Radio in History

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 533

  • 1891-12-29 Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio)
  • 1894-08-14 Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge demonstrates wireless telegraphy (radio) using Morse code at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Oxford University
  • 1895-05-07 Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention - the world's first radio receiver in St. Petersberg. Celebrated as Radio Day in Russia.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1896-03-01 Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henri Becquerel
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Henri Becquerel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1896-06-02 Guglielmo Marconi applies to patent the radio, accepted 2 July 1897

Inventor and Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi
Inventor and Nobel Laureate
Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1901-12-12 Guglielmo Marconi sends the first transatlantic radio signal, from Poldhu in Cornwall to Newfoundland, Canada
  • 1902-01-01 Nathan Stubblefield makes 1st public demonstration of radio, Penn
  • 1903-01-18 The first transatlantic radio transmission to originate in the United States is sent by a transmitter in Massachusetts
  • 1903-01-19 1st regular transatlantic radio broadcast between US & England
  • 1904-01-07 Marconi Co establishes "CQD" as 1st international radio distress signal
  • 1906-01-13 Telimco makes the 1st ever advertisment for a radio set, by advertising a $7.50 set in the "Scientific American" which claimed to receive signals for up to one mile
  • 1906-10-20 Dr Lee DeForest demonstrated his electrical vacuum tube (radio tube)
  • 1906-10-25 US inventor Lee de Forest patents "Audion", a 3-diode amplification valve which proved a pioneering development in radio & broadcasting
  • 1906-11-03 International Radiotelegraph Conference in Berlin selects "SOS" (· · · – – – · · ·) distress signal as the worldwide standard for help
  • 1906-12-24 Reginald A Fessenden became 1st to broadcast music over radio (Mass)
  • 1907-03-05 1st radio broadcast of a musical composition aired
  • 1907-12-16 Eugene H Farrar is 1st to sing on radio (Bkln Navy Yard NY)
  • 1908-01-12 A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
  • 1908-05-12 Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B Stubblefield
  • 1909-01-23 1st radio rescue at sea
  • 1910-02-23 1st radio contest held (Philadelphia)
  • 1914-04-06 American Radio Relay League (organization for hams) founded
  • 1915-09-29 1st transcontinental radio telephone message is sent
  • 1915-10-21 1st transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris
  • 1919-10-17 Radio Corporation of America (RCA) created
  • 1919-11-06 1st Dutch radio program: Soirée Musicale with "Turf in you(r) ransel"
  • 1920-04-20 Big Show ends 2 year run on NBC radio
  • 1920-07-27 Radio compass used for 1st time for aircraft navigation
  • 1920-08-20 1st US commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), Detroit begins daily broadcasting
  • 1920-08-31 Detroit radio station is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1920-09-06 Jack Dempsey KOs Billy Miske in 3 for heavyweight boxing title 1st radio broadcast of a prizefight

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Dempsey
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jack Dempsey
  • 1920-09-29 Joseph Horne Company in Pittsburgh sells radios for $10
  • 1920-10-27 Westinghouse radio station in East Pittsburgh, KDKA begins
  • 1921-01-02 1st religious service radio broadcast in US, KDKA-Pittsburgh
  • 1921-04-11 KDKA broadcast 1st radio sporting event, a boxing match (Ray-Dundee)
  • 1921-04-11 First sports broadcast on the radio takes place.
  • 1921-05-21 Oldest radio station west of Mississippi River licensed in Greeley Co
  • 1921-08-05 1st radio baseball broadcast Pirates-8, Phillies-0 (KDKA, Pitts)
  • 1921-09-15 WBZ-AM in Boston MA begins radio transmissions
  • 1921-10-05 1st World Series radio broadcast, Yanks beat Giants 3-0
  • 1921-11-15 KYW-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1921-12-07 KWG-AM in Stockton CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-01-09 KQV-AM in Pittsburgh PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-01-13 WHA-AM in Madison WI begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-02-04 WGY-AM in Schenectady NY begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-02-08 Radio arrives at the White House
  • 1922-02-18 WOC-AM in Davenport IA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-02-19 Ed Wynn becomes 1st talent to sign as a radio entertainer
  • 1922-02-20 WOR-AM in New York City begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-02-21 WHK-AM in Cleveland, Ohio begins radio transmissions

