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"The Professor's Speech" - Historic WW 2 Radio Performance by Enid Professor


Wade Burleson and John Dwyer

Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, possesses quite a history avocation. In the course of a fascinating lunch discussion at Kamps 1910 Cafe, he enhanced our growing repository of remarkable Oklahoma-related World War 2 stories that will grace that chapter in our upcoming OKLAHOMANS 2 book. Following is the story, as related by Pastor Wade.

 

Darkness is all around England on December 25, 1939. The citizens of the British Empire are immersed in another world war, a few months before the events depicted in Christopher Nolan's new film epic DUNKIRK. Amid the gloom, King George VI resurrects The King's Christmas Message to all inhabitants of the vast Empire. He first spoke to England via radio in his famous talk "The King's Speech" just 15 weeks earlier (September 3, 1939), as he declared war on Germany. Now, during this Christmas Day speech of 1939, the king says that the Empire shall remain undaunted in the face of war in a speech that would become almost as famous as his earlier one. King George VI, not usually a compelling speaker, inspires and reassures his people by quoting a poem: "I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way. May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.'"