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Great Days in Dayton
Up From Despair


“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.


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Script No. 22—“UP FROM DESPAIR”



[Theme: Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…]

ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton!”


ANNOUNCER:  Here is another drama taken from the life-story of our city.  Again, as in the past, we present scenes from Dayton’s century and a half of history.  Already we have seen the long march of events covering more than a hundred years from the day when the first settlers laid the foundation of our community in what was then the virgin wilderness of the Northwest Territory.  We have shared the fortunes, the trials and the tragedies of our civic ancestors.  We have seen their weaknesses as well as their virtues.  But throughout these historical dramas we have been conscious of one moving and guiding force…a deeply rooted community spirit, a determined will toward the advancement and betterment of Dayton.  It was active when Dayton was a frontier settlement; it exerted its force throughout the formative years of the community; it has faced and overcome every crisis in the life of our city.  The strengthening and perpetuation of that spirit, the Dayton spirit, constitutes the purpose of our sponsors, The Dayton Power and light Company, in presenting these programs.  (PAUSE.)  And now…here is your narrator, Mr. Charles McLean, who will introduce today’s drama of “Great Days in Dayton.”




NARRATOR:  Last Sunday our play dealt with the first phase of the great Dayton flood of 1913.  We saw how the swollen rivers rose swiftly to pour over the tops of the levees and sweep through a large part of the city, exacting a terrifying toll of death and destruction.  We shared with Dayton citizens of those days the horror of watching the rapidly rising flood as it burst into homes and places of business, climbing ever higher and higher, reaching hungrily for human lives.  We sensed, too, the pangs of cold and thirst and hunger which added to the terror of the thousands who were in mortal danger.  But we saw also the heroism of those who risked their own lives that others might live and who worked tirelessly to relieve the sufferings of the destitute.  (PAUSE.)  Today we present the second phase of our story…that of the immediate post-flood period, with its staggering problems of relief and reconstruction.  As in previous plays, our story is carried in part by fictional characters… in this case, the Lane family, whose home in West Second Street had been invaded by the flood.  The waters are now receding.



Sam:  It’s only about a foot and a half deep here on the first floor, Mary.  See, I’ve measured it with this curtain pole.

MARY:  But what’s that on the end of the pole, Sam?

SAM:  Mud.

MARY:  Mud?

SAM:  Mud.  And the stickiest…slimiest…smelliest mud you’ve ever seen.  Whew!

MARY:  Oh, Sam!

SAM:  It’s everywhere.  See!  On top of the mantel and the book cases and the window sills…where its had a chance to settle.  It’s about six inches deep on the floor.  If it gets a chance to dry, it will be as hard as concrete.

MARY:  Well, it won’t get that chance in my house!  Children!  Paul!  Sue!  We’re all going to have to work fast.  And you, too, Sam.  We’ll use brooms and mops…scrape the mud off everything we can and get it into the water.  Then we’ll keep the water stirred so that it will carry the mud out with it as it goes.

SAM:  That’s a good idea, Mary!  The water’s going down so fast now that it will be out of the house in an hour or so.  Come on, kids.  You’ve always liked to go wading.  Here’s your chance.

SUE:  O-o-o-h, it smells awful!

PAUL:  I think I can find the rubber boots Sue and I got for Christmas.  We can empty them out, and they’ll help some.

MARY:  Sam, see if the mops and brooms are still in the kitchen closet.  Come on, everyone!  [Splashing sounds.]  (PAUSE.)

PAUL:  It’s working, Mother!  This water I’m sweeping out the front door is just full of mud; it’s thick as soup. 

SUE:  Mother, the mud here in the living room is going down the hot-air registers.

MARY:  That’s all right.  We’ll just have to worry about the furnace and the cellar later.  Sam, will you just look at this dining room table!  When we bought it they said the top was made of only two pieces of wood…and it’s split into at least a dozen pieces.

SAM:  So’s the one in the living room.  And look at these book cases.  The books have swelled so much that the ends of the cases are bowed out like barrel-staves.  I’ll have to chop out a few books with the axe first, and then get the rest of them out.  They’re all ruined.

MARY:  So is the wallpaper…and we just had it put on last fall.  Children, be careful about picking up things from the water.  There’s broken window glass everywhere.

SAM:  That’s right.  The current smashed every window on this floor.  What a mess! What a mess! [Splashing fades out and in.]

