W2XBS Schedule, Week of November 19th, 1939

Here’s the schedule for NBC’s experimental station W2XBS in New York City for the week starting Sunday, November 19th, 1939, straight from the weekly television listings printed in The New York Times. The highlight of the week was the Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast on Thursday, November 23rd from Central Park West. The previous day, chef Rene Chaquaque presented Carving the Turkey, perhaps to help housewives prepare their Thanksgiving feasts. There were also plenty of films, some sporting events, another installment in “Wings Over the Nation,” and a play titled “Three Men on a Horse.”

Sunday, November 19th, 1939
2:15-4:45PM – Football: Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Green Bay Packers at Ebbets Field.
8:30-9:30PM – Sunday Varieties, with Paul Draper, tap dancer; explorers; Captain Johnny Craig; and the Harrison Sisters, quartet.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – “The Right and the Wrong of It,” Elizabeth Watts, fashion expert; films, “Gold Diggers of 1946” and “Touchdown”; Madge Tucker’s Radio Children.
8:30-9:30PM – Rene Chaquaque, chef, on Carving the Turkey; Bob Eichberg’s “Visi Quiz,” and a review of “A Treasury of Art Masterpieces,” with Mable Cobb, narrator.

Thursday, November 23rd, 1939
12-1PM – Thanksgiving Day parade on Central Park West.
8:30-9:45PM – Film, “Stolen Sweets,” with Sally Blane and Charles Starrett.

Friday, November 24th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – Films, “Take It Easy”; “Spanish Symphony”; “William Tell Overture”; “March of Time–Dixie U.S.A.”; “Streamlines.”
8:30-9:30PM – Play, “Three Men on a Horse.”

Saturday, November 25th, 1939
2:30-3:30PM – “Wings Over the Nation,” a series on aviation.
9-11PM – Boxing, at Ridgewood Grove.


“Listening-In On Distance.” New York Times. 19 Nov. 1939: X10.

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One Reply to “W2XBS Schedule, Week of November 19th, 1939”

  1. This was the first November that Thanksgiving was celebrated on the third Thursday of the month, instead of the fourth- President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially declared this primarily because he was trying to stimulate the economy by extending the Christmas shopping season by one week. The majority of Republicans, of course, went ballistic over this change, and the most ardent of them refused to celebrate the holiday until November 30th; this is why, in Tex Avery’s 1940 Warner Bros. cartoon “Holiday Highlights”, Thanksgiving is noted by TWO dates on the November (1940) calendar: the 21st {“For Democrats”} and the 28th {“For Republicans”}. And as late as 1942, in “Holiday Inn”, an animated transition sequence has a turkey moving back and forth between the third and fourth Thursdays on a November calendar, finally giving a bewildered shrug to the audience. Eventually, a joint resolution of Congress officially established that the holiday be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November (effective in 1942), where it remains to this day.

    “The March Of Time” short, “Dixie U.S.A.” (shown on the 24th), had previously been released to theaters in May of ’39. Apparently, Time, Inc. had no objections to W2XBS presenting some of their recent “MOT” shorts on TV…so, although no recent theatrical films were seen on Channel 1, certain editions of “The March Of Time” WERE occasionally telecast.

    “Stolen Sweets”, however, was a 1934 “confection” (from the defunct “Poverty Row” studio, Chesterfield) featurng Sally Blane and Charles Starrett in a romantic tale [what else COULD it have been?] involving a rich society gal in love with a less aflluent, happy-go-lucky guy…just before she’s scheduled to be married…guess how it turned out?

    “Three Men On A Horse” was originally a Broadway play (by George Abbott & John Cecil Holm), and was staged nunemous times, on film and on TV {a 1957 “PLAYHOUSE 90” adaptation starred Jack Carson}.

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