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COLLECTION Identifier: HUG 4532.20

Recording of a radio address given by Abbott Lawrence Lowell on the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, February 17, 1932

Overview

Abbott Lawrence Lowell 1856-1943) was president of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933. Politically, Lowell was strongly opposed to appeasement in foreign affairs and argued for a stronger international reaction against Japanese aggression in China during the 1930s. On February 17, 1932, speaking as a private citizen, Lowell made a radio address to the nation supporting United States participation in a League of Nations economic boycott of Japan as punishment for its invasion of Manchuria. The collection consists of an original phonographic record, three compact disks (two preservation masters, one use copy), and two audiocassette tapes (one preservation master, one use copy), featuring Lowell’s radio address.

Dates

  • February 17, 1932

Creator

Restrictions on access

Open for research with the following exceptions: the original phonograph record and preservation master copies are not available due to fragility.

Restrictions on use

Use restrictions are noted in the item list below.

Extent

0.14 cubic feet
3 compact discs
2 audiocassettes
1 phonograph records
The collection consists of an original phonographic record, three compact disks (two preservation masters, one use copy), and two audiocassette tapes (one preservation master, one use copy), featuring a radio address given by Abbott Lawrence Lowell to the American people on February 17, 1932 after Japan’s invasion of Manchuria. The radio address also includes an introduction given by Dr. Harry A. Garfield, President of Williams College, who over the years had worked with Lowell on questions of foreign policy and international relations. Lowell’s radio address was broadcast by the National Broadcasting Company at WEEI studios in Boston, Massachusetts, at 10:30pm over a nation-wide radio hookup.

Phonograph record timeline (taken from compact disk, use copy C (6:57):
  1. 0:00-0:20: An introduction of Dr. Harry A. Garfield, President of Williams College, by the radio announcer
  2. 0:21-2:13: Garfield introduces Lowell to the audience as an expert and scholar on international affairs and well-qualified to give his opinion on the Sino-Japanese conflict
  3. 2:14-6:37: Abbott Lawrence Lowell’s address to the American people
  4. 6:38-6:57: Closing statement by the radio announcer, publicizing the name of the radio station

Historical Note

Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856-1943) was president of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933. Politically, Lowell was strongly opposed to appeasement in foreign affairs and argued for a stronger international reaction against Japanese aggression in China during the 1930s. On February 17, 1932, speaking as a private citizen, Lowell made a radio address to the nation supporting United States participation in a League of Nations economic boycott of Japan as punishment for its invasion of Manchuria. Arguing that “nations, like men, may be called upon to take momentous decisions,” Lowell submitted that the League could not enforce an economic boycott without the support of the United States. Customarily cautious when making public statements on matters of importance, Lowell broke his long-standing determination not to deliver radio addresses because he felt the severity of the international situation warranted it. Lowell’s address was used as the basis for a petition (signed by university and college presidents) delivered to President Herbert Hoover, calling on Hoover to signify that the United States would join the League of Nations economic boycott. No subsequent action against Japan was taken either by the League of Nations or the United States.

Arrangement

The records are arranged in three groups: original phonograph record, preservation masters, and use copies.

Acquisition Information

The acquisition information is unknown.

Existence and Location of Copies

Researchers may use compact disk or audiocassette tape copies.

References

  • Cleveland Plain Dealer, 20 February 1932.
  • The Harvard Crimson, 18 February 1932.
  • Yeomans, Henry Aaron. Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1856-1943. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1948.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2019 March 19.
People
  1. Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943.
  2. Garfield, Harry Augustus, 1863-1942.
Groups
  1. Harvard University -- Presidents.
Topics
  1. Eastern question (Far East)
  2. Sino-Japanese Conflict, 1931-1933.
Places
  1. Manchuria (China) -- History -- 1931-1945.
  2. Japan -- Foreign relations -- China -- Manchuria.
  3. Manchuria (China) -- Foreign relations -- Japan.
Formats and genres
  1. Sound recordings.
  2. Phonograph records.
  3. Compact disks.
  4. Audiocassettes.

Processing Information

The material in this collection was first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. The material was reprocessed in 2013. Reprocessing involved a collection survey, enhanced description, and the creation of this finding aid.

This finding aid was created by Dominic P. Grandinetti in February 2014.
Link to catalog
Title
Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943. Recording of a radio address given by Abbott Lawrence Lowell on the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, February 17, 1932 : an inventory
Author
Harvard University Archives
EAD ID
hua36013

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
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