Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mini 011 The Eleventh of November


Mini 011 The Eleventh of November

It’s Veteran’s day, AKA Armistice Day. Today, we’re supposed to pay tribute to the men and women who serve or served in the armed forces, and that’s fine. 

But for many years, we called this “Armistice Day.” It marked 11/11/1918, the official “end” of WWI.  So, thank you, veterans, for being veterans.  But let’s not forget the Armistice of World War One.

At one time, those of us in broadcasting observed the signing of the armistice by observing one minute of silence at 11 am local time.  Eleven/Eleven/Eleven. We in broadcasting did this with the “suggested” minute of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month of the eleventh day of the year.

Doing this on the radio was supposed to be a no-no. Silence on the air was the greatest sin in broadcasting. It also was illegal. Silence with an un-modulated carrier on the air was a violation of federal broadcasting law.

To this day, 54 years after the fact, I remain grateful to my handlers at New York Herald Tribune Radio for flouting the law and allowing me to shut down the mic and all else over which I had control for 60 seconds at on 11/11/65, a Thursday morning at eleven o’clock.

--WR


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