Conference meetingConference of Interest

1922-02-27 US Commerce Sec Herbert Hoover convenes 1st National Radio Conference

31st US President Herbert Hoover
31st US President
Herbert Hoover
  • 1922-02-28 KHQ-AM in Spokane WA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-02 WLW-AM in Cincinnati OH begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-03 WWJ-AM in Detroit MI begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-09 KJR-AM in Seattle Washington begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-10 KLZ-AM in Denver CO begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-13 WRR-AM in Dallas TX begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-14 KGU-AM in Honolulu HI begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-14 KSD-AM in Saint Louis MO begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-14 WGR-AM in Buffalo NY begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-15 1st southern radio station begins (WSB, Atlanta Georgia)
  • 1922-03-16 WKY-AM in Oklahoma City OK begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-18 WBT-AM in Charlotte NC begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-20 WIP-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-21 KGW-AM in Portland OR begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-23 KMJ-AM in Fresno CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-23 WEW-AM in Saint Louis MO begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-30 KGY-AM in Olympia WA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-30 WWL-AM in New Orleans LA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-03-31 KFI-AM in Los Angeles CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-04-04 WAAB (Baton Rouge La) becomes 1st US radio station with "W" calls
  • 1922-04-05 KOB-AM in Albuquerque NM begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-04-05 WDZ-AM in Decatur IL begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-04-28 WOI (Ames, Iowa) country's 1st licensed educational radio station
  • 1922-05-04 KNX-AM in Los Angeles CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1922-05-10 WHB-AM in Kansas City MO begins radio transmissions

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1922-06-14 US President Warren G. Harding is 1st US president to use radio, dedicates the Francis Scott Key memorial in Baltimore

29th US President Warren G. Harding
29th US President
Warren G. Harding
  • 1922-08-14 1st "old time" musicians broadcasted on radio (Jenkins-WSB Atlanta)
  • 1922-08-16 AT&T radio station WBAY becomes WEAF (NYC)
  • 1922-08-28 WEAF in NYC airs 1st radio commercial (Queensboro Realty-$100 for 10 mins)
  • 1922-09-17 Radio Moscow begins transmitting (12 KWs-most powerful station)
  • 1922-10-04 For 1st time, entire World Series broadcast over radio (WJZ & WGY)
  • 1922-10-07 First radio link, WNJ (Newark) & WGY (Senectady) link for World Series
  • 1922-10-28 First US coast-to-coast radio broadcast of a football game
  • 1922-11-14 BBC begins domestic radio service from 2LO at Marconi House
  • 1922-12-24 BBC broadcasts first British radio play "The Truth about Father Christmas"
  • 1923-01-18 1st radio telegraph message from Netherlands to Dutch East Indies
  • 1923-01-19 WMC-AM in Memphis TN begins radio transmissions
  • 1923-03-22 The first radio broadcast of ice hockey is made by Foster Hewitt.
  • 1923-07-01 1st permanent radio network-AT&T (WEAF NY & WMAF Mass)
  • 1923-07-19 WRC-AM in Washington, D.C. begins radio transmissions
  • 1923-09-28 Radio Times 1st published
  • 1923-11-24 Radio Belgium's 1st transmission
  • 1923-12-03 First Congressional open session broadcast via radio (Washington, D.C.)
  • 1923-12-04 WEAF radio begins broadcasting Eveready Hour (variety show)

CommunicationHistoric Communication

1923-12-06 1st US Presidential address broadcast on radio by President Calvin Coolidge

30th US President Calvin Coolidge
30th US President
Calvin Coolidge
  • 1923-12-31 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester
  • 1924-01-22 KGO-AM in San Francisco CA begins radio transmissions
  • 1924-02-08 1st US coast-to-coast radio hookup: Gen John Joseph Carty speech in Chic
  • 1924-03-21 1st foreign language course broadcast on US radio (WJZ, NYC)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1851-06-12 Oliver Joseph Lodge, England, early radio pioneer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1852-12-15 Henri Becquerel, French physicist who discovered radioactivity (Nobel 1903), born in Paris, France (d. 1908)

