at the doorway to the very heart of Dayton.  Buck of me as I speak stands an ancient building in which lie the beginnings of this community.  Here a hundred years ago met the first citizens of Dayton; here they faced the difficult trials and problems which confronted them; and here they solved those problems with nothing more than the spirit and courage which were in them.  They knew not a single advantage of a safe and established community, such as we enjoy today.  But they started here to build such a community.  And everything which Dayton is today, we, its present citizens, owe to those whose voices echoed here a century ago.  (PAUSE.)  And so I hope that on this anniversary we Daytonians of today pledge in our hearts the same spirit, the same courage, the same devotion toward building the Dayton of tomorrow.  [Applause.]  [Bugle sounds. Band coming on.  Cheers.]

SALLY:  Dan!  Dan!  Here they come!  [All sounds up, hold and fade out.]  [Music: Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  And so was launched one of the greatest celebrations in Dayton’s history.  We may be sure that from its first moments to its last, it expressed to the full the sentiments in the hearts of all Dayton citizens.  (PAUSE.) Next week we shall present “Turn of the Century,” a play depicting significant events of the years before the dawn of the Nineteen Hundreds.  [Music: Swells and fades behind…]



ANNOUNCER:  Great Days in Dayton” comes to you through the courtesy of The Dayton Power and Light Company.  Each Sunday afternoon, in the auditorium of the Dayton Art Institute, a large guest audience gathers to see as well as hear one of those broadcasts.  If you, your family and your friends have not yet been members of that audience, please consider this your personal invitation.  Tickets are free.  You may obtain as many as you wish at the ground floor offices of the Gas and Electric Building, 25 North Main Street.  (PAUSE.)  All dramatic roles in these productions are played by members of the Dayton Civic Theatre professional company.  Your narrator was Charles McLean.  Your announcer is Morton DaCosta.  Be sure to tune in next Sunday afternoon at five o’clock, over Station WHIO, for “Great Days in Dayton!”


Return to "Great Days in Dayton" Home Page