Jack and the Beanstalk is an English folktale. The tale is closely associated with the tale of Jack the Giant-killer, and is known under a number of versions. Benjamin Tabart’s moralized version of 1807 is the first appearance in print, but “Felix Summerly” (Henry Cole) popularized it in The Home Treasury (1842), and Joseph Jacobs rewrote it in English Fairy Tales (1890). Jacobs’s version is most commonly reprinted today and is believed to more closely adhere to the oral versions than Tabart’s, because it lacks the moralizing of that version.

Nila Mack (October 24, 1891, Arkansas City, Kansas – January 20, 1953, New York, New York) was the creator and director of Let’s Pretend, the long-running CBS radio series for children. She was the Director of Children’s Programs for CBS from 1930 to 1953.

Born Nila Mac, she was an only child. She added a “k” to her name because she felt “Mac” looked like a nickname. However, some sources, including her obituary in The New York Times, said her birth name was Nila MacLoughlin. Her mother, Margaret, was a dance instructor. Her father, Don Carlos, was a railroad engineer who died in a train accident when Nila was very young. After his death, she attended an Illinois finishing school, Ferry Hall in Lake Forest, and later took classes in both Arkansas City and Boston, financing her education by playing piano at her mother’s dance studio.

With the success of Let’s Pretend, CBS appointed her Director of Children’s Programs. The series ran from 1934 to 1954, garnering numerous awards, including two Peabody Awards, a Women’s National Radio Committee Award and five Radio Daily Awards.

Nila Mack died of a heart attack on January 20, 1953.


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