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henri Becquerel
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Henri Becquerel
  • 1857-02-22 Heinrich Hertz, physicist, 1st to broadcast & receive radio waves
  • 1865-06-15 L H Perquin, Dutch religious radio speaker
  • 1873-08-26 Lee De Forest, Council Bluffs, inventor (Audion vacuum (radio) tube)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1874-04-25 Guglielmo Marconi, Italian radio inventor (Nobel 1909), born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1937)

Inventor and Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi
Inventor and Nobel Laureate
Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1875-08-23 William Eccles, English radio pioneer (d. 1966)
  • 1876-06-26 Nico[laas P] de Jong, Dutch radio play actor (Laughter & Tears)
  • 1879-03-08 Otto Hahn, German physicist/chemist (Nobel 44, radiothorium/actinium)
  • 1882-11-13 John Lowry, NYC builder (Radio City Music Hall), born in Mount Vernon, New York
  • 1886-08-07 Louis Hazeltine, inventor (neutrodyne circuit, making radio possible)
  • 1888-08-12 Willem Vogt, Dutch radio pioneer/founder (AVRO)
  • 1890-10-09 Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelist (Pentecostal)/radio preacher
  • 1890-12-18 Edwin Howard Armstrong, American radio pioneer inventor (FM), born in NYC, New York
  • 1891-02-27 David Sarnoff, American radio and television pioneer (RCA, NBC), born in Uzlyany, Belarus, Russian Empire (d. 1971)
  • 1891-08-09 Max Tak, Dutch violinist/radio commentator
  • 1893-06-12 Kommer Kleijn, Dutch actor/radio play director (Paul Vlaanderen)
  • 1894-05-31 Fred Allen, comedian (Fred Allen Radio Show), born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1896-11-06 Jim Jordan, Peoria IL, radio comedian (Fibber McGee)
  • 1898-04-15 Marian Jordan, actress, radio comedienne (Molly-Fibber McGee & Molly)
  • 1898-07-11 Herman de Man, [Salomon H Hamburger], Dutch writer/Radio Orange
  • 1899-01-15 Goodman Ace, radio/TV actor/columnist/humorist (Better of Goodman)
  • 1899-05-05 Freeman Gosden, radio actor (Amos-Amos 'n' Andy), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1900-02-20 Graham Spry, St Thomas Ontario, Canadian radio pioneer
  • 1902-11-21 Foster Hewitt, Canadian radio pioneer (d. 1985)
  • 1904-05-11 Guus Weitzel, Dutch radio-announcer
  • 1904-10-02 Godfrey Baseley, radio executive
  • 1905-01-19 Anne Schumacher Hummert, Baltimore US, leading creator of daytime radio serials during the 1930s and 1940s
  • 1905-10-22 Karl Jansky, Czech, discoverer (cosmic radio emissions in 1932)
  • 1906-01-19 Lanny Ross, radio singer (Show Boat, The Swift Show), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1909-03-24 Thomas E "Tommy" Trinder, English radio comic/actor (Phoenix)
  • 1909-05-06 Loyd Sigmon, American amateur ("ham") radio broadcastor (d. 2004)
  • 1910-05-03 Norman Corwin, American radio pioneer
  • 1911-12-22 Grote Reber, US, astronomer (1st parabolic radio telescope)
  • 1913-08-31 Sir Bernard Lovell, Bristol England, radio astronomer, founded Jodrell Bank Observatory, (d. 2012)
  • 1916-07-02 Barry Gray, [Bernard Yaroslaw], interviewer (started call-in radio)
  • 1917-04-11 Danny Gallivan, Canadian radio and television sportscaster (d. 1993)
  • 1918-04-07 Peter Aryans, [PCJ Vander], Dutch radio actor (Shoot Out)
  • 1918-09-27 Martin Ryle, Britain, radio astronomer/astronomer royal (1972-82)
  • 1918-12-22 Frankie Darro, actor (Radio Ranch, Valley of Wanted Men), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1919-04-13 Phil Tonken, American radio and television announcer (d. 2000)
  • 1919-11-10 George Fenneman, American radio and TV announcer (You Bet Your Life), born in Peking China (d. 1997)
  • 1921-05-31 Howard Reig, American radio and television announcer
  • 1922-06-09 Fernand Seguin, Canadian biochemist - Radio and TV animator (d. 1988)
  • 1922-07-19 Harold Camping, American evangelist, founder of Family Radio
  • 1924-05-11 Antony Hewish, radio astronomer
  • 1924-06-03 Ted Mallie, American radio and television announcer (d. 1999)
  • 1930-06-21 Patricia Lindop, radio biologist
  • 1930-08-19 D[avid] G[uy] Compton, UK, sci-fi author (Synthajoy, Radio Plays)
  • 1931-05-04 Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Russian conductor (USSR State Radio), born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1933-06-20 Danny Aiello, American actor (Moonstruck, Radio Days), born in NYC, New York
  • 1934-12-28 David Warrilow, actor (Simon, Radio Days, Dakota Road, Barton Fink)
  • 1936-01-10 Robert Woodrow Wilson, American physicist and radio astronomer, Nobel laureate
  • 1937-05-13 Trevor Baylis, English inventor of the wind-up radio
  • 1938-01-30 Marcel P A van Dam, Dutch politician/CEO (VARA Radio/TV)
  • 1940-07-23 Don Imus, radio disc jockey (WNBC)
  • 1942-05-22 Pallo Jordan, South African ANC member/heads (Radio Freedom)
  • 1946-03-29 Ronald Farrow, radio producer/priest
  • 1946-10-14 James Robert "Radio" Kennedy, American football coach
  • 1946-11-23 Hans Hoekman, Dutch radio play actor
  • 1946-12-30 Patti Smith, rock vocalist (Radio Ethiopia), born in Chicago, Illinois

