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Great Days in Dayton
The Roaring Twenties


“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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[MUSIC:  Theme.  Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…

ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton!”


ANNOUNCER:  The Dayton Power and Light Company brings you another drama from the history of our city.  Again we watch the unfolding of events in the Dayton of earlier times…see how those events shaped the community as we know it today. Our story, beginning with the arrival of the first Dayton settlers, nearly a century and a half ago, has marched with the decades until today it presents scenes and events well within the memory of most adult Daytonians.  In nearly all of our plays we have seen the operation of civic spirit as a community force.  Sometimes, in Dayton as in other cities, that spirit has been weak, and our city has suffered form slow and uncertain progress.  At other times, and particularly in Dayton’s hour of crisis, the community spirit has risen to heights which have produced miracles of civic regeneration and advancement.  The purpose of our sponsors, The Dayton Power and Light Company, in presenting these historical dramas, has been to make all of us more than ever conscious of the need for a strongly united civic spirit, not only in solving the problems which face our community today, but in planning and building toward a better Dayton tomorrow.  (PAUSE.)  Before introducing today’s play, may we ask that you listen carefully at the close of today’s program for a very important announcement regarding next Sunday’s presentation of “Great Days in Dayton.”  (PAUSE.)  And now, your narrator, Mr. Charles McLean.




NARRATOR:  Last Sunday our play told a story of Dayton during the World War years.  In the following decade, the Nineteen Twenties, Dayton experienced the strains of reconstruction, both economic and social.  But with these more or less adjusted, it entered upon one of the most colorful periods of its history.  By some this period is still called the golden age of Coolidge-Hoover prosperity.  Mr. Westbrook Pegler, the eminent newspaper columnist, calls it the Era of Wonderful Nonsense.  The truth probably lies somewhere between these two divergent definitions.  Our play today presents some of the outstanding aspects of that period, as evidenced in Dayton events.  As usual, our story is carried in part by fictional characters, who may be said to represent typical Daytonians.  The time is early evening of a day in the late summer of 1920.  Dwight Lewis and his wife, Caroline, have as their dinner guest Robert Lodge, assistant editor of a Dayton newspaper. 




CAROLINE:  Don’t you think it would be wonderful, Bob, if Governor Cox were elected President?

BOB:  Wonderful?  Under the circumstances, it would be a miracle.

DWIGHT:  Why, I think he has a good chance.  Don’t you.  He has a good record as a war governor.

BOB:  That’s not enough, I’m afraid, Dwight.  There are forty-seven other war governors.  But the real trouble is that Jimmy Cox is carrying too much weight.  As the Democratic nominee, he has to support Woodrow Wilson’s crusade for the League of Nations…and that’s excess baggage for any candidate.

CAROLINE:  But Bob, most women are for the League.  They think it would put an end to war.

BOB:  Maybe…and maybe not.  The point is that it’s a crusade, and the American people as a whole are fed up with crusading.  Wilson says, “We can only go forward, with lifted eyes and freshened spirit, to follow the vision.”  That kind of talk was all very well during the war, but it sounds like baloney to the average American voter today.  He doesn’t want to follow a vision.  He wants a job; he wants lower living costs; he wants to sit at home at night with his shoes off, arguing with his wife or reading the comics or the sports page.  That’s the picture he gets when Warren Harding talks about getting back to normalcy; and it’s a picture he likes.

DWIGHT:  Don’t you think we’re pretty well back to normal conditions?

BOB:  Not yet.  It’s all right for you, Dwight.  You had a good start in the insurance business before you went into the army. When you came out you could take up more or less where you left off.  But the great majority of the three million men in the service came out of the war to find that they had to start allover.

CAROLINE:  But they can get jobs, anyway.

BOB:  Not all of them, by any means.  When the war ended, American industry suddenly found itself loaded down with cancelled contracts, and now it’s finding its way back to peacetime business.  It’s been pretty bad right here in Dayton.  The N. C. R. can’t hire thousands of men, or even hundreds, until it can rebuild the market for cash registers and reorganize its production methods.  The same is true of most other Dayton concerns.  And, of course, the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company is out of business for keeps…like any company devoted exclusively to war work.

DWIGHT:  [Laughs.]  And some companies that weren’t engaged in war work.  The brewers and distiller, for instance.  Prohibition has knocked their business into a cocked hat.

