Cavalcade of America - The Arts, vol. 2


These historical dramatizations of humanitarian progress are true American hero tales featuring vintage music, intriguing interviews, and even Broadway & Hollywood adaptations.


Compass Classroom is delighted to present The Arts, vol. 2 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 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 The Arts, vol. 1 for even more exciting historical re-imaginings!

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.

Included in this download:

  • 49 30-min MP3 files tagged for use in iTunes or similar music database

Additional information


45 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. Ode To A Nightingale, Originally broadcast 04/07/1941. The story of John Keats, the great English poet, and his tragic life. An original radio play about John Keats tragic life, especially written for the Cavalcade of America. Our story begins in London in 1809. Upstairs over an old livery stable beside the Swan and Hoop Inn, young John Keats, barely fourteen years old, keeps a lonely vigil with his dying mother. Just before she passes away from tuberculosis, she tells John that she has signed the papers to appoint Mr Richard Abbey the guardian of her children, Fanny, George and Tom, as well as John himself.
  2. The Trials And Triumphs Of Horatio Alger, Originally broadcast 05/05/1941. The life story of the literary inventor of the “rags to riches” formula used in over one hundred boy’s books. An original radio play by Robert Tallman written especially for the Cavalcade of America. Horatio Alger struck an authentically American note in popular fiction, and to millions of youthful readers in this country his writing represented a fundamental trait in American character. The will to succeed. Such is the substance of over 100 books which have thrilled the young men of America for generations. Little did the boys who read them know, that the man who wrote them had his own trials and triumphs.
  3. Joel Chandler Harris, Originally broadcast 06/23/1941. The story of the modest, self-effacing author of the “Uncle Remus” stories of the South. The Cavalcade of America presents Karl Swenson in the story of Joel Chandler Harris an original radio play written by Arthur Miller. Joel Chandler Harris is recognized throughout the world as one our nations great writers of folklore whose tales of Uncle Remus have endeared him to millions.
  4. Red Lanterns On St. Michael’s, Originally broadcast 08/11/1941. The story of a daring plan to help the Southern cause during the Civil War, with the help of a submarine. + Drama based on the 1940 novel by Thornwell Jacobs set in Charleston during the civil war in the 1860’s. The longer the fighting goes on the more violent it gets. When the red lanterns are hung on the church tower of St Michaels it means that there is a fire. Perry White has some friends from the North so has a slight northern accent. By wearing a northern uniform he is infiltrated in to prison with a Yankee officer named Phil Barlow from whom he learns how to decipher union code. Perry asks that Phil Barlow can be freed in a prisoner exchange. Perry also comes to learn that the people of the North and the South are not enemies but kinsmen.
  5. Native Land Part 1, Originally broadcast 09/22/1941. Carl Sandburg was a poet and biographer, who wrote many, many pieces. The two he is the most remembered for, are the ones you will here today on this Cavalcade of America. He reads “The People, Yes!, and “Abraham Lincoln, The War Years”. It begins on Monday 22nd September 1941 at a time in Gaylesburg, Illinois, when some of the prairie was still grass. In the home of Carl Sandburg’s father, an immigrant Swede who could not write his own name, he dictates a letter to his young son…
  6. Native Land Part 2, Originally broadcast 09/29/1941. Stories about American women through the years, from the Revolutionary War to the “present.” Well done. Burgess Meredith narrates stories some old and some new of women of America and Judith Anderson plays the parts.
  7. Waters Of The Wilderness, Originally broadcast 10/13/1941. The first of Cavalcade’s shows to originate from Hollywood, this is a play based on Shirley Siefert’s best selling novel. It’s a romantic love story about the daring Colonel George Rogers Clark, of the Continental Army, and the beautiful sister of the Spanish governor of the old Trading Post of St Louis.
  8. All That Money Can Buy, Originally broadcast 10/20/1941. A story based on “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” which was also released as a film in 1941. Jabez Stone makes a deal with the Devil, then hires Daniel Webster to break the contract. The broadcast originates from Hollywood. + Based on the short, but cautionary tale of greed and power from Stephen Vincent Benét, this story begins in 1840 in New Hampshire. A young farmer named Jabez Stone is one of the debt-ridden, impoverished farmers faced with the grim prospect of needing to pay off a mortgage, but with nothing to pay it with. He is plagued with unending bad luck, until finally, at the end of his tether he swears ‘it’s enough to make a man want to sell his soul to the devil!’ And needless to say, if you speak of the devil, he doth appear…