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1948-12-31 Donna Summer, singer (Love to Love You Baby, On the Radio), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2012)

Singer Donna Summer
Donna Summer
  • 1951-03-14 Rick Dees, radio disc jock (KIIS LA)
  • 1951-10-07 David J. Halberstam, American radio executive
  • 1953-04-24 Eric Bogosian, Woburn MA, actor (Talk Radio)
  • 1953-06-12 Allan Weiner, American radio station owner
  • 1956-03-26 Charly McClain, country singer (Radio Heart), born in Jackson, Tennessee
  • 1960-02-10 Lionel Cartwright, Ohio, country vocalist (I Watched it on the Radio)
  • 1960-03-17 Vicki Lewis, actress (Beth-Newsradio), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1961-03-29 Ane-Marie Sanches, newscaster (Suriname TV/Radio)
  • 1963-01-04 Dave Foley, actor and comedian (Kids In The Hall, Dave Nelson on NewsRadio)
  • 1963-11-28 Armando Iannucci, comedian and radio producer, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1965-02-03 Maura Tierney, actress (Lisa-Newsradio), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1965-04-18 Rob Stenders, Dutch radio discjockey
  • 1965-12-21 Andy Dick, actor (Matthew-Newsradio), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1968-10-07 Thom Yorke, British musician and lead singer of Radiohead ('Creep', 'Paranoid Android''), born in Wellingborough
  • 1971-11-05 Jonny Greenwood, guitarist (Radiohead)
  • 1974-01-18 Michael Tunn, Australian television and radio
  • 1974-03-28 Scott Mills, British radio disc jockey
  • 1980-07-10 Thomas Ian Nicholas, actor (Radio Flyer, Rookie of the Year)

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1970-10-18 Actor Lee Marvin (46) weds radio producer Pamela Marvin (40)

Actor Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin
  • 2006-11-04 Radio and television journalist Alison Stewart (40) weds MSNBC vice-president of prime-time programming Bill Wolff (40) at the stylish New York restaurant Cipriani 23rd Street

Famous Deaths

  • 1932-07-22 Reginald Fessenden, Canadian inventor and radio pioneer (b. 1866)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1937-07-20 Guglielmo Marconi, Italian engineer/marquis (radio, Nobel 1909), dies of a heart attack at 63