BOB:  That’s something else the returned soldiers are sore about.  They say that prohibition was put over on them while they were in the army and couldn’t vote. They look at it as another crusade…one they were shoved into without their consent.

CAROLINE:  But the crusade is over now.  America is dry, and I think that most women hope it will stay that way.

BOB:  I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking, Caroline.  This country isn’t really dry.  Dayton certainly isn’t

CAROLINE:  You mean you can get a drink in Dayton?

BOB:  Sure…lots of places.  Most of the saloons are still running…as restaurants.  I don’t mean that anyone can walk in, lay his money on the bar and get a drink.  But if they know you, you’ll have no trouble in buying a pint or a quart from their left-over stock.

DWIGHT:  Yes, but that will end when the stocks are exhausted.

BOB:  I don’t think so.  There’s a new business starting in this country.

CAROLINE:  What’s that?

BOB:  Bootlegging.  It isn’t exactly new, either.  It’s been going on for years in dry states.  At county fairs, camp meetings and such gatherings in the rural districts a thirsty citizen could always find someone who had a bottle hidden in his boot; that’s how the name originated.  Well, now the bootleggers have the whole country for a market.  They’re beginning to get liquor out of the bonded warehouses, from moonshine stills and even from Canada.  And they’re selling it.  People who really want to buy it are willing to pay almost any price.  That means that the profits for the bootleggers are enormous.

CAROLINE:  Can’t the police stop it?

BOB:  There aren’t enough of them; the business is getting too big.

DWIGHT:  How long do you think this bootlegging will go on?

BOB:  As long as people are thirsty…and as long as the farmers grow corn.

CAROLINE:  You’re a cynic, Bob.

BOB:  Maybe, but I don’t think prohibition is going to work.  You can’t destroy people’s appetites by legislation.  You can regulate and control the liquor traffic, and I think that should be done…perhaps better than it was done before prohibition.  But I don’t believe you can stop it by law.

DWIGHT:  What are we going to have, then?

BOB:  We’re going to have law violation, well seasoned with bribery, corruption and graft.  And because this one law is violated by people all over the country, we’re going to have more or less disrespect for all laws.  Unless prohibition can be really enforced, which I doubt, we’re going to have trouble, and plenty of it, until the Eighteenth Amendment is repealed.

CAROLINE:  The Drys say that can never be done.

BOB:  Maybe they’re right.  I don’t know.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



VOICE 1:  One of the most important lessons Dayton learned from the war was how to raise money…raise a lot of money, raise it quickly, raise it efficiently.  Ohio led all the states in War Chest work, and Dayton was in the front rank of Ohio cities. Now…I’ve called you representatives of the various welfare organizations together to see if we can’t apply that lesson to our peace-time activities.

VOICE 2:  Peace-time work is entirely different. You can’t use the same methods.

VOICE 3:  I’m not so sure of that.  Let’s have the idea.

VOICE 1:  All right.  I suggest that we combine the fund-raising activities of all of our charitable and semi-charitable organizations into one campaign.

VOICE 4:  [Woman.]  But they’re distinct organizations.  They like to conduct their own campaigns.

VOICE 1:  Then let’s have one organization.  We’ve had the War Chest; now let’s have a Peace Chest.  Or, better still, let’s call it our Community Chest. And let’s make it an organization that will raise and administer funds for every worthwhile community need.

VOICE 5:  [Woman.]  I don’t think that would work at all.  If you have one welfare organization, you’ll take the authority and individuality away from the organizations that exist now.  You won’t be able to get people to give their time and work the way they have been.

VOICE 3:  I don’t think that’s the idea.  We don’t want to interfere with the actual work of the organizations.  We want to simplify and improve the business of raising money.  As it is, there are too many separate campaigns.

VOICE 6:  [Woman.]  There certainly are.  It seems to me that half the time our door-bell or telephone rings, it’s someone asking for a subscription.

VOICE 1:  Well, if you think the women get all of it, you’re mistaken.  You should see what takes place in the average business office, almost any day.  [Fade out and in.]



VOICE 2:…and we hop you’ll feel able to increase your Y.M.C.A. subscription this year.  You know, of course, that our needs are growing all the time.

