NEW YORK — CHARLES KURALT is resting in his Connecticut home between jaunts ``On the Road.'' He is amused by the segment just completed - about a man from South Bend, Ind., who makes a career out of firing an electronic cannon for concerts of Tchaikovsky's ``1812 Overture'' all over the United States.
Now, as he plans his next trip, he tells me by phone that he will head out again soon for the Midwest but will return to Washington, D.C., for the Sept. 5 education symposium CBS is televising from there.
He says he is impressed by the fact that the network is willing to move into advocacy on this subject.
``We don't do that very often,'' he says. ``A long time ago there was `Harvest of Shame,' where Murrow ended the program with: `These migrant workers haven't the strength to influence legislation; maybe we have.'
``That was shocking to me as a young reporter at the time, because I'd never heard anything like that before on network television. I come from this long tradition of `just give the news, please.'''
Why is there no mention of the home environment and bilingual education in the program, I ask. ``The subjects came up, but we decided that they are big, multifaceted subjects, and we were just not able to deal with them in the framework of this program. Maybe some other time....''
Kuralt hopes the program will ``stir people up on a local level. But people are more stirred up already than I thought when I started to work on the project. Many local affiliate stations have been devoting major resources to covering education in their communities.''
Kuralt feels that ``America's Toughest Assignment'' on CBS is ``a big and important show. It lifted my spirits to be part of a program that just says straight out what needs to be done.''