TR (transatlantic radio)

GK: Today is the anniversary of the first transatlantic radio call in 1903, the beginning of the era of international communications. Between two towers, one in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod, and one on the English coast in Cornwall. President Theodore Roosevelt in Wellfleet, and His Majesty King Edward VII in Cornwall.

TR (NYER): (TAPPING ON MIC) Is this thing on? Hello? hello hello. (OFF) There's no one there.

FN (BRIT): Hello.

TR: Hello?

FN (BRIT): Can you hear me?

TR: I can, loud and clear. To whom am I speaking?

FN (BRIT): It's Ee-velyn. I'm the chief engineer.

TR: That's odd. You sound like a man.

FN (BRIT): I am a man.

TR: Evelyn?

FN (BRIT): Eevelyn. In our country, Eevelyn is a man's name.

TR: Oh. And you're actually qualified to run a radio transmitter.

FN (BRIT): Yes, of course. To whom am I speaking?

TR: Chuck.

FN (BRIT): Very well, Chook. And do you have the President of the United States there with you?

TR: Yes, indeed. He is standing by.

FN (BRIT): Standing by what?

TR: By the microphone. And do you have the King?

FN (BRIT): His Royal Highness Edward VII is prepared to speak, yes, and to send his greetings in behalf of the British Empire.

TR: Very well. And I believe Mr. Roosevelt will go first.

FN (BRIT): Yes, it's customary that royalty have the last word.

TR: Oh really. "Customary." This is radio broadcasting, Evelyn. A whole new enterprise. "Customary" doesn't carry much water here.

FN (BRIT): It's Eevelyn. Not Evelyn. Eevelyn.

TR: Whatever you wish, Evelyn. And whom shall say the last farewell.

FN (BRIT): His Royal Highness, of course.

TR: I hardly think so. We are originating this broadcast, sir.

FN (BRIT): I beg to differ ---- this is the origination point.

TR: Well, pardon my French, but au contraire, mon cher.

FN (BRIT): Let me ask Mr. Marconi. (TR OFF, ITALIAN)

He says that the King shall say farewell last.

TR: Very well. Are you ready?

FN (BRIT): Ready and willing, my good man. (OFF) Okay, bring him up. Here we go, Your Majesty. Step up on the footstool. Let me hold the sword.)

TR (NYER): Right here, Mr. President. Put your mouth up close.

TR (UPPER CLASS, HIGH-PITCHED): Your Majesty, this is the Right Honorable Theodore Roosevelt and on behalf of the American people I do now extend cordial greetings and good wishes to yourself and to all the people of the British Empire. Thank you very much.

FN (HE CLEARS THROAT, AND THEN AGAIN, AND MORE SOFTLY AGAIN, AND AGAIN): Mr. Roosevelt, We accept your greeting and good wishes and we hereby reciprocate with the cordial good wishes of the people of England and all of the British Empire for a happy new year and for friendly and tranquil relations between our two great nations. Most cordially, HRH Edward R.

TR: (CLEARS THROAT) And I accept your greetings and I sincerely reciprocate likewise.

FN (BRIT): Thank you, my good man, and good night.


TR: And also to you, your majesty.

FN (BRIT): Are you still there?

TR: I am. How does one hang up?

FN (BRIT): I believe that one simply walks away.

TR: Very well. After you, Your Majesty.

FN (BRIT): Please, you first, Mr. Roosevelt.

TR: I wish you a safe journey to your home, Your Majesty.

FN (BRIT): Indeed, sir, and also to you.

TR: I trust we shall meet someday.

FN (BRIT): I share your wish, sir.

TR: Was there anything else you wished to say?

FN (BRIT): No, sir.

TR: Oh. It sounded as if you were just about to add another thought.

FN (BRIT): No, sir. We believe that we have come to the end, so I shall say goodnight to you and to all who may be listening.

TR: Thank you. This concludes this historic radio transmission, January 18, 1903.

FN (BRIT): It was our pleasure.