On this day in 1953, the first Thomas Davis lecture was broadcast on Radio Éireann. The 'Thomas Davis Lectures' series set out to introduce the listening public to the best in Irish scholarship and cover a broad range of subjects from the arts and sciences. They quickly became one of Radio Éireann's most important programme features and continue to be broadcast every autumn and winter.

As General Features Officer, Francis MacManus produced the series from 1953 to 1965.

On 2 December 1966, the first of the three-part series 'Forty Years of Irish Radio' looked at the history of Radio Éireann and the Arts. In this radio clip, Professor Kevin B. Nowlan explains how the Thomas Davis style of lecture programming was devised.

'Forty Years of Irish Radio' was presented by P.P. Maguire.

The accompanying image shows Professor Kevin B. Nowlan on the programme 'Treaty Debate' in 1972. © RTÉ Archives 0053/050