VOICE 1:  Yes, yes, I know.  But you see, the Associated Charities representatives called on me just this morning, and they need more money.  And yesterday afternoon someone was here from the Tuberculosis Society, and [Telephone.].  Pardon me. Yes…Well, have them wait.  [Hangs up.]  There you are, gentlemen…a committee from the Miami Valley Hospital.  You see, it’s just one appeal after another.

VOICE 2:  We know, but we really do feel that the Y.M.C.A…[Telephone rings.]

VOICE 1:  Pardon me.  Yes…All right, put him on.  Hello, George….Yes, I know, and I haven’t forgotten it.  I’ll mail you a check today.  [Hangs up.]  Another of them, gentlemen…a subscription I promised yesterday.

VOICE 2:  Yes, everyone gets a lot of appeals, but…[Fade.]



VOICE 7:  [Woman.]  Being called on by campaign solicitors is just part of it.  Working on the campaigns is a job in itself.  I worked on four different campaigns last year, and not one of them took less than three days of my time.

VOICE 8:  I can’t say that I approve of this idea at all.  Our organization has no trouble in raising sufficient funds for our work.  We conduct an annual campaign, using the same solicitors year after year.  In any general campaign many of our contributors might decline to subscribe, for religious or other reasons.  I feel that each welfare organization should be required to do its own work in raising funds.  (PAUSE.)

VOICE 1:  I think that’s the wrong spirit.

VOICE 3:  So do I.  [Mixed Voices.]  The newer and smaller organizations in Dayton are at a great disadvantage when it comes to raising money.  And they’ll continue to be until we have one coordinated fund-raising plan.

VOICE 5:  [Woman.]  It seems to me that this is a matter of one for all and all for one.

VOICE 6:  [Woman.]  That’s what I think.  What’s more, I’m sure that we’ll get more money for all of our welfare organizations if we take up this Community chest idea.

VOICE 9:  That’s right.  One campaign and one subscription.  I know our organization will approve of that.

VOICES:  So will ours…Ours, too…Let’s start it this year.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



   [Newspaper sounds.]

VOICE 1:  I saw their parade today, did you, Bob?

BOB:  Yeah, I followed it…all the way out to the Fairgrounds.

VOICE 1:  And you’ve been investigating the organization in other ways.  What do you think of it?

BOB:  I think it’s made up of a lot of grown men who are acting like kids.  They dress up in bed sheets, put hoods over their heads and burn bonfires on the hills out in the country at night.  That’s supposed to scare the daylights out of all the rest of us.

VOICE 1:  But they have a lot of political power, haven’t they?

BOB:  People think they have, and sometimes that amounts to the same thing.  But I don’t believe they have any real or lasting power here in Dayton…or even in Ohio, for that matter.  And they certainly don’t number the community leaders in their membership.  On the whole they’re just ham-and--egg citizens who like the hocus pocus of a secret organization.

VOICE 1:  What do you think we should do about them editorially?

BOB:  Ignore them…unless they pull some rough stuff.  But I don’t think they will.  Pretty soon someone will begin laughing at them…and then someone else…and then everyone.  And that will be the end of them; they won’t be able to stand ridicule.  They’ll put away the bed sheets, forget the mystic passwords and go back to spending their evenings at the movies, in the corner poolroom or at home listening to the radio.  [Music; Fades in and out.]



CAROLINE:  Just listen to this, Dwight.  [Reads.]  Come to Florida…where enterprise is enthroned…where you sit and watch at twilight the fronds of the graceful palms, latticed against the fading gold of the sun-kissed sky…where the sun, moon and stars at eventide stage a welcome constituting the glorious galaxy of the firmament…where the whispering breeze springs from the lap of the Caribbean and woos with elusive cadence like unto a mother’s lullaby…where the silver sickle is heaven’s lavalier, and with full orbit its glorious pendant.  (PAUSE.)  [Speaks.]  Well, what do you think of it?

DWIGHT:  Hot dog!

CAROLINE:  But, Dwight, Dayton people are going to Florida.  The paper says there are 7500 of them in Miami right now.  And they’re making money…making it in real estate.

DWIGHT:  All 7500 of them?

CAROLINE:  Well, perhaps not all of them, though they say that anyone can make money in Miami.  I heard just today that some woman bought a piece of land there for $800 a few years ago, and sold it this summer for $150,000.

DWIGHT:  Who was it?

CAROLINE:  I don’t know.  What has that to do with it?

