Arts Society & Culture

‘Peabody Decades’ explores UGA archives’ collection

Twice-monthly screenings to showcase TV, radio shows from 1940s and beyond

Athens, Ga. – The George Foster Peabody Awards and the Peabody Collection at the University of Georgia will launch “The Peabody Decades,” a series of screenings from the archives. Each month will highlight a different decade, with the first screening featuring a montage of historical clips compiled from television and radio programs from the archives, and the second screening featuring a full-length movie from the decade.

“The Peabody Decades” screenings will be held at 7 p.m. the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. The series kicks off Sept. 10 with 1940s-themed refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and viewings at 7 p.m. Themed “America in the 1940s: More than the Home Front,” the presentations will include children’s programs, news stories and public service programming from throughout the decade to paint a fuller picture of the World War II era. Included will be a 1948 installment of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” with original host and series creator, Martha Rountree; a clip from the classic children’s series “Howdy Doody;” excerpts from some forgotten shows from that decade, such as “Mr. I. Magination,” and “The Black Robe,” an early courtroom drama; and more.

The Sept. 24 screening will showcase “The Tuskegee Airmen,” a Peabody Award-winning made-for-TV movie about the black aviators who overcame racism to become the “Fighting 99th,” the first squadron of African-American fighter pilots in World War II. The movie features actors Laurence Fishburne, Andre Braugher and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Each screening features clips chosen by a UGA undergraduate, who has also curated an exhibit about the period. And following the multi-clip screenings, the student curator and a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication from the decade being showcased will host a dialogue. Single-show screenings will be followed by a discussion led by a UGA professor.

With the exception of December, the Peabody Decades series will proceed chronologically, twice monthly, through the spring of 2014. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.

The October screenings (Oct. 8 and 22) will address the 1950s and the November screenings (Nov. 5 and 19) will look at the 1960s.

The 1950s montage on Oct. 8 will include episodes or excerpts from Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now,” “The Ed Sullivan Show” and the early sitcom “Mr. Peepers.” On Oct. 22, the featured movie will be “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” the original live-TV version of Rod Serling’s drama, starring Jack Palance as an aging boxer on the ropes.

“Our series uses the Peabody Awards Collection, the largest broadcasting archives in the Southeast, to tell stories about radio, television and history,” said Mary L. Miller, an archivist at UGA. “The Peabody Collection is like a giant time capsule. The archive houses not just Peabody Award winners from more than 70 years, but just about everything that has ever been entered in the competition.”

All screenings and open to the general public. Evening event parking will be available in UGA’s Hull Street Parking Deck.

The Peabody Awards, the oldest in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students, and staff. For more information regarding the Peabody Awards program, see

The Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection is one of the largest broadcasting archives in the country, with over 250,000 titles preserved in film, audio and videotape, and other recording formats. The only public archive in Georgia devoted solely to the preservation of audiovisual materials, the Brown Media Archives holds programs dating from the 1920s to the present day. For more information, see or visit the exhibit space in UGA’s Russell Special Collections Building.

UGA Grady College
Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.