Cavalcade of America - Exploration and Military, vol. 1


These historical dramatizations of humanitarian progress are true American hero tales featuring vintage music, intriguing interviews, and even Broadway & Hollywood adaptations. Be sure to check out Exploration & Military, vol. 2 for even more exciting historical re-imaginings!


Compass Classroom is delighted to present Exploration & Military, vol. 1 as part of The Cavalcade of America series for use with Dave Raymond’s American History course or as a standalone resource for your homeschool.

These 49, 30-minute historical dramatizations of humanitarian progress are true American hero tales featuring vintage music, intriguing interviews, and even Broadway & Hollywood adaptations. Be sure to check out Exploration & Military, vol. 2 for even more exciting historical re-imaginings!

Included in this download:

  • MP3 files tagged for use in iTunes or similar music database

The Cavalcade of America was produced by the DuPont Company to burnish its motto of “Maker of better things for better living through chemistry.” The programs originally aired on CBS radio from 1935-1953, and on television from 1952-1957.

Additional information


55 Dramatizations



Access the materials at “Downloadable Products” in your Compass Classroom store account, and unzip the file to a location on your hard drive.

Once the files are unzipped, you can play the files directly on your computer. Alternatively, you can upload the files to any device which will play .mp3s. If you use iTunes or a similar music database program, you can drag the unzipped folders to the program icon and they will organize automatically by disc, which corresponds to lesson in the curriculum.

These audio files were obtained in the public domain and are provided as-is. If you have questions, get help at

