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1980, Carter vs. Reagan: Let’s Make America Great Again

American Elections: Wicked Game


History, Politics, News, Presidential Election

4.83.2K Ratings

🗓️ 1 September 2020

⏱️ 45 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


President Jimmy Carter fights to keep the White House in a trial by fire of domestic recession and international turmoil. Carter defends his presidency against the rise of a softer, more approachable brand of conservatism embodied by the skillful optimism and powerful charisma of Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

Created, hosted and executive produced by Lindsay Graham for Airship. Sound design by Derek Behrens. Audio editing by Mollie Baack. Co-Executive produced by Steven Walters in association with Ritual Productions. Written and researched by Michael Federico. Fact checking by Gregory Jackson and Cielle Salazar from the podcast History That Doesn’t Suck. Music by Lindsay Graham.

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It's summer 1934 at a radio station in Des Moines, Iowa.


A young broadcaster sits in a small booth in front of a single microphone.


Next to him a fellow named Curly sits in front of a telegraph machine.


Curly is typing a message onto a piece of paper.


He rips out the page and hands it to the broadcaster who reads it nearly word for word.


Bill jergis steps up to the plate for the Cubs.


Broadcasters in the middle of calling a baseball game between the Cubs and the Cardinals.


The Cubs shortstop Billy Jurgis is the first batter up.


Dizzy Dean ready himself for the first pitch.


His season has been one for the record books folks.


Though wriggly fuel is some 300 miles away, the broadcaster helps give the radio listeners


at home the illusion of a play by play experience.


He has plenty of help.


In a small booth at Rigglyfield in Chicago, telegraph operators watch the game live and tap


out the action encoded messages that are then sent to operators at various regional radio stations like this one.


But this particular broadcaster has a knack for the job.


He's only been to Rigglyfield once, but he still has an uncanny ability to convince his listeners


he's right there in the action, watching every pitch, taking in the sights and sounds of the ballpark,


just like they would be if they were there.


As Curly decodes and types out the next message, the broadcaster tees up the action to come.


Dizzy Dean winds up and lets go the first pitch.


Curly slips him another piece of paper.


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