DWIGHT:  Well, someone buttonholes me every day on Main Street and tells me how someone else made five, ten, or a hundred thousand dollars on fifty feet front in Miami…usually out on the edge of town, too.  But it’s always someone else who’s made the money…never the guy who tells me about it.

CAROLINE:  But, Dwight, don’t you believe that money is being made in Florida real estate?

DWIGHT:  Sure, I do.  But it’s not being made by the amateurs…not by most of the 7500 Dayton people you say are down there now.  Florida, and particularly Miami, is having a crazy real estate boom.  There’ll be millions of dollars made…and some of it in real cash, too.  But the real money will be made by the sharpshooters who know real estate booms and how to play them…unless they go completely crazy themselves.  But you can be sure that in the end somebody will be left holding the bag.  Most of the Dayton people down there will lose their shirts.

CAROLINE:  Couldn’t we invest just a little, Dwight?  You’re doing pretty well now.  We have the two cars, and you say we’ll be able to buy a bigger house next spring.

DWIGHT:  I know.  My business has never been better.  The whole country is prosperous, and Dayton along with it.  But I want to put any extra money I have into something that’s safe and sound…something I can count on.


DWIGHT:  Stocks.

CAROLINE:  You mean Wall Street?

DWIGHT:  Yes, of course.

CAROLINE:  But I thought that was a gamble, too.

DWIGHT:  Not for anyone who knows what he’s doing.  Of course, there are some fake stocks…gold mines and things like that …and there are some crooked operators.  But if you study the market the way I do, you can steer clear of them.  Besides, I get some inside tips from our New York office.  You can’t go wrong on them; they never miss.  Of course, I haven’t much actual cash in the market, but already I show a fine paper profit.  And I’m going to keep right on.  If the market keeps on climbing the way it has been…and it will; everyone knows that…I’ll have enough in another two or three years to retire.  And when I get enough, I’m going to quit.  No one ever went broke taking a profit.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



   [Gentle snores.]  [Clock strikes two.]

MARY:  Will!  [Snores continue.]  Will!

WILL:  [Drowsily.]  Huh?

MARY:  Do you know what time it is?

WILL:  Un-huh.

MARY:  Will, wake up!  It’s two o’clock!

WILL:  Huh?

MARY:  I said, it’s two o’clock?

WILL:  What’s the idea of waking me up to tell me that?

MARY:  Walter isn’t home yet.

WILL:  He isn’t?

MARY:  No, and this is the third time this week that he’s been out until all hours.  I’m sure I don’t know what’s going to become of this younger generation.

WILL:  Why, I told him just before he left the house that he was to be home by eleven.  I said that if he wasn’t I’d never let him use the car again.

MARY:  Yes, but you’ve told him that before, and it’s never done any good.

WILL:  Well, I meant it this time.  Where did he go?

MARY:  I don’t know.  He and young Buddy Baxter were going out with the little Marvin girls, Dorothy and Alice.  I suppose they were going dancing, maybe to the Crystal Gardens, out on the Salem Pike.

WILL:  That dump?

MARY:  Well, the boys and girls like the music.  It’s a jazz band…Red Nichols and his Five Pennies, I think they call it.

WILL:  But why do they call it music?  It’s all trumpets and drums.  When one of those jazz bands really cuts loose, it sounds like a riot in a hardware store.

MARY:  I don’t know how they stand it.  But they say that’s the kind of music they need to dance the Charleston.

WILL:  Dance the Charleston?  The Charleston isn’t a dance; it’s an attack of heebie-jeebies.  If anyone did it on Main Street in the daytime, they’d call the wagon, put him in a straight jacket and hall him away  [Fade out and in.]



   [Jazz music, voices, shrill laughter…off.]

ALICE:  Dotty, we’d better get started home.  You know what Mother said the last time.

WALTER:  Uts-nay, uts-nay.  We’re going to stay till they close this place.  Aren’t we, Buddy?

BUDDY:  Sure.  And you kids are going to stay with us.  What’s the matter with you, Alice?  It’s only two o’clock.

DOROTHY:  She’s afraid we’ll catch it when we get home.

ALICE:  No, I’m not.  I don’t really care what they say.  But if Walter’s father won’t let him have the car any more, how are we going to get out here?

WALTER: You leave that to me, baby.  I’ll get the car, any old time I want it.  What good does it do Dad and Mother late at night?  They’re always in bed.