  9. One Foot In Heaven, Originally broadcast 11/03/1941. This is the first radio performance of one of the great screen plays of the time, One Foot in Heaven. It is the story of a man of deep faith told with fine humor and great humanity, a story of the truest ideals of America. Frederic March reprises his original 1940 Warner Brothers Film role and Florence Eldridge plays the part portrayed by Martha Scott in the movie.
  10. Drums Along The Mohawk, Originally broadcast 11/10/1941. Drums Along the Mohawk is a thrilling saga of the American frontier, beginning in the year 1776, based on the best selling novel of the same name written by Walter D. Edmonds. This stirring pioneer theme with its powerful present day meaning was adapted for radio by special arrangement with Twentieth Century Fox Studios. Henry Fonda reprises his celebrated screen role as Gil Martin.
  11. They Died With Their Boots On, Originally broadcast 11/17/1941. Errol Flynn stars as General Custer in scenes from his new motion picture They Died With Their Boots On. The film was not yet released at the time of this broadcast. The imaginative screen treatment of a great American soldier, General George Armstrong Custer with its vivid theme of undying heroism is presented her by Cavalcade of America.
  12. So Red The Rose, Originally broadcast 11/24/1941. So Red the Rose was a best selling novel and exciting Paramount screen play in 1935. It is a colorful and romantic story of the old south and begins in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War. Aristocrat Valette Bedford has a romantic outlook on the war until it affects her personally and the true horror of war is brought home to her.
  13. I Was Married On Bataan, Originally broadcast 09/28/1942. The story of Army nurse Lieutenant Dorothea Engel, shortly after the Japanese attack on the Phillippines. In 1867 on June 19th as the light of dawn broke over the peak of mount Popocatépetl death by rifle fire was administered to Ferdinand Maximilian last emperor of Mexico. With it came liberty to a nation. More than any other, one man was responsible. He was Benito Juárez and it is his ever glorious story told here. Written by Arthur Miller.
  14. Listen To The People, Originally broadcast 07/05/1943. A poetic program about America on Independence Day. The epilogue by Carl Sandburg is read by Ethel Barrymore. In July 1943 Dupont salutes 167 years of American freedom as it presents Listen To The People by Stephen Vincent Benet starring Ethel Barrymore on the Cavalcade of America. Listen to the People sounded a prophetic warning when it was first presented on the 4th July in 1941 and here we hear it in retrospect. At the end of the program Ethel Barrymore reads a salutation to Stephen Benet by another American poet Carl Sandburg.In July 1943 Dupont salutes 167 years of American freedom as it presents Listen To The People by Stephen Vincent Benet starring Ethel Barrymore on the Cavalcade of America. Listen to the People sounded a prophetic warning when it was first presented on the 4th July in 1941 and here we hear it in retrospect. At the end of the program Ethel Barrymore reads a salutation to Stephen Benet by another American poet Carl Sandburg.
  15. Soldiers Of The Soil, Originally broadcast 11/22/1943. A story based on the DuPont sponsored film of the same name. A soldier returns to the farm after losing his sight, his brother feels that he must join the Marine Corps to take his brother’s place.
  16. G.I. Valentine, Originally broadcast 02/14/1944. Assisted by Tony Romano and his indispensable guitar and with June Lockhart as a pilot sweetheart Francis Langford gives us an account written by Frank Gabrielson the highlights of those 50,000 miles singing through the war telling us particularly of American women at war of the WACS, the Red Cross workers and the gallant army nurses.
  17. G.I. Circuit, Originally broadcast 03/20/1944. The adventures of a lady accordion player on a U. S. O/ tour in the jungles of the South Pacific.
  18. The Adventures Of Mark Twain, Originally broadcast 05/01/1944. Cavalcade of America brings you a radio play based on highlights of a notable motion picture, a new kind of humorous epic Warner Brothers inspiring production The Adventures of Mark Twain.
  19. Hymn From The Night, Originally broadcast 09/18/1944. The first show of the tenth season. The story of Julia Ward Howe and how she came to write, “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” The first show with Walter Huston as host.
  20. America For Christmas, Originally broadcast 12/25/1944. A well-done music-and-story tour around America.
  21. The Road To Berlin, Originally broadcast 02/05/1945. A program in honor of the fourth anniversary of the U.S.O. Bing re-creates his trip to Europe.
