It’s National Radio Day!


August 20, 2019

National Radio Day, observed each year on August 20, celebrates the impact that the radio has had on American life since its invention. We take for granted today the ability to communicate and receive information almost anywhere and at anytime, but the advent of radio radically transformed and improved life for people all over the world, beginning in the early 20th century. People in rural areas, always the last to receive news and information from the wider world, benefitted most especially.

Thanks to the contributions of inventors such as Nilola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi, wireless radio was being implemented by the military and by ocean-going ships by the earliest years of the 20th century. By the 1920s, radio stations, broadcasting both news and entertainment programming, began springing up all across the globe, and by the latter 1930s, four out of five American households owned a set. With the advent of the transistor, radio sets small enough to fit in the dashboards of cars and in palm of the hand (or in a pocket) became a reality. The early 21st century has seen the ascendency of satellite radio, offering wider distribution and more options than ever before.

Be sure to tune in to RURAL RADIO Channel 147 on SiriusXM – today, and every day!

Here are a few notable milestones in the development of radio technology:

1891 – Inventor Nikola Tesla develops the Tesla coil, demonstrating the possibility of wireless transmission of electrical energy.

1894 – Inventor Guglielmo Marconi builds the first viable wireless telegraph.

1900 - Roberto Landell de Moura, Brazilian priest and inventor, conducts the first wireless transmission of a human voice, over a distance of about 5 miles.

1906 – The first programmatic broadcast on AM frequency is transmitted from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, MA on Christmas Eve by Reginald Fessenden and is heard by ships out at sea.

1912 – The Titanic transmits a wireless SOS signal as it begins to sink.

1920 – Station 8MK (Detroit, MI) broadcasts the first radio news program.

1954 – The Regency company introduces the first pocket-sized transistor radio. Sony follows suit one year later.

1999 – WorldSpace begins broadcasting satellite radio in Africa.

(Sources:, Wikipedia)


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