MARY:  Sam, I think we have the worst of it out now.  The children and I can go on working, but I think you’d better to out and see if you can find anything to eat.  What we had is all gone.

SAM:  Yes, I’ll do that.  The water is only two or three feet deep in the street down here, and that means that Main Street should be clear now.  [Fade out and in.]  [Splashing sound.]



VOICE:  Hello, Sam.

SAM:  Hello, George.  How did your family make out?

VOICE:  As well as we could, with nothing to eat but raw eggs and nothing to drink but rainwater that we caught in a dishpan. I was scared to death the first night.  A telephone pole rammed the front of the house and came right on into the parlor.  I thought the whole house was coming down.  Then this morning, when I got out, I found someone else’s grand piano, a chicken-coop and a doghouse on our front porch.  But that’s nothing.  Wait till you see the mess up on Main Street.  The water smashed every show window and carried every store’s stock of goods out into the street.  It’s mixed up there with wreckage of all kinds from I don’t know where.

SAM:  I’m looking for something to eat.  We haven’t had anything since yesterday noon.

VOICE:  Go up to Memorial Hall.  John Patterson and his relief committee have a food station established there already.  They’ll take care of you.

SAM:  Thanks.  Good luck, George!

VOICE:  Same to you!  [Fade out and in.]  [Mixed voices off.]



VOICE 1:  What’s your name?

SAM:  Samuel Lane.

VOICE 1:  How many in your family?

SAM:  Four.

VOICE:  All right, Mr. Lane.  Here’s your ration card.  It calls for supplies for four people for one day.  And remember, please, you’ll have to bring that card with you every day when you draw your food supplies.

VOICE 2:  [Off.]  Attention, please, everyone!  [Voices down.]  We’re a little short on some things right now, but don’t worry; we’ll have plenty of food here for everyone in this district.  And it’s all free!  The National Cash Register Company has brought from New York a whole trainload of drinking water, food, medical supplies, clothing, blankets and beds, together with a large corps of trained relief workers.  No one in Dayton is going to suffer if we can help it.  [Cheers.]   Now…please don’t worry about friends or relatives in other parts of the city.  Relief stations like this are already established at district schools and churches all over town.  These stations, like the National Cash Register factory, will not only issue food, but also give shelter to all persons taken out of the flooded areas.  [Cheers.]  And here is something very important.  Dayton is under martial law.  A tremendous amount of property of all kinds is exposed to theft and looting.  Companies of the National Guard have been mobilized to prevent that, and the soldiers you see on the streets have full authority to tell you what you can and can’t do.  Please obey them.  Also, a curfew has been established by General George Wood.  I’m going to read you the order.  [Reads.]  “To the Citizens of Dayton: curfew will be sounded at 6:00 P. M.  by the church bells.  All citizens must keep off the streets from that time until 5:00 A. M.”  [Speaks.]  Please pass that order along to all your friends and neighbors, because anyone found on the streets at night without special authority will be arrested.  [Mixed voices up.]



VOICE 3:  Get in line here, Mr. Lane.  We’re issuing the food as fast as we can.

SAM:  Look who’s up there a few places ahead of me.  I never expected to see him in a bread-line.  He’s worth at least a million dollars.

VOICE 3:  A lot of good that does him right now.  He can’t get a dime out of any Dayton bank, let alone a million dollars.  But a millionaire gets just as hungry as you and I do, so for the next week or so he’ll have to stand in line along with everyone else.

SAM:  What are they issuing?

VOICE 3:  Canned soups, meats and beans, bread, prunes, rice and flour.  And in a few days we’ll be issuing coal and wood.  [Fade out and in.]



MARY:  Why, Sam, you got a lot, didn’t you?

SAM:  All I could carry.  I’m going to take the wheelbarrow tomorrow…that is, if I can find it.  We’d better try to get a hot meal started.  The children must be starved.

SUE:  Oh, yes, I’m hungry!

PAUL:  I never liked prunes before, but they sure look good now. 

SAM:  I’ll see if I can make the kerosene stove work. If I can’t, I’ll split up some more furniture and we’ll cook in the fireplace.

MARY:  Sam, what are we going to do about all this furniture?