BUDDY:  They make me tired…all of them.  Why can’t they let us have some fun?  Every time I leave the house they say, “Now, Buddy, come in early”…”Don’t be late, Buddy; you need your sleep.”  What’s the sense in getting in at eleven?  I don’t get really going before midnight.  [Music up.]

DOROTHY:  Hey, hey, Charleston!  Come on, Buddy, let’s dance!

WALTER:  You, too, Alice.  Get going, baby!  [Fade out and in.]



  [Clock strikes three.]  [Motor running off…stops.]

MARY:  There’s Walter now, Will.

WILL:  I’ll to down and meet him at the door.  [Footsteps.]  (PAUSE.) [Door opens.]

WILL:  So!

WALTER:  Gee, Dad, you scared me!  I didn’t think you’d still be up.  Pretty late for you, isn’t it?

WILL:  Pretty late?  It’s three o’clock…three o’clock in the morning, young man.  And I told you to be in by eleven.

WALTER:  Aw, gee, Dad, no one gets in at eleven o’clock any more.  That was all right when you and Mother were young, back in the horse-and-buggy days.  But we’re different.  We don’t want to be tied down by a lot of old fogy ideas.  We were talking about it just tonight.  Our generation wants to be free.  We think…

WILL:  You listen to me!  I’ve had all the freedom I’m going to take from you or anyone else in your generation.

WALTER:  But, Dad…

WILL:  Shut up!  There’s not one of you who has enough sense to come in out of the rain…let alone argue with your parents.  You have good homes, good schools, good clothes, and good automobiles…more than most of your parents ever had.  Well, you won’t study in school and you won’t work outside.  And you’re always demanding new clothes, just because something is the latest high-school or college fad.  Your one idea is to pile into an automobile with one of your friends and a couple of silly young flappers, and go off somewhere and dance all night.

WALTER:  We didn’t dance all night, Dad.  It’s only…

WILL:  I know what time it is…three o’clock.  Now, you go to bed.

WALTER:  But, Dad, if you’ll just let me explain…

WILL:  You don’t need to explain.  I understand…only too well.  And I want you to understand something.  You’re not going to use the car once again this summer.  That’s all.

WALTER:  Aw, gee, Dad.  I promised Buddy and the girls…

WILL:  That’s all, I said.  Go to bed.

WALTERA:  Yes, sir.


MARY:  Will, you don’t think you were too hard on him, do you?

WILL:  I wasn’t half hard enough.  Why, if I’d acted that way when I was a boy, my father would have taken me out in the woodshed and given me the tanning of my life.

MARY:  Did he ever do it?

WILL:  He did…and often enough.  That was back in the days when young people weren’t allowed to do anything.  Girls couldn’t go anywhere without a chaperone; dancing parties ended at ten o’clock; and any boy who smoked a cigarette was headed straight for the place that no one ever mentioned.  Strict! That’s what my parents were.  (PAUSE.)  They had some of the craziest ideas you ever heard of.

MARY:  Yes, Will.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



  [Newspaper sounds.]

VOICE 1:  I don’t know how much luck we’ll have with this campaign, Bob.  Dayton has been talking about elevating the railroad tracks for forty years.   But nothing has ever come of it.

BOB:  What’s the real reason?

VOICE 1:  Public lethargy, for one thing…natural resistance against change and improvement.  And, of course, it would cost money; in fact, there would have to be a bond issue.  But the city would pay only about a third of the cost; the rest would be paid by the railways.

BOB:  Aren’t people generally in favor of it?

VOICE 1:  Yes, I think Dayton people want it.  And now is a good time for our campaign, because Dayton’s prosperous.  Of course, there’s no telling what the voters will do on a bond issue, but I think it’s worth trying.  And the informal discussions between the city and railroad engineers indicate that it’s thoroughly practical.

BOB:  It’s certainly bad the way it is. You can’t drive through Dayton in any direction without being held up some place at a grade crossing.  I timed it at the Main Street crossing yesterday…thirteen and a half minutes.  Automobile traffic was tied up for two blocks in both directions.

VOICE 1:  I think some of the strongest opposition has always come from Dayton industrialists, factory owners.  Why don’t you go and talk to some of them?  You might be able to swing them over.  And at least you’ll get material for the feature articles you’re writing.

