The Simmons Program

The Simmons Program was a series of five programs broadcast on the NBC blue network. This was the first show ER hosted; her previous radio appearances had been guest segments. Her payment for the program went to the American Friends Service Committee to aid their relief work, but her acceptance of pay while First Lady still caused controversy.

The first episode aired July 9, 1934 from 10:00 to 10:30 pm. The show then went on hiatus, reappearing September 25, 1934 between 9:30 and 10:00 pm on Tuesdays.  A music segment of the program featured the Willard Robinson Orchestra. The ERPP has not found recordings of this program, so has transcribed from scripts. 

  • Episode 1: July 9, 1934. Broadcast from Chicago's Century of Progress International Exposition, ER discusses current events, including film censorship.
  • Episode 2: September 4, 1934. ER discusses the question, "When will a woman be president of the United States?"
  • Episode 3: September 11, 1934. ER discusses the question, "Do we need a new deal in our public school educational methods?"
  • Episode 4: September 19, 1934. ER discusses the question, "shall a woman be herself?" She also comments on the news, including a fire in Alaska, textile strikes and the Soviet entrance into the League of Nations.
  • Episode 5: September 25, 1934. In the final program for this series, ER discusses "a day in the White House" and comments on the day's news stories. She talks about German refugees in Europe, textile strikes and the Lindbergh baby.