SAM:  I found out about that, too.  What we can’t burn for cooking or heating, we’re to throw out in the street.  In a few days trucks will be sent all over town to collect the wreckage.  And there’ll be trains of flat cars on all the street car lines to help clear things away.  It’s going to be a terrible job, but if everyone pitches in and does his share, it won’t take so long.

MARY:  I found some more candles.  I don’t suppose we’ll have electric light for a long time.

SAM:  It won’t be so long.  I talked to a Dayton Power and Light man at Memorial Hall.  He said that their repair crews are working twenty-four hours a day.  And they’re having a meeting this morning to decide where they can get the current turned on first.  [Fade out and in.]



VOICE 1:  I know that there’s not a man in this room who’s had any sleep for two days and nights, but we can’t stop.  We simply must supply some current for light and power.  Now…what can we do first?

VOICE 2:  We’ve got enough mud out of the Fourth Street station, so that we’ve been able to clean up one of the small generators.  We think we can get it going Sunday afternoon.  If it’s not too badly damaged, it will turn out two or three hundred kilowatts…maybe more.

VOICE 1:  All right.  What’s the best thing to do with that amount of current?

VOICE 2:  We can handle about fifteen street arc lights in the center of town, supply the telegraph office and give the telephone company enough current to get service on a thousand out of the nine thousand telephones.

VOICE 1:  Then what?

VOICE 3:  I think the next thing should be current for the National Guard headquarters at the Algonquin Hotel and the relief stations at Memorial Hall and the Y. M. C. A.

VOICE 1:  That’s good.  Who else has a suggestion?

VOICE 4:  Fred Rike says that they have a large stock of groceries on one of their top floors.  If we can get enough current in there to run one elevator, all of that stuff can be brought down and turned over to the relief stations.

VOICE 1:  I’m for that.  What next?

VOICE 2:  Well, of course, the newspapers are howling for current.  The Daily News is publishing now on the N. C. R. presses, but they’re shipping another press from Columbus today.  They’re going to set it up in the street outside their building.

VOICE 1:  All right, the newspapers are next on the list.  When can we give them current?

VOICE 3:  By Wednesday, if we can get some of the bigger generators running, and I think we can. And by Thursday we should be able to supply the City Hall, the fire department signal system and about a hundred street lights.

VOICE 1:  That’s very important.  General Wood tells me that for every street light we can turn on he can move one guard sentinel to a post in the outlying districts.  We’ve had very little looting so far, and we want to keep it down as much as possible.

VOICE 4:  The downtown businesses are paralyzed until the cellars are pumped out.  We’ve got a few rotary pumps and we’re having some more shipped in.  We’ll get them going as soon as we can.
VOICE 1:  That’s good, but we can restrict that to the business district.  I’m thinking of the flooded homes…homes with old people and sick people in them, people hurt in the flood, people that can’t be moved.   In all those cases we must get the cellars pumped out so they can have heat.

VOICE 2:  How about the meters on all this service?  Every meter that was under water is useless.

VOICE 1:  Never mind about the meters.  The service we can give right now is going to be free…to everyone…just like the food they get at the relief stations and the medical care they get at the hospital and the N. C. R.  Getting meters in will be our problem, later on.  The first job is to give Dayton electric current.  It’s a matter of public safety and health…even of life and death.  [Music: fades in and behind…]


 VOICE 1:  As the city struggled to rise from beneath the avalanche of destruction, it was not alone.  From coast to coast the hands of sister cities were stretched forth in gestures of helpfulness.  (PAUSE.)  Cincinnati!

VOICE 2:  We’ll send doctors…doctors and nurses…as many as we can.

VOICE 1:  Columbus!

VOICE 3:  Food and clothing!  Collect food and clothing for Dayton!

VOICE 1:  Toledo!

VOICE 4:  Dayton needs relief workers!  Organize a corps and send them!

VOICE 1:  Detroit!

VOICE 2:  Hundreds of cars have been destroyed in Dayton.  We’ll send cars; we’ll send men to drive them; we’ll send mechanics to service them!

VOICE 1:  New York!

VOICE 3:  Medicines, hospital supplies, cots, blankets!  And food!  Food for the stricken people of Dayton.

VOICE 1:  San Francisco!

VOICE 4:  Disaster calls to us across the span of the continent.  We answer with relief funds, given freely!

