Alcoa Hour

Season 1 Episode 10

Tragedy in a Temporary Town

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 19, 1955 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Tragedy in a Temporary Town
A vigilante group is formed after a girl is assaulted at a construction camp. The mob descends on an innocent Puerto Rican victim and the hero opposes the frightening mob.

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  • An innocent Puerto Rican worker is accused by other white workers in a construction camp of sexual assault on a white girl and becomes the target of mob justice.

    I saw Tragedy in a Temporary Town when I was a mere lad of 12, and it made a profound impact on me. Growing up in a family in which attitudes toward race and racial justice were, to say it politiely, about the same as they were in most other white families in 1950s small town America, I had not previously been exposed to the ideas presented in this broadcast, and the show entirely changed my way of thinking on those subjects, for which I am grateful. The script was powerful and the acting, to my mind at that tender age, was strong and memorable. I imagine that those involved with the program received a lot of negative mail, because America at that time, when Hollywood was turning out for mass consumption such socially conscious films as The Glass Bottomed Boat and Pillow Talk, did not take kindly to those who pointed out the flaws in our society; McCarthyism, though somewhat discredited, was still an active force. All these years, I have carried the memory of this program and remembered the title, but not until today did I think to look it up on the web. I wonder when, if ever, some of these grand and thoughtful and thought provoking shows from the Golden Age of television will become available in formats for modern viewers. I would love to see it again, and I'm sure there must be others like me.moreless

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