BOB:  I’ll do that.  I’ve got one argument they’ll have a tough time laughing off.  [Fade out and in.]



VOICE 2:  It’s all very well, Mr. Lodge, for your paper to carry on an improvement crusade, but I don’t believe that our directors would approve of the idea.  We have to think of our factory, our business, first of all.

BOB:  Don’t you think it would be a good thing for Dayton as a whole?

VOICE 2:  Well…yes…in some ways I suppose it would give the city a more metropolitan appearance.  And I’ll admit that it would make the business of driving an automobile around Dayton somewhat more convenient.  But we must look at these things from cold dollars-and-cents point of view.  Take this company, for instance.  Track elevation would mean cutting off a fair-sized corner of our factory property; and we haven’t any too much room as it is.  In addition, we’d have the very large expense of reorganizing our whole receiving and shipping departments…putting them on an upper floor, building new high-level sidings, and all that.  (PAUSE.)  No…in view of the great cost to us, I don’t feel disposed to endorse this campaign.

BOB:  But there’s another side to the question…the most important side of all…the human side.

VOICE 2:  I suppose you mean grade crossing accidents.  There was one just the other night, I know.  Too bad, of course.

BOB:  What you read in the paper was just part of the story. I was there.  I saw the accident.  And afterward, at the hospital, I heard the whole story.  (PAUSE.)  You may remember…it was raining hard that night.  I could hardly see through my own windshield.  The crossing gates were down, and there was a dim red light hanging there.  I heard the train and saw this car coming down the street.  Of course, I thought it was going to stop.  [Fadeout and in.]



   [Train coming on.  Car coming on.]

BOB:  [Shouts off.]  Hey!  Look out!  Stop! Stop!

  [Crash and scream, off.]


   [Ambulance siren.]  [Excited voices.]

   [Fade out and in.]

   [Woman sobbing behind…]

DOCTOR:  Mrs. Ennis?

ENNIS:  Yes.

DOCTOR:  When we got your husband on the operating table, we thought there was a slight chance for him.  But…well, he was very badly injured, and that, added to the shock, was too much.  We’re very sorry.

BOB:  Mrs. Ennis, my name is Lodge.  I’m a newspaper man.   I’ll be glad to take you home in my car, if you’ll let me.

ENNIS:  All right.

BOB:  Could you tell me how you think the accident happened?

ENNIS:  He couldn’t see…Neither of us could…it was raining so hard…Oh, I’ve just known this would happen sometime.  You see, my husband worked nights, and every night, coming home, we had to cross the tracks.  And I’d come to dread it so…night after night.

BOB:  I see.

ENNIS:  I don’t know how I can tell the children…or what I can do for them.  We’ve had sickness…a lot of it…and its taken all the money Frank could earn, and all we had saved.  And now…I don’t know…I can’t think… [Music: Fades in and out.]



CAROLINE:  Do eat your breakfast, Dwight.  Your eggs are getting cold.

DWIGHT:  Uh-huh.

CAROLINE:  I see they’re making plans for Armistice Day.  Think of it!  The war has been over for nearly eleven years.  This is almost the end of October, 1929.

DWIGHT:  Uh-huh.

CAROLINE:  Dwight, dear, are you worried about something?

DWIGHT:  Worried?  I should say I am.  Stocks have been on the toboggan for weeks.

CAROLINE:  You haven’t told me.  But then, I don’t under stand about stocks.

DWIGHT:  I wish I didn’t…if I do.  Things were a little better last week, but yesterday Steel dropped 17 ½ points; General electric, 471/2; Allied Chemical, 36, and Westinghouse, 341/2…and the rest of the list is as bad or worse.

CAROLINE:  I suppose so.

DWIGHT:  Here’s a statement from President Hoover.  [Reads.]  The fundamental business of the country, that is, production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.  [Speaks.]  I wonder if he knows what he’s talking about.  I’ve decided that I don’t.

CAROLINE:  Well, if it worries you so much, why don’t you stop at the broker’s office this morning and sell your stocks.

DWIGHT:  A fat chance I’ll have to sell them.  They’ll be going crazy down there.  But I’ll drop in.  I want to see some of these fellows who’ve been saying that the boom would never end.

CAROLINE:  Don’t forget, dear… Bob Lodge is coming to dinner tonight.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



VOICE 1:  This car up.  Floors, please.