VOICE 1:  From unnumbered cities, towns and villages, large and small, comes help of every kind, restoring health, healing the injured, cheering the destitute…proving that the heart of America beats for all America, that no community need stand alone in its hour of desperate need.  [Music: Fades out.]



GARVEY:  They told us to come out here…to the N. C. R. and maybe we could find out.

VOICE 1:  Yes, of course, Mr. Garvey.  And this is Mrs. Garvey?


VOICE 1: When did you last see your son?

GARVEY:  Well, that first morning he went out to get some groceries.  The water was coming up then and we were afraid we might be shut in the house for a day or two; that’s happened before over where we live.  He was gone about ten minutes, and at last we saw him coming around the corner and down the street toward our house.

MRS. GARVEY:  [Tearfully.]  Yes, I can see him now.

VOICE 1:  Yes…and then what?

GARVEY:  Then suddenly we saw the water coming behind him…not rising slow, the way it had been, but coming fast in a big wave, the way you see it on the beach at the ocean.  The wave must have been five or six feet high.

MRS. GARVEY:  We called to him.  We tried to make him hear.

GARVEY:  I think he did hear us.  He looked behind him and saw the water, but it was too late.  The wave struck him and he went down.  Then we saw him swimming for a minute, and then…

VOICE 1:  Yes…I understand.

MRS. GARVEY:  We’ve been everywhere, everywhere, but we can’t find him.

GARVEY:  We didn’t get out of our house until this morning.  The water was awfully deep where we live.  Then we went to the relief station and they told us to come out here.

VOICE 1:  Can you describe your son for me?

GARVEY:  He’s sixteen years old, weighs about a hundred and ten pounds and has wavy brown hair.

MRS. GARVEY:  And blue eyes…he has blue eyes.

VOICE 1:  Yes…yes…I see.  Will you wait a moment, please?  [Door opens and closes.]

MRS. GARVEY:  Oh, I just know we’ll never find him!

GARVEY:  Now, now, Betty, you mustn’t give up hope.  (PAUSE.)  [Door opens.]

VOICE 1:  This is Doctor Neal, Mr. And Mrs. Garvey.

NEAL:  How do you do?  I…uh…can’t give you any positive assurance, but…I want you to look at one of our patients.  This young man was rescued not very far from your home.  The current swept him into a tree and a man from a nearby house swam out and brought him in.  The boy has had a serious concussion and has been unconscious every since he was taken from the water.  So we don’t know who his is; there was nothing on him to identify him.  But…well, anyway, come with me, will you?

VOICE 1:  That’s right.  Go with doctor Neal.  [Footsteps.]

NEAL:  It’s the next door down the corridor on the right.  [Door opens.]  Be very quiet, please.  (PAUSE.)  This is the bed.  (PAUSE.)

MRS. GARVEY:  Oh…yes…yes.  We’ve found him.  [Voice rises.]  We’ve found him!

NEAL:  Quiet, please.  He’s all right. He’ll be conscious in a few hours now.  You have nothing to worry about.

MRS. GARVEY:  Can’t I just …just…touch him?

NEAL:  Yes, of course.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



  [Clock tolls three…off.]

  [Footsteps continue behind…]

VOICE 1: Three o’clock in the morning; and other hour before I’m relieved.  (PAUSE.)  To walk my post in a military manner; that’s what it says in the general orders…and I wish I could remember the rest of them.  (PAUSE.) And walk my post, is right.  That’s all I do…walk, walk, walk….and nothing ever happens.  What a sucker I was to join the National Guard and get let in for this.  (PAUSE.)  Still, if I hadn’t joined up, I’d never have seen that blonde that lives down here on the corner.  Now, there’s a girl for you; there is a girl.  (PAUSE.)  And me in a muddy uniform, not shaved for two days, grinning at her like a yap when she came out of the house today.  (PAUSE.)  But she smiled back; she sure did!  (PAUSE.)  Wonder if I couldn’t go in there tomorrow, pretending like I’d come to help out some way.  Maybe she’d give me another smile.  (PAUSE.)  Maybe she’d give me a sandwich and a cup of coffee.  Boy, what I could do to some food right now!  (PAUSE.)  Yes, sir, she sure is one good-looking girl.  (PAUSE.)  Wait …a…minute.  There’s a guy coming out of that house across the street.  [Voice up.]  Hey, you!  (PAUSE.)  You across the street!  Stop!  Come back here!  [Running footsteps off.]  Halt!  Halt, or I’ll fire (PAUSE.)  [Shot] Got him; he’s down!  [Shouts.] Corporal of the guard!  (PAUSE.)

