Science, politics and music that moved us

25 recordings preserved by National Registry

We don't think much about the Internet winging messages across the globe at blinding speeds, but in 1925 the first broadcast that spanned the Atlantic was a technological marvel.

A recording of that broadcast joins the world's best-selling album, political speeches, a collection of Navajo songs and pop, blues, country, jazz and musical theater classics among recordings newly earmarked for preservation for future generations.

Librarian of Congress James Billington on Wednesday announced the 25 additions to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress as part of its efforts to preserve the nation's aural history by archiving recordings deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."

The inductees range from Michael Jackson's 1982 all-time best-seller "Thriller" and T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday but Tuesday Is Just as Bad" to the 1977 record of Earth sounds that flew aboard the spacecraft Voyager in the event alien life forms encountered the craft. Other recordings added to the registry include works by Roy Orbison, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Kitty Wells and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and the original cast recording of "My Fair Lady."

Appropriately in an election year, this year's list also includes President Truman's 1948 speech at the Democratic National Convention and future President Reagan's radio broadcasts from 1976-79. New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reading comics to children during a 1945 newspaper delivery strike also made the cut.

A technological breakthrough in broadcasting was included: the first trans-Atlantic broadcast. The 37-minute broadcast originated in London, traveled by land line to station 5XX in Chelmsford, then crossed the pond and was picked up by an RCA transmitter in Maine and relayed to WJZ New York and WRC Washington.
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