  22. The Spy On The Kilocycles, Originally broadcast 10/08/1945. Announced as Henry Fonda’s first acting role since leaving the service. Cavalcade presents Henry Fonda in the role of government agent Seldon Kramer in Spy On The Kilocycles. This is Henry Fonda’s first acting role after his three years service in World War II. For the first time the story can be told of how government agents checkmated an enemy spy invasion.
  23. Big Boy Blue, Originally broadcast 12/10/1945. The touching story of poet Eugene Field.
  24. That Powell Girl, Originally broadcast 12/16/1946. The story of the first woman violinist and how she pioneered the acceptance of women in the arts.
  25. Kansas Marshall, Originally broadcast 03/31/1947. The story of Wyatt Earp, Marshall of Wichita Kansas, a town that needed cleaning up. The script was based on the 1939 film.
  26. The School For Men, Originally broadcast 05/05/1947. Don’t let the title of the play School For Men fool you as this is a mystery story. Gregory Peck stars as Jim Davenport a detective who tells this his story of the time twelve weeks ago just after his training at the FBI school in Washington…
  27. The Man Who Took The Freedom Train, Originally broadcast 04/12/1948. A well-done fantasy set aboard “The Freedom Train.” Good radio!
  28. Thunder On The Hudson, Originally broadcast 05/03/1948. A dramatization of the life of Washington Irving, who wrote of the Hudson Valley at a time when no one had made writing a career in America.
  29. The Last Frontier, Originally broadcast 06/07/1948. An excellent biography of Frederick Remington, famous painter of the old west.
  30. The Exiled Heart, Originally broadcast 07/05/1948. Louisa May Alcott, the author of “Little Women,” finds the one romance of her life, with a Polish musician she meets while in Europe.
  31. Family Circle, Originally broadcast 12/13/1948. The story of one of America’s great theatrical families: the Otis Skinners.
  32. A Valentine For Sophia, Originally broadcast 02/14/1949. The love story of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody.
  33. Citizen Mama, Originally broadcast 04/04/1949. The story is based on the 1943 novel, “Mama’s Bank Account,” which was later the basis for the famous television series, “I Remember Mama.” Irene Dunne portrays the character Mamma which she made famous in the motion picture I Remember Mama in this Cavalcade production entitled Citizen Mama. In this original radio play daughter Catherine tells the further adventures of Mama and her handsome family.
  34. Footlights On The Frontier, Originally broadcast 06/13/1949. The story of Joseph Jefferson, the famous actor of the 19th century, and his friend Abraham Lincoln, who was a friend in need.
  35. This Little Plot Of Ground, Originally broadcast 10/11/1949. In this story This Little Plot of Ground Cornell Wilde portrays one of America’s first great writers Ralph Waldo Emerson usually thought of as a cold austere man of letters but in this story you will meet Emerson as a young man in love. The story is set in Boston in 1828.
  36. The Thinking Heart, Originally broadcast 02/07/1950. A selection of famous prose and poetry (by Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, several others) about Abraham Lincoln.
  37. Juliet In Pigtails, Originally broadcast 10/24/1950. The story of Mary Anderson, one of the stars of the American stage, and her dramatic debut performance.
  38. They Shall Have Music, Originally broadcast 06/26/1951. The story of Theodore Thomas, the German conductor who helped to introduce the music of “the masters” to American audiences, and was the founder of the Chicago Symphony.
  39. Wild Bill Hickok, Originally broadcast 11/06/1951. The Cavalcade of America presents an original musical melodrama Wild Bill Hickok the last of two gun justice, written by Peter Lyon featuring an original ballad specially composed and sung by Woody Guthrie famous for his dust bowl ballads.
  40. The Farmer Takes A Wife, Originally broadcast 11/20/1951. A story of romance along the Erie Canal.
  41. The Nurse Who Forgot Fear, Originally broadcast 04/08/1952. A good story about circus life, as seen by the widow of a circus man of long ago.
  42. Meet Artie Greengroin, Originally broadcast 04/22/1952. The adventures of a fictitious P. F. C. from Brooklyn. A comic character from the pages of “Yank.”
  43. The Yankee And The Scales, Originally broadcast 04/22/1952. The adventures of a fictitious P. F. C. from Brooklyn. A comic character from the pages of “Yank.”
  44. Patriot With The Chestnut Curls, Originally broadcast 08/26/1952. The fascinating story of a persistent Dane named Finn Magnus, and his invention of an inexpensive, mass-produced harmonica.
  45. Life On The Mississippi, Originally broadcast 02/24/1953. The well told adventures of Mark Twain as a riverboat pilot. This play is based on one of America’s classics, Life On The Mississippi starring Raymond Massey who as Mark Twain talks of the days long before he became a well known writer of the days when he was young Sam Clemens.


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