VOICE 2:  [Far off.]  Corporal of the guard!  [Running footsteps.]

VOICE 1:  [Coming on.]  Why didn’t you stop when I yelled at you?

VOICE 3:  O-o-o-h, my leg!

VOICE 1:  You’re not hurt bad, or you wouldn’t be yelling that way.  [Footsteps running on.]

VOICE 4:  What’s the matter with here?

VOICE 1:  I saw this guy sneaking out of a house, corporal.  I yelled at him to stop, but he ran.  So I yelled again…and then I let him have it.  Hit him in the leg.

VOICE 4:  Strike a light, someone.  Let’s see what he’s got on him.  [Clinking sound.]

VOICE 1:  On him!  He’s got a whole sackful.  [Clinking sound.]  Look at that, will you?  Silver!  Knives and forks and spoons, and a couple of candlesticks.

VOICE 4:  Stand up, you!

VOICE 3:  I can’t. Oh, my leg!

VOICE 4:  All right.  Pick him up, two of you, and we’ll carry him to the guardhouse. [Music: Fades in and out.]



SAM:  [Coming on.]  Well, Mary, here are today’s rations.  They must weigh about a ton, the way my arms feel.  Pushing that wheelbarrow all the way down here from Memorial Hall is no cinch.

MARY:  There’ll be another job for the wheelbarrow tomorrow, Sam.

SAM:  What’s that?

MARY:  The men were here from the Dayton Power and light Company today.  They pumped out the cellar.

SAM:  I’m afraid to go down and look at it.

MARY:  It might be worse.  I don’t think the water and mud got into all of my preserves and jellies.  And there wasn’t much else down there that could be spoiled.  But there are eight or ten inches of mud on the floor.

SAM:  [Mock surprise.]  Is that all?  [Sighs.]  Well, I’ll get down there tomorrow with a shovel, and begin hauling it out.

PAUL:  I’ll help you, Dad.

SUE:  So will I.

MARY:  Sam, do they know yet how many people were killed?  I keep thinking of how lucky we were to escape, but there must have been hundreds of others who had no chance at all.

SAM:  Yes, there were a lot of them, though the first estimates…five thousand, even ten thousand…were far too high.  But that was because of the heroism of the rescue workers.  The N. C. R. built two hundred boats, and other people worked with canoes.  They got thousands of people out of the worst places…houses that were in danger of collapsing or being swept away by the current.  There were 15,000 homes flooded, yet they don’t expect the death lists to go beyond three or four hundred for the whole city.  That’s bad enough, I know, but it might have been a lot worse.

MARY:  Yes, it is; it’s terrible.  And think of the thousands that are left destitute.  Have they any idea how much the property loss will be?

SAM:  You can get any guess you want on that, but the lowest I’ve heard is a hundred million dollars.  They’re beginning to get in some figures …fifteen thousand pianos ruined, twenty-six thousand clocks, five hundred automobiles and nearly three thousand cash registers.  And that’s just the beginning of the list.  Furniture, rugs, carpets, books, pictures…to say nothing of the complete stocks of goods in most of the downtown retail stores, and lots of the equipment and machinery in factories…all of that, and much more, completely ruined.  What’s more, no one will get a nickel’s worth of insurance, except on the two blocks that were burned out in the center of town.

MARY:  Sam, what will people do?

SAM:  Do? They’ll start all over again…thousands of them.  In fact, they’ve started already.  People have cleaned out their homes and gone back to their jobs.  Most of the factories are working.  And all through the center of town stores are open for business with new stocks of goods. 

MARY:  But what about next year, and the year after?  This same thing can happen again, can’t it?

SAM:  Not if Dayton can prevent it. There’s gong to be a meeting tonight to talk about that.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



VOICE 1:  …and so I believe that the channel of the river should be widened and deepened, and that the levees should be made higher and stronger.  I know it’s going to cost money to do that, but if we want protection we’ll have to pay for it.  I suggest that we start a campaign to raise a flood prevention fund of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

VOICE 2:  We can’t raise that much money here in Dayton.

