Don Michel "Insight" Radio Program collection, 1960-1978
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Brief Description:

"Insight," a public affairs program, was broadcast on radio station WRAJ in Anna (Union County), Illinois, between 1965 and 1977.  Don Michel, owner and operator of WRAJ, hosted "Insight" and interviewed interesting people both in WRAJ's studios and at various locations around the nation.

The collection of 453 interviews includes such national celebrities as Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Arthur Godfrey, Colonel Sanders, Spiro Agnew, Ann Landers, Peter Jennings, Danny Thomas, Nancy Reagan, and Ralph Nader. Michel also interviewed many local people, from Anna church elders to the chief of police to the winner of a youth competition at the Anna fair. Southern Illinois University figures on record include Delyte Morris, John Y. Simon, and Buckminster Fuller. Michel also interviewed returning Vietnam veterans and former prisoners of war.  Together, this collection of interviews brings to life the social, cultural, and political currents of the 1960s and 1970s in southern Illinois and beyond.

Alerted by tickertape, Don Michel covered the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy from Anna, contacting the Dallas police by phone and talking to an officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald.  Michel's continuing interest in the assassination led to interviews in New Orleans with Oswald's landlord, a co-worker, and others, as well as coverage of the Warren Commission findings and the investigations of New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison.

The series was sponsored on WRAJ by the First National Bank of Cobden.

Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/6/MSS 290
Created by: Michel, Don (1931-)
Volume: 15.0 Boxes
Acquired: 08/28/2009.
Arrangement: The programs are preserved on audio tape reels in boxes numbered to facilitate their retrieval by referring to the computerized listing which is sortable by name of persons interviewed, by subjects and by date of the broadcasts.
Biographical Note for Michel, Don (1931-) : Don Michel was born in 1931 and moved to Anna, Illinois in 1957 to begin his career in broadcasting. He began work as an engineer, announcer, program director and salesman at the WRAJ radio station while starting a family with his wife Marian. The couple had two children, and lived in Anna during Michel's long career in broadcast radio. As a radio broadcaster he was able to interview many big names, including Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Harry Reasoner, and Senator Paul Simon, but also kept a great deal of local color involved in the broadcast, interviewing local politicians and long time residents. He was on the air the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and was able to interview the police officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. Don Michel eventually bought the radio station in 1975, later selling it as his children grew up and went on to careers in television.  In 1992 Michel was the coordinator of  Southern Illinois Citizens for Perot,  part of the Illinois Citizens for Perot, which collected petitions to get Ross Perot on the ballot in Illinois for U. S. President.
Access Restrictions: Reel-to-reel tapes have been digitized.  Researchers should contact repository for access to the digitized recording.
Subject Index
Anna (Ill.) - History
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 - Assassination
Michel, Don, 1931-
Oswald, Lee Harvey.
Radio broadcasters
Radio broadcasters - Illinois - History
Radio stations
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Genres/Forms of Material
Agnew, Spiro T., 1918-1996 - Interviews
Cronkite, Walter. - Interviews
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983 - Interviews
Godfrey, Arthur, 1903-1983 - Interviews
Hope, Bob, 1903-2003 - Interviews
Jennings, Peter, 1938-2005. - Interviews
Landers, Ann. - Interviews
Morris, Delyte W., 1906-1982 - Interviews
Nader, Ralph. - Interviews
Radio interviews
Reagan, Nancy, 1923- - Interviews
Reasoner, Harry, 1923-1991. - Interviews
Sanders, Harland, 1890-1980 - Interviews
Simon, John Y. - Interviews
Simon, Paul, 1928-2003. - Interviews
Sound recordings
Thomas, Danny - Interviews
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 - Veterans - Interviews
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Technical Access Notes: Digital surrogates will only be provided for research use.
Acquisition Notes: Don Michel  Donated by Don Michel.
Related Materials: Don Michel 'Insight' Radio Interviews (Southern Illinois University Carbondale) For more information please see
PreferredCitation: [Item], Don Michel "Insight" radio programs collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.