Contact: Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

October 3, 1995

Joseph Nathan Kane's Gift of Famous First Facts, Recordings and Scripts To Be Celebrated

Joseph Nathan Kane, the 96-year old radio host and author of the standard reference works, Famous First Facts, Facts About the States, and Facts About the Presidents, will be honored at the Library on Wednesday, October 11, at 2 p.m. in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The public is invited to attend.

The occasion will mark the donation to the Library by Mr. Kane of disc recordings (78 rpm) of his 1938-1939 radio show, "Famous First Facts," along with the original scripts and his vintage 1930s radio microphone. Archival tape copies of the recordings have been produced by the Magnetic Recording Laboratory of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS). Excerpts from the recordings will be played at the event, which is sponsored by MBRS, the National Reference Service, and the Center for the Book. Mr. Kane will speak briefly about his lifelong passion for uncovering "first facts" and his experiences of working in radio in the 1930s.

For 60 years, Joseph Nathan Kane has been recognized as a fact collector extraordinaire. Famous First Facts, now in its fifth edition, has been a standard reference book in American schools and libraries for more than 50 years, while Facts About the Presidents and Facts About the States seem destined for the same popularity and longevity. In addition to hosting his own radio program, Kane was the creator of questions and answers for many popular radio quiz shows in the 1930s and 1940s.

Prior to the program on Oct. 11, Mr. Kane will be honored at a luncheon hosted by his publisher, the H.W. Wilson Company.

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PR 95-134
10/3/95
ISSN 0731-3527

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