VOICE 3:  I think that’s entirely too much.

SCHANTZ:  Mr. Chairman!  Mr. Chairman!

CHAIRMAN:  The chair recognizes Mr. Adam Schantz.

SCHANTZ:  Gentlemen!  We can raise a flood prevention fund in Dayton.  And a quarter of a million dollars isn’t too much…it’s not enough!  [Ad lib protests.]  Listen to me, please!  Dayton has been through a terrible disaster, has suffered millions of dollars in losses.  Let’s face that fact.  The damage is done, the property is destroyed, the money is gone forever.  No amount of wishful thinking will bring back a single penny of it!  (PAUSE.)  And now…let’s turn our eyes away from the past and toward the future.  What are we going to do?  I don’t think that a few improvements to the river channel and the levees are going to do any good.  When this flood was at its height, you couldn’t tell where the river channel was, and the levees were under ten feet of water.  The job we have to do is bigger than that, far bigger.  I don’t know just what that job is going to be, and neither does anyone else.  But I do know that it’s going to cost an awful lot of money.  I propose that the flood prevention committee draw up resolutions calling for a campaign to raise two million dollars.  [Loud voices ad lib.]  [Music: Fades in and out.]



MARY:  It must have been a wonderful meeting, Sam.

SAM:  It was.  They were talking about spending a quarter of a million on the channel and levees.  Then Adam Schantz got up and said that wouldn’t begin to do the real job of flood prevention.  He suggested a fund of two million.  They laughed at him at first, but he stuck to it and pretty soon others began to agree with him, and then some more, until finally, the whole meeting was cheering.  In the end they passed some resolutions.  They’re in today’s paper.  I’ll read them to you.  [Reads.]  “Resolved: That it is the sense and best judgment of this committee that there be prompt and definite action to determine the cause of the inundation of the City of Dayton on March 25, 1913, and to apply the maximum of human energy and scientific skill with the necessary financial resources to prevent the recurrence of a similar calamity.  And, be it further resolved, that to enable this committee to take up the vast program of surveys, plans, specifications, condemnations, contracts and construction incidental to and connected with the work of protection of life and property, to allay the fears and misgivings of the people, and to reinstate the beautiful City of Dayton as an attractive location for home life, happiness and commercial prestige, there shall be provided a flood prevention fund of $2,000,000.  And, be it further resolved that this flood prevention fund shall constitute a voluntary gift from the people of Dayton and a testimonial of devotion and patriotism to which all can subscribe with the assurance that it will be safeguarded, disbursed and accounted for as a sacred trust.  And, be it further resolved, that…[Music: Fades in and out.]



VOICE 1:  I don’t see how we’re ever going to raise $2,000,000.  Thousands of people in Dayton are flat broke.

VOICE 2:  We’ll raise it, all right.  And it isn’t as if they had to pay out cash on the spot.  These subscription blanks call for deferred payments over a long time.

VOICE 3:  How about a special committee to call on the largest property owners.  They need the protection most, and that’s where we’ll get the really big subscriptions.

VOICE 2:  That’s a good idea.  We’ll appoint a team of twenty-five members for that job.

VOICE 4:  We ought to go after the factories separately, too.

VOICE 2:  That’s right.  I have a list here of the forty leading factories.  We’ll form a team of forty members and get every dollar we can.

VOICE 1:  Maybe we can get the whole amount that way…from the big property owners and the factories.

VOICE 2:  That’s not what we want.  This is a community undertaking; every citizen in Dayton should have a part in it.  It doesn’t matter whether he chips in a dollar or a hundred thousand, as long as it’s his fair share.  But we want everyone in it.  We’ll divide the city into twenty-five districts and organize a team for each district.  Everyone in Dayton will be asked to contribute something, however large or small.

VOICE 3:  I think that the progress of this whole campaign should be kept before the public every minute.  Let’s build a big cash register in front of the courthouse…build it fifteen or twenty feet high.  Then, every time there’s a big contribution we’ll ring it up on the register, where everyone can see it.

VOICE 2:  That’s fine.  We’ll do that.

VOICE 4:  And let’s put up some signs.  I’ve got one in mind particularly.  While the flood was on and we were shivering in our attics, we all made promises to ourselves about what good citizens we’d be if we ever got out alive.  Didn’t we?  [Laughter.]

