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CHPC New York

Jacob Riis Radio Play


The gem featured this month is a radio play written by CHPC to commemorate the centennial of Jacob Riis’ birth. The radio play, with official copyright filed  by CHPC in 1949, was a dramatic narrative of Jacob Riis’ groundbreaking work uncovering the squalor of the slums and the impact of his photography and writing on the development of housing codes and enforcement.

We are not sure where this play aired originally, but we would love to organize a revival  at some point! We have also found some other plays written by CHPC in our archive so keep an eye on our website for more details.

The Story of Jacob A. Riis (a dramatic narration for radio)
Riis Centennial…Bulletin #3

Narrator: One hundred years ago, a man was born who refused to believe that cities and slums must go together. That people and disease must go together. He was a man who believed that, as blossoming flowers turn towards the sun, so people do. His name was Jacob Riis. It is the 100th year of his birth that we celebrate tonight. Of few great men can it be said that their entire lives were dominated by a singleness of purpose. But we can say this of Jacob Riis. He was a mere boy when he first waved his clenched fist against the slums of his native town Ribe, in Denmark.

Download the entire play (pdf)

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