The former chief of the National Archives and Records
Administration's (NARA) Motion Picture, Sounds and Recording Branch has been
convicted of selling off some of those national treasures to the highest
bidders on eBay.
A U.S. District Judge have Leslie Charles Waffen, 67, 18
months in prison for stealing, storing in his home, and selling over $80,0000
worth of sound recordings, including from the first televised World Series game
in 1948 featuring Red Barber, over a period of eight years, according to the
Department of Justice.
The conviction was based on DOJ's seizure of 4,806 sound
recordings, most of which came from the collection of a radio engineer for CBS,
NBC and Mutual Radio who donated his collection to the archives in the mid-1970s.
Waffen also sold master radio recordings of a Babe Ruth
interview from 1937 and the famous Herbert Morrison ("Oh, the
humanity") eyewitness account of the Hindenburg disaster.