VOICE 3:  We certainly did.  I was right down on my knees.

VOICE 1:  So was I.  [Laughter.]

VOICE 4:  All right, let’s put up a big sign on the courthouse, showing a flood scene.  And let’s have it say, “Remember the promise you made in the attic.”

VOICE 2:  That’s a great idea!  That can be the slogan for our whole campaign!  [Music: Fades in and behind…]


VOICE 1:  May 17…all teams report that subscriptions are running ahead of schedule.

VOICE 2:  May 18…thousands left destitute by the flood are subscribing from future earnings.

VOICE 3:  May 19…subscription total passes the half-million mark.

VOICE 4:  May 20…enormous contributions are received from Dayton’s industries, ranging from one thousand to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

VOICE 1:  May 21…clubs, lodges, fraternal orders and other organizations make large contributions.

VOICE 2:  May 22…district teams report all parts of city, rich and poor alike, subscribing generously.

VOICE 3:  May 23…civic spirit promises the greatest triumph in Dayton’s history.

VOICE 4:  May 24…[Music: Fades out.]


MARY:  Sam, do you think they’ll get the whole amount?

SAM:  I don’t know, Mary.  Two million dollars is a lot of money, and the campaign ends tonight.  The Daily News says that the big cash register at the courthouse showed a million dollars at nine o’clock this morning, and a million three hundred thousand the middle of the afternoon.  That leaves a long way to go.

MARY:  Can’t we go up there tonight after dinner and take the children with us?

SAM:  Sure, I wouldn’t have them miss it for the world.  There’ll be bands and parades and more excitement than they’ve ever seen.  It will be one of the biggest moments in Dayton’s history.  [Fade out and in.]


                      [Band music; voices, cheers, shouts…off.]



PAUL:  Gee, Dad, I never saw so many people in my life!

SUE:  Let me hold your hand, Mother, I’m afraid of getting lost. [Cheers.]

PAUL:  There goes another twenty-five thousand.

MARY:  But, Sam, the register shows only a million six hundred thousand.  Can they get the rest of it?  It’s so late now.

SAM:  I don’t know.  But you can be sure they’re trying.

VOICE 1:  [Off.]  Ladies and gentlemen!  Ladies and gentlemen!  [Cheers down.]  As you know, the National Cash Register Company has already given a quarter of a million dollars.  But just now we have received another N. C. R. subscription.  We’re going to ring it up on the cash register here.  The amount is…Two hundred and fifty Thousand dollars!  [Cheers and band in and up.]

MARY:  Oh, Sam, how wonderful!

SAM:  Now they’ll make it…only a few thousand more to go.

VOICE 2:  Another twenty-five thousand!

VOICE 3:  And five more!

VOICE 4:  there’s another ten!

VOICE 2:  There it is!  Two…million…dollars.  [Cheers and band.]

MARY:  Sam, they’ve done it!  They’ve done it!

SAM:  Of course, they’ve done it!  It couldn’t happen any other way…not with the kind of spirit we have here in Dayton.

PAUL:  They’re starting a parade!  Dad, can I march in it?  Can I?

SAM:  Can you?  We’ll all march in it!  [Music; Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  Thus ended what was truly one of the greatest of all great days in Dayton.  Gone were the terror and menace of the catastrophe itself.  Gone were desolation and despair.  In their place there stood forth a civic spirit stronger than ever…a spirit renewed by the common bond of suffering …a spirit destined to build a still greater Dayton on the wreckage of the past.  (PAUSE.)  There is still another chapter, or perhaps a sequel, to the story of the great Dayton flood.  It is found in the long work of flood prevention, and in the creation of a new civic government for Dayton.  These two stories, woven together by the Dayton spirit, will constitute the theme of the drama we shall present next Sunday.  Music.  [Swells and fades behind…]



ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton” comes to you under the sponsorship of The Dayton Power and Light Company, which for many years has supplied natural gas, electric light and power, and city steam to the homes, businesses and industries of Dayton.  (PAUSE.)  You, your family and your friends are invited to be our guests at a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast, held each Sunday afternoon at this hour in the auditorium of the Dayton Art Institute.  Free tickets may be obtained 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.  (PAUSE.)  Be sure to tune in next Sunday at 5:00 P. M., over Station WHIO, for another presentation of “Great Days in Dayton!”


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