Episode List

  1. Conservation, Originally broadcast 03/25/1936. As you watch the American cavalcade pass by, you are impressed that its leaders are builders rather than conquerors. They have cultivated the wilderness and made it blossom with the fruits of civilization. They have planted and protected and preserved America’s resources. High among our unsung heroes stands John Chapman known to his own generation by his nickname “Johnny Apple seed”. Let us turn back the pages of history to the end of the 1790’s.
  2. Opportunity, Originally broadcast 04/08/1936. Even as a young country just beginning to resettle America became known as a land of opportunity. Thousands of men have shown the energy and intelligence to find an opportunity America has held for them. It is an afternoon in 1723 a few miles west of Burlington New Jersey on a road bordering the riverbank a farm cart pulls up beside a young man who was walking by the roadside. The farmer driving hails the stranger…
  3. Railroad Builders, Originally broadcast 04/15/1936. The program starts with a medley of railroad songs. The story of the drilling of the Hoosick tunnel and the first transcontinental railroad. As the American cavalcade passes in review we realize again the tremendous part played by the railroads in the building of America. But back of the railroads were men, dreamers, planners, doers, the men who helped open up the country, made it accessible to millions, bridged its rivers, tunneled its mountains and conquered its deserts, men who nothing could daunt in the performance of their task. On a June morning in 1855 we find two people in the mountains of Massachusetts…
  4. Tillers Of The Soil, Originally broadcast 05/13/1936. From early colonial times the first settlers on our eastern seaboard had to wrest food and shelter from the great wilderness surrounding them. It is the spring of 1790, the first year of America’s constitutional existence…
  5. Hardiness, Originally broadcast 05/20/1936. In the development of her great national resources America has been fortunate in finding strong and hardy workers and here are two stories of notable achievement. The first begins on a night in spring of 1842…
  6. Transcontinental Journeys, Originally broadcast 11/11/1936. The Cavalcade of America presented by Dupont brings you two stories in this episode about two journeys across the nations just as the whole series takes you through the pageant of American progress in which each generation has marked new achievements.
  7. National Parks Pioneers, Originally broadcast 03/03/1937. Each year increasing thousands of eager Americans travel by rail automobile and aeroplanes to the numerous national parks of the United States to stand in awe before natural wonders thousands of years old. This episode brings you a bit of little known history about one of these great national parks, the Yellowstone. It is the story of how its natural wonders were found and preserved for all to enjoy.
  8. The Eighth Wonder Of The World, Originally broadcast 06/09/1937. Millions of years ago in America’s pacific northwest a giant glacier blocked the Colombia River on it’s way to the sea. That mighty stream forced to find a new outlet cut a chasm 600 feet deep, 2 mile wide and 50 miles long. Many hundred of years passed and the ice melted and the river returned to its original channel. So it was that early settlers in the state of Washington found the high riverbed a long deep valley, which they named the Grand Coulee.
  9. Amerigo Vespucci, Originally broadcast 01/02/1940. Who first discovered America, was it Columbus, was it John Cabot or was it Amerigo Vespucci? It was certainly named for Amerigo Vespucci and that fact ought to have something to do with the answer. One of the first lessons of history is this, that few things are either as simple or certain as they sometimes seem to be. If we could go back to the closing years of the fifteenth century we could see the answer for ourselves. This story takes you back to the 9th March 1451 and begins in Florence Italy with the birth of Amerigo who was to become a great traveler and explorer.
  10. Jean Laffite, Originally broadcast 02/06/1940. The notorious French-born pirate is offered a large inducement to join forces with the British to fight against Andrew Jackson at the battle of New Orleans. This is the story of a little known but highly important episode in the war of 1812. It is the midwinter of 1814 during our second war with Great Britain to many persons it is America’s darkest hour since Valley Forge. Our military invasions of Canada have been miserable failures; the British have burned both the capital and the White House in Washington and are in firm possession of all regions along the Atlantic coast. Their fleets blockade our ports. Dark is America’s prospect but now it grows worse for England has now defeated the great Napoleon and sent him in to exile. She is determined to end the lagging war in America with one staggering blow by the greatest single army in the European power ever despatch to the new world. William Johnstone stars in the role of Captain Jean Laffite a free booting pirate.
  11. Enoch Crosby – The Spy, Originally broadcast 02/27/1940. Based on “The Spy,” by James Fennimore Cooper. The story of how an itinerant shoemaker helped General Washington defeat to Cornwallis. This is the story of Enoch Crosby, a story of personal sacrifice and unselfish heroism of one man’s devotion and loyalty to the cause of freedom. Enoch Crosby was a spy of the American Revolution in the year 1776.
  12. Jordan’s Banks, Originally broadcast 03/19/1940. A young confederate spy named Sam Davis is captured, but refuses to divulge any information, even at the cost of his life.
  13. Benedict Arnold, Originally broadcast 04/02/1940. An account of General Arnold’s treachery, and the reasons behind it. This is the story of Benedict Arnold who twice saved and then once betrayed his country. Many historians now believe that the turning point in America’s struggle for independence was the battle of Saratoga and that the hero of that battle was General Benedict Arnold. After Saratoga Benedict Arnold retired to his sister Hannah’s home in New Haven to recuperate from a leg wound… This is the story of Benedict Arnold who twice saved and then once betrayed his country. Many historians now believe that the turning point in America’s struggle for independence was the battle of Saratoga and that the hero of that battle was General Benedict Arnold. After Saratoga Benedict Arnold retired to his sister Hannah’s home in New Haven to recuperate from a leg wound…
