Good evening and thank you for joining us. On tonight’s broadcast, we’ll be discussing a time-honored tradition that has for decades been a source of joy, a focal point for debate, and a way to bring friends and family together. On this day, August 20, we celebrate National Radio Day, and we’ll be coming to you on all frequencies. A favorite song. A famous speech. Shocking news that changed the world. Over the years, listeners have experienced all of the above through the advent of the radio. And while the internet plays a huge role in how we listen to people and music these days, the radio is still an enormous part of that. While the invention of the radio was a decades-long process that slowly culminated into what we know today.
Why We Love National Radio Day
A. Radio changed the world
Prior to radio technology, all we had to spread news and information was word of mouth and paper. Enter radio, and the world has a completely new form of communicating. It opened the floodgates for advertising, the music industry, government transparency, real-time news, and opinion sharing.
B. It’s where we heard our favorite song
Studies have shown the songs we hear in our adolescence are the ones that stick with us for a lifetime. Even with streaming services online, radio is still one of the most ubiquitous forms of music consumption, and we all still remember the moment we first heard that perfect song.
C. It paved the way for future technologies
As with all innovations, radio changed the way the average person saw communication. All of a sudden, we could speak across the country at the speed of light, and that undoubtedly inspired countless scientists to wonder, “what’s next?” From radio to TV and onto digital communications, it’s easy to see why we all owe a debt of gratitude to radio.
How to Celebrate National Radio Day
1. Donate to your local public broadcast station
While it’s easy to romanticize radio, it’s important to remember that it’s a much smaller industry than it used to be. Public broadcasting stations survive on donations, so to keep the world of radio alive, it’s important to do your part and give a little. Think of it as a way to say thank you for all the information and music you’ve received over the years.
2. Promote radio
Whether it’s commercial, noncommercial, AM, or FM, National Radio Day is your chance to show why radio is important to you. Do this by sharing your thoughts on social media under the hashtag #NationalRadioDay. Last year, more than 20,000 tweets were sent out, but organizers hope this year will see far more than that. Jump in and join the conversation!
3. Get yourself a fixer-upper
If you know even a little about electronics, try your hand at buying an old radio from an antique store or thrift store, and see what you can get spinning inside. Sometimes all it takes is a little cleaning and tuning, and you can be listening to modern summer tunes on a 1950s radio, just like you used to do.
National Radio Day - Key Moments
The Radio Act of 1927 created the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) (Renamed the FCC in 1934)
KDKA receives the first US radio broadcasting license
Violins and the BIble
On Christmas Eve, Reginald Fessenden broadcasts the first radio program: some violin playing and passages from the Bible
Radio Is Born
Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi sends and receives his first radio signal