• The Lone Ranger is an American radio and television show created by George W. Trendle and developed by Fran Striker. The title character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by George Seaton (radio), but more famously by Clayton Moore (television), who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic Native American sidekick, Tonto. Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as Kemo Sabe, meaning "trusty scout". Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would shout "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" as the horse galloped toward the setting sun, followed by someone asking "Who was that masked man, anyway?" The sayings, as well as the theme music from the William Tell Overture, are indelibly stamped in the memories of perhaps millions of Americans who came of age during the decades of the show's popularity.

    Watch the first TV episode of The Lone Ranger and learn his story and how he met Tonto. Notice that Tonto made the Lone Ranger's mask, suggested his name, AND named his horse Silver. "Me Tonto pretty smart."

  • Robin Hood is an heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor," assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men." Traditionally in films Robin and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. Some accounts give the colour worn by Robin as scarlet or red, which may provide an explanation for the name "Robin" as well as "Will Scarlet".

    Robin Hood became a popular folk figure starting in medieval times continuing through modern literature, films, and television. In the earliest sources Robin Hood is a commoner, but he was often later portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossessed of his lands and made into an outlaw by an unscrupulous sheriff.

  • The Green Hornet is a masked superhero, created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for an American radio program in the 1930s. The character also has appeared in film serials in the 1940s, a network television program in the 1960s, and multiple comic book series from the 1940s to the present (2010). Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most incarnations the Green Hornet is Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher by day who goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity at night to fight crime as a vigilante, accompanied by his similarly masked Asian Wheelman Kato -- who drives their car, equipped with advanced technology, called "Black Beauty". The Green Hornet is often presented as possessing fair to above average hand-to-hand combat skills and is often armed with a gun that sprays knock-out gas (a sonic blast weapon called the "Hornet's Sting" was added to his arsenal for the television series).

    Originally, the radio program was to be called The Hornet, but the name was changed to The Green Hornet so that it could be more easily trademarked. One relatively minor aspect of the character that tends to be given limited exposure in the actual productions is his blood relationship to The Lone Ranger, another character created by Striker. The Lone Ranger's nephew was Dan Reid. In the Green Hornet radio shows, the Hornet's father was likewise named Dan Reid, making Britt Reid the Lone Ranger's great-nephew.

  • Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 - July 6, 1998), was an American singer and cowboy actor, as well as the namesake of the Roy Rogers Restaurants chain. He and his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog, Bullet, were featured in over one hundred movies and The Roy Rogers Show. The show ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often either Pat Brady, (who drove a jeep called "Nellybelle") or the crotchety George "Gabby" Hayes. Roy's nickname was "King of the Cowboys". Dale's nickname was "Queen of the West."

  • Sky King is a 1940s and 1950s American radio and television adventure series. The title character is Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler (or Skyler) "Sky" King. The series was likely based on a true-life person, Jack Cones, the Flying Constable of Twentynine Palms during the 1930s. Although it had strong cowboy show elements, King always captured criminals and even spies and found lost hikers using his plane.

    King's personal plane was called the Songbird. Though he changed from one plane to another over the course of the series, the later plane was not given a number (i.e., "Songbird II"), but was simply known as Songbird. He and his niece, Penny (and sometimes Clipper, his nephew) lived on the Flying Crown Ranch, near the (fictitious) town of Grover, Arizona. Penny and Clipper were also pilots, though still relatively inexperienced and looking to their uncle for guidance and mentoring. Penny was an accomplished air racer and rated multiengine pilot, who Sky trusted to fly the Songbird.

  • Burns and Allen, an American comedy duo consisting of George Burns and his wife, Gracie Allen, worked together as a comedy team in vaudeville, films, radio and television and achieved substantial success over three decades.

    Burns and Allen met in 1922 and first performed together at the Hill Street Theatre in Newark, New Jersey, continued in small town vaudeville theaters, married January 27, 1926 and moved up a notch when they signed with the Keith-Albee-Orpheum circuit in 1927. Burns wrote most of the material and played the straight man. Allen played a silly, addle-headed woman, a role often attributed to the "Dumb Dora" stereotype common in early 20th-century vaudeville comedy. Early on, the team had played the opposite roles until they noticed that the audience was laughing at Gracie's straight lines, so they made the change. In later years, each attributed their success to the other.

  • The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century comedy.

  • Amos 'n' Andy is a situation comedy based on stock sketch comedy characters but set in the African-American community. It was very popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s on both radio and television.

    Amos and Andy began as one of the first radio comedy series, written and voiced by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll and originating from station WMAQ in Chicago. After the program was first broadcast in 1928, it grew to become a huge influence on radio series that followed. The show ran as a nightly radio serial from 1928 until 1943, as a weekly situation comedy from 1943 until 1955, and as a nightly disc-jockey program from 1954 until 1960. A television adaptation ran on CBS-TV from 1951 until 1953, and continued in syndicated reruns from 1954 until 1966.

  • Gang Busters was an American dramatic radio program heralded as "the only national program that brings you authentic police case histories." It premiered as G-Men, sponsored by Chevrolet, on July 20, 1935.

    After the title was changed to Gang Busters January 15, 1936, the show had a 21-year run through November 20, 1957. Beginning with a barrage of loud sound effects — a shrill police whistle, convicts marching in formation, police siren wailing, machine guns firing, and tires squealing — this intrusive introduction led to the popular catchphrase "came on like Gang Busters" - followed by a voice over a megaphone or loudspeaker announcing the title of that night's program: "Tonight, Gangbusters presents the Case of the ---" and ending with more blasts from a police whistle.

  • The Hindenburg Disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed as it was attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, which is located adjacent to the borough of Lakehurst, New Jersey. Of the 97 people on board, 35 people died in addition to one fatality on the ground. The disaster was the subject of spectacular newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness report from the landing field, which was broadcast the next day. The actual cause of the fire remains unknown, although a variety of theories have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The accident served to shatter public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship, and marked the end of the airship era.

  • The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers. One of the most famous pulp heroes of the 20th century, The Shadow has been featured in comic books, comic strips, television, video games, and at least five motion pictures. The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles.

  • The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds.

    The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated "news bulletins", which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a 'sustaining show' (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program's verisimilitude. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles' fame.