  14. The Pathfinder Of The Seas, Originally broadcast 10/16/1940. Seafaring in the 1800s, was a risky proposition, as sailors lacked maps of ocean surface currents and winds. Matthew Fontaine Maury, a naval officer and oceanographer known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas”, was notable for his pioneering scientific work in the fields of navigation, hydrography and meteorology, and he is credited as being the man who made sailing safer and far more efficient by inventing a new way to chart ocean currents and winds.
  15. Sacajawea, Originally broadcast 08/25/1941. Among the traditions of America’s westward expansion is the memory of an Indian maiden Sacajawea, Her simple faith in the great explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark forms a beautiful and touching American story and this is a story based on her story beginning in 1803.
  16. Leif Erikson, Originally broadcast 09/01/1941. The story of the first Viking to find the New World. It was a time of adventure and new worlds to conquer and Viking chieftain Leif Erikson was the first of the great explorers to act upon the enchantment of the new land beyond the western ocean, the first to colonize these shores. The Dupont Cavalcade of America presents a radio play based on fragments of the sagas of the great Viking Chieftain. + During the many discoveries of the New World, the first of the generations of white men to arrive, was the great, heroic Viking Chieftain, Leif Ericsson. It was a time of adventure and new worlds to conquer, and Chief Ericsson was the first of the explorers to act upon the enchantment of the new land beyond the western ocean beyond his homeland of Iceland. He was the first to colonize these shores…
  17. Captains Of The Clouds, Originally broadcast 02/02/1942. This is a story set in the wartimes of 1942. In it you will meet a little-known but vastly important race of men, the bush pilots of Northern Canada, men who carried freight and medical supplies to the remote outposts of Northern America, outposts which could not be maintained without these intrepid barnstorming aviators. Here we meet these men in wartime and like most of the people in 1942 they too have altered their way of living.
  18. The Wild Young Man, Originally broadcast 07/20/1942. A drama about the adventures of Stephen Decatur, battling the pirates of Tripoli.
  19. Eagle To Britain, Originally broadcast 09/21/1942. A drama about the Air Transport Command, ferrying bombers to England. A member of the Air Transport Command appears after the story. The target for American Bombers is an industrial area somewhere on the continent of Europe. The great bomb bay is open and out of the bellies of American bombers American explosives curve down through the darkness to smash in to rubble another of Hitler’s factories for death. This play tells how one of these American bombers got to Britain flown there by a four-man crew of the Ferry Command, a crew determined to deliver their American Eagle to Britain.
  20. In The Best Tradition, Originally broadcast 10/26/1942. A history of the early years of the U.S. Navy. Well done! The program features an address by Rear Admiral Blandy (remote from Minneapolis). Cavalcade brings you a special program in commemoration of Navy Day.
  21. Alaska Under Arms, Originally broadcast 11/16/1942. A portrait of the big land to the North and its immense value to America.
  22. Between Them Both, Originally broadcast 01/04/1943. A girl on the homefront has the war brought home to her suddenly when her sister is killed in action overseas. A well-written drama of human emotions.
  23. The Flying Tigers, Originally broadcast 01/25/1943. A good story about the volunteer American squadron in Rangoon, fighting the Japs before the United States entering the war. The show features an appearance by the first woman Chinese pilot.
  24. To The Shores Of Tripoli, Originally broadcast 02/01/1943. The young United States Marines flexes its muscles.
  25. Diary Of A Saboteur, Originally broadcast 03/01/1943. A fifth columnist plans to burn down a defense plant with a boobytrapped fountain pen!
  26. The Cook On The P-T Boat Writes Home, Originally broadcast 03/29/1943. A dumb cook sees plenty of action against the Japs, while thinking only about food. Joe Caldwell, played by William Bendix, is a PT Boat cook who mans a gun but loves his pots and pans and is writing home to Sally Lou. Joe had a bad night last night and he’s writing her all about it. He’s never had a nice thing said about his cooking by the quartermaster or torpedo man not one thing except to say it was lousy then last night they both complimented him, not on his cooking but for doing a simple deck job that anyone could’ve done…
  27. Submarine Astern, Originally broadcast 04/05/1943. The Cavalcade of America sponsored by Dupont brings you a story called Submarine Astern starring Ray Milland and written by David Harman. Later in the program you will hear from their special guest George H. Caustan chief gunner’s mate of the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell that recently sank or dispersed six German submarines.
  28. Soldiers In High Boots, Originally broadcast 04/26/1943. A story of the paratroopers who are chosen for a sabotage mission in Norway, and of one of them who was afraid to jump. John Barry, A captain in the paratroops who had just returned from the African invasion, speaks from Washington, D. C. The broadcast originates from Hollywood. Starring John Hall as Private Jefferson Smith Soldiers In High Boots is based on the exploits of paratroopers the daredevils of the infantry.
  29. Soldiers In Greasepaint, Originally broadcast 05/03/1943. The story of the first U. S. O. Camp Show tour of the battlefronts.
  30. Fat Girl, Originally broadcast 05/10/1943. Edward Arnold stars as Captain John B. Philips of the U.S.S. Neosho an auxiliary oil tanker that miraculously escaped Pearl Harbor and for weeks and months gallantly carried on with her duties. Then one day Japanese bombers spotted her and the ship affectionately known as the Fat Girl is mortally wounded.
  31. Sky Nursemaid, Originally broadcast 06/28/1943. Cavalcade tell the story of a service, an army air force service so no new that it has no history except the history that it’s making now day by day. It is the story of the air evacuation service which speeds the wounded from fields of battle to hospitals behind the lines.
  32. Soldier Of The Cloth, Originally broadcast 07/12/1943. The story of an Army chaplain at Guadalcanal. Soldier of the Cloth is a living authentic page of American history based on the experiences of Lieutenant M. Reardon Chaplain Corps United States Navy. Written by Milton Wain