DWIGHT:  Six.  Hello, Bill.

BILL:  Hello, Dwight.  Looks bad, doesn’t it?

DWIGHT:  Terrible.

VOICE 1:  Six out, please.

   [Excited voices off.]

DWIGHT:  Good Lord, listen to them!  Well, let’s go in and take our medicine.  [Excited voices on and up.  Telephone bells.]

VOICES:  Sell me out at the market…Sell at the market…Sell…Yes, at the market…I’m cleaned out; every dollar I had…There goes mine…Sell…Well, boys, it was a great ride while it lasted…Sell…Sell at the market.  [Music: Fades in and out.]



CAROLINE:  Do have some more roast beef, Bob.  We still have credit at the butchers.

BOB:  Was it pretty bad, Dwight?

DWIGHT:  A perfect madhouse!

BOB:  Well, that’s one advantage of being a newspaper man.  You never have enough money to get stuck in the market.

CAROLINE:  Dwight didn’t have very much in, really.

DWIGHT:  I had a big profit, didn’t I?  If the rise had gone on another month, I could have pulled out with fifty thousand.  And that’s what I was going to do.

BOB:  It’s tough, all right.  [Chuckles.]  But I haven’t much real sympathy for you.

DWIGHT:  That’s a fine thing to say, when I’ve just lost a fortune. 

BOB:  But you haven’t Dwight.  You went in with a small stake, like most of them.  You built up a big paper profit.  But that wasn’t money you’d earned…worked and sweated for.  You never really had it.

DWIGHT:  It was money, wasn’t it?

BOB:  Sure.  But not earned money…hard-to-get money.  It was like going into a crap game with five dollars, building it up to a hundred, and then losing it all on one pass.  The only real loss is the original five.  You and I will still get paid next week.  And we can go on living on what we make.

CAROLINE:  That’s what I told him.

DWIGHT:  Humph!

BOB:  You know, I think that this Wall Street crash marks the end of an era in America.  We may have hard times…perhaps a real depression.  Maybe this whole decade has been a period of post-war reaction.  But I’m sure that whatever comes afterwards won’t be anything like it.  It’s been the craziest patchwork you could imagine.  I thought I might do some feature articles about it, so today I dug into the files and made some notes.  See if they don’t remind you of a lot of things.  There was the big Communist scare in 1919…and the Dempsey-Willard fight…Prohibition, hip-flasks, bootleggers and Al Capone…Mah Jong…”Yes, We Have No bananas”…Teapot dome…Main Street and Babbitt…the Florida Boom…Red Grange…Aimee Semple McPherson…the first radios…the Model A  Ford…Rudolph Valentino…Daddy Browning…Lindbergh…Marathon dancers and flag-pole sitters.  I have a lot more, but that will give you the idea.  I don’t know; I might write a book about it.  [Music: Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  So ends our play based upon the Dayton of the Nineteen Twenties.  There remain the years of the succeeding and most recent decade…a period of trial and struggle, of individual sacrifice and civic achievement in the face of adversity...a period that extends itself to include the present day.  And now, our announcer, Morton DaCosta, has a special message about next Sunday’s program.  [Music: Swells and fades behind…]



ANNOUNCER:  A week from today we shall present the last program in this series of “Great Days in Dayton.”  We shall have as our guest star on that occasion, Mr. Peter Grant, nationally-known news commentator.  Mr. Grant, who is well known to thousands of Dayton radio listeners, will take an active part in our final presentation.  Also…owing to the extremely large demand for seats for this last broadcast, we have arranged to hold it at the National Cash Register auditorium.  If you have already requested seats, the tickets you receive will admit you to the N. C. R. auditorium.  If you have not made reservations, we urge that you do so immediately, as the present demand for tickets promises a full house.  Reservations may be made by calling at the ground floor offices of the Gas and Electric Bldg., 25 N. Main Street.  (PAUSE.)  Great Days in Dayton” is sponsored by The Dayton Power and Light Company.  All dramatic roles in these productions are played by members of the Dayton Civic Theatre professional company.  Your narrator has been Charles McLean.  Your announcer is Morton DaCosta.  (PAUSE.)  Remember…next Sunday afternoon at five-fifteen…a presentation originating in the N. C. R. auditorium and broadcast over Station WHIO…the final program of “Great Days in Dayton!”


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