January to December 1929
This would be the last full year of the Radio Nature League. WBZ was now an affiliate in the NBC Blue/WJZ network, a retransmitter of programming originating in New York. It was increasingly difficult to find a place on the air for a "sustaining" (i.e., non-sponsored) program, regardless of its popularity. Initially Saturday at 7:00 seemed like a safe haven but then along came "Amos and Andy"... Thornton Burgess would voice his doubts about the future of the program on the air (and would be met with a flurry of correspondence urging him on).
The speaker series was now greatly curtailed, featuring mostly Philip Hansling Jr and a new associate, J.H. Taylor, Highway Landscape Supervisor for the State of Massachusetts. Here are the dates and topics:
- January 16: Philip Hansling Jr., on "A few of our historical and famous trees."
- April 3: Philip Hansling Jr., "How to maintain trees in health and beauty."
- April 10: Burgess read extended remarks on the passenger pigeon by Clarence Hawkes, "blind poet and naturalist from Hadley, MA." (Hawkes was a friend of the show).
- June 5: J.H. Taylor on beautifying roadsides.
- April 17: Burgess read "Waiting for the Chief Buzzard," a story in dialect by Uncle Dove Reynolds (as transcribed by Captain Inman F. Eldridge.)
- July 10: Roger B. Friend, entomlogist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station.
- August 14: J.H. Taylor
- August 28: J.H. Taylor on "Use of highways and prevention of abuse of them"
- September 18: Phil Hansling Jr. on "What we can do for trees."
Several new themes emerged this year:
- Burgess joined with William Hornaday to promote the "Norbeck game refuge bill" (The Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929). There were appeals to listeners in January and February. Burgess announced its passage on February 20.
- Maine had recently declared the black-capped chickadee to be the State Bird. Burgess asked his listeners to vote for official birds for other New England states. This topic continued for several months.
- There was a new scientific request from Harold Babcock for the stomach contents of owls, particularly snakes.
Next: Radio Nature League (1930)