  33. Diamonds At War, Originally broadcast 07/26/1943. A melodrama of Nazi spies and industrial diamonds. Diamonds At War is an action packed Nazi spy melodrama about the men who risked death for diamonds for industry. Written for radio by Peter Lyon based on the book Diamonds In The Dust by Bob Terrell
  34. Nine Men Against The Arctic, Originally broadcast 08/02/1943. The Cavalcade of America presents Dean Jagger in the role of Captain Armand L. Montverde in an authentic documentary story as starkly dramatic as the courage of the men who enact it in real life. The scene is the great icecap of Greenland a wilderness of ice as far as the eye can see.
  35. The Major And The Mules, Originally broadcast 08/16/1943. The sound of mules in the jungles of New Guinea leads to a victory against the Japs. The Major And The Mules is a true story and an original comedy by Robert Tollman of the turning point in the battle for the Owen Stanley Mountains in New Guinea. Carl F. Fullithka was the major’s name and he came from the USA and the mules were a decisive factor in an important victory in the South Pacific.
  36. Dear Funny Face, Originally broadcast 08/30/1943. A tribute to the Seabees (Construction Battalions).
  37. Double Play, Originally broadcast 09/06/1943. The story of two brothers, both in love with the same girl, and how they used a double play to sink a Japanese ship.
  38. Iron Camels, Originally broadcast 09/13/1943. The U. S. Army Transportation Corps keeps the ammo trains running during the battle of Tunisia. Good radio! Iron Camels is the story of a modern Casey Jones, a story about the railroads and the railroad men of the army transportation corps and the vital part they played in the winning of Tunisia. It is a true story based on a detailed report of a correspondent in North Africa.
  39. The Vengeance Of Torpedo 8, Originally broadcast 09/20/1943. The Vengeance of Torpedo Eight is the story of adventure and daring starring Randolph Scott as Lieutenant Harold Larson. It is a story of heroism in the Pacific as the men of the United States Navy torpedo bomber squadron avenge the death of forty-two of their comrades over Midway.
  40. Continue Unloading, Originally broadcast 10/04/1943. Cavalcade tells of the gallant part played by the United States Coastguard in the invasion of Sicily. Some 3000 naval vessels took part in this the greatest invasion force in history and it took only 72 hours to put men, tanks, munitions, fuel, food and freedom ashore.
  41. Bob Hope Reports, Originally broadcast 10/11/1943. Bob recreates his first tour of the front in June, 1943. The program features memories of his trip to England, Algiers, Sicily, Iceland. The broadcast originates from Hollywood and marks the start of the program’s ninth year on the air. Cavalcade of America re-enacts the greatest odyssey of laughter of this or any war. It is the story of Frances Langford, Tony Romano, Jack Pepper and Bob Hope who armed with music and humor brought a touch of America to the men who0 have seen their comrades dies for America. Out of these four comrades Bob Hope is here to tell the nation how the American industry ranks with gun, flame, fame and factory as a fighting weapon of war.
  42. Take Her Down, Originally broadcast 10/25/1943. The famous story of Commander Howard Gilmore, the submariner who gave his life so that his ship could be saved.
  43. The Wise Mad General, Originally broadcast 11/29/1943. A story based on “Mutiny In January,” by Carl Van Doren. A group of sergeants and enlisted men rebel against their officers during the Revolutionary War, but refuse to become traitors.
  44. Bullseye For Sammy, Originally broadcast 01/03/1944. A sailor with a bad attitude goes AWOL, but is given a second chance to become a good sailor aboard a sub chaser.
  45. Here Is Your War, Originally broadcast 01/10/1944. Excellent stories by Ernie Pyle, as written with the troops in North Africa. The script was used previously on “Words At War” on November 2, 1943 and subsequently on “Words At War” on June 13, 1944.
  46. Terrence O’Toole, MP, Originally broadcast 01/17/1944. A member of the Military Police, who expects to spend the war guarding prisoners, finds himself in the thick of combat action. Gayne Whitman reports on the progress being made with tinned foods.
  47. Odyssey To Freedom, Originally broadcast 03/06/1944. The story of Edward Kowalski, who escaped from two Nazi Concentration camps, came to America and joined the U. S. Navy to fight again! A good action yarn.
  48. So Sorry No Mercy, Originally broadcast 03/27/1944. The story of Royal Arch Gunnison, broadcaster for the Mutual radio network, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese. Royal Arch Gunnison appears on the program and speaks at the end of the story, with words of encouragement to people still under the domination of the Japs. “Hold out,” he says, “We are coming back!”
  49. A Ship To Remember, Originally broadcast 05/22/1944. The story of the building of the aircraft carrier “Hornet.” General Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo was made from her decks, she was in the battle of Midway, and sunk “The Hornet.”
  50. Tokyo Spearhead, Originally broadcast 06/19/1944. Tokyo Spearhead is the story of a company of American infantry, 82 men from Michigan led by a sergeant who in the darkest hours of the Pacific campaign fought not only against a human enemy but against cold and heat, hunger, sickness and despair and who by a fabulous march across the Owen Stanley Mountains of New Guinea turned the tide against the Japanese invaders.
  51. Lovely Lady, Originally broadcast 07/24/1944. During the invasion of Sicily, a Private and his bulldozer perform a miracle while building a bridge and doing the impossible.
  52. A Walk In The Sun, Originally broadcast 08/07/1944. A classic war adventure about an American platoon on assignment…somewhere in Italy.
  53. The Story Of Canine Joe, Originally broadcast 08/21/1944. An All-American collie goes to war!
  54. Name Rank Serial Number, Originally broadcast 01/08/1945. Four captured American aviators are questioned by Nazi intelligence and unknowingly reveal important information. The program is based on an AAF training film written by Harold Medford entitled, “Resisting Enemy Interrogation.”
  55. Immortal Wife, Originally broadcast 01/15/1945. The story of Jesse Benton Fremont, wife of the famous American explorer, soldier and statesman John Fremont. The broadcast originates from Hollywood.


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