In launching the radio show This I Believe in 1951, host Edward R. Murrow explained the need for such a radio program at that time in American history, and said his own beliefs were “in a state of flux.”
In his introduction, he states “We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion. A lot of us have traded in our beliefs for bitterness and cynicism, or for a heavy package of despair, or even a quivering portion of hysteria. Opinions can be picked up cheap in the marketplace, while such commodities as courage and fortitude and faith are in alarmingly short supply.”
Here, collected for the first time on CD, are selections from the original radio program. These essays, written by everyday people as well as notable historic figures highlighting their personal beliefs will undoubtedly remind you that although the times have changed, the concerns and contemplations of the average American are surprisingly unchanged, and that even during the most trying times, the American spirit and the human desire to be better is as alive as ever.
This I Believe, Inc., was founded in 2004 as a not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives.
This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.
In reviving This I Believe, executive producer Dan Gediman says, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”
Edward R. Murrow hosted This I Believe from 1951 to 1955. The newsman gained acclaimed for his CBS Radio broadcasts from London during World War II. His television documentaries for “See it Now" and “CBS Reports" tackled subjects ranging from Joseph McCarthy to farm worker rights. Murrow died of complications from lung cancer in 1965.