Inventor and Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi
Inventor and Nobel Laureate
Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1938-08-04 L H Perquin, Dutch radio announcer, dies at 73
  • 1943-01-23 Alexander Woollcott, critic, dies of a heart attack on radio, at 56
  • 1944-03-11 Hendrik W van Loon, Neth/US radio commentator/writer, dies at 62
  • 1944-11-28 Joop Brouwer de Koning, youngest Dutch radio operator, executed at 25
  • 1946-11-14 Herman de Man, [Salomon H Hamburger], author/Radio Orange, dies
  • 1950-02-14 Karl G Jansky, Czech discoverer of cosmic radio sources, dies at 44
  • 1952-11-23 Albert van Raalte, conductor (Radio Philharmonic Orch), dies at 62
  • 1954-01-31 Edwin H Armstrong, US radio inventor (FM), commits suicide at 63
  • 1956-03-17 Fred Allen, comedian (Fred Allen Radio Show), dies at 61
  • 1961-04-07 Marian Jordan, radio comedienne (Fibber McGee & Molly), dies at 62
  • 1967-08-07 Max Branch, music/radio commentator, dies at 75
  • 1967-08-07 Max Tak, Dutch violinist/radio commentator, dies at 75
  • 1972-03-30 Gabriel Heatter, American radio commentator (b. 1890)
  • 1973-06-18 Willem Vogt, Dutch radio pioneer/founder AVRO, dies at 84
  • 1976-12-25 Frankie Darro, actor (Radio Ranch, Valley of Wanted Men), dies at 58
  • 1980-08-23 Norman Shelley, English radio actor (Churchill's Speech), dies at 77
  • 1982-12-10 Freeman "Amos" Gosden, US radio actor (Amos 'n' Andy), dies at 83
  • 1984-10-14 Martin Ryle, English radio astronomer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (b. 1918)
  • 1985-04-21 Foster Hewitt, Canadian radio pioneer (b. 1902)
  • 1987-03-19 Arch Oboler, radio writer (Lights Out), dies at 77
  • 1989-01-10 Herbert Morrison, American radio reporter (b. 1905)
  • 1990-09-16 Loretta Tupper, radio/TV entertainer, dies of cancer at 84
  • 1991-05-14 Herman Niels, Flemish radio director, dies
  • 1991-07-16 Dwight Weist, Radio actor/film narrator (Radio Days), dies at 81
  • 1991-09-15 Andre Baruch, Radio/TV announcer dies at 83
  • 1992-05-03 Elizabeth Lennox, radio singer, dies of heart seizure at 98
  • 1992-07-31 Sjoerd de Free, reporter (Radio Herrijzend Netherland), dies
  • 1993-02-24 Danny Gallivan, Canadian radio and television sportscaster (b. 1917)
  • 1993-05-26 Carleton Morse, radio dramatist (One Man's Family), dies at 91
  • 1993-11-21 Jim McLaughlin, Buffalo radio newsman (WKBW), dies at 59
  • 1994-02-01 Olan Soule, radio voice (Super Friends), dies of lung cancer at 83
  • 1994-07-27 H Minderop, founder/chairman (TROS-radio/TV), dies
  • 1994-08-03 John van Raay, [John Oradi], radio-imitator (Paul Flanders)
  • 1994-12-12 Herman H Felderhof, radio-announcer/head (NRU/NOS Radio), dies at 83
  • 1995-02-08 B G Hooghoudt, radiotelescope build (Dwingeloo/Westerbork), dies at 70
  • 1995-07-01 Ronald Farrow, radio producer/priest, dies at 49
  • 1995-08-17 David Warrilow, actor (Simon, Radio Days, Barton Fink), dies at 60
  • 1995-08-19 Pierre Schaeffer, composer/radio innovator, dies at 85
  • 1996-07-05 Anne Schumacher Hummert, radio pioneer, dies at 91
  • 1996-07-17 Alan McGilvray, Australian cricketer (NSW 1933-37) and radio commentator (1935-85), dies at 85
  • 1997-01-21 Dennis Main Wilson, TV/radio producer, dies at 72
  • 1997-02-02 Godfrey Baseley, British radio executive, dies at 92
  • 1997-05-29 George Fenneman, American radio and TV announcer (You Bet Your Life), dies at 77
  • 1999-01-25 Ted Mallie, American radio and television announcer (b. 1924)
  • 2000-02-04 Phil Tonken, American radio and television announcer (b. 1919)
  • 2001-08-29 Graeme "Shirley" Strachan, Australian singer (Skyhooks), TV and radio star (b. 1952)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2004-06-05 Ronald Reagan, 40th US President (Republican: 1981-89) and actor (Bedtime for Bonzo), dies at 93

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 2005-03-06 Tommy Vance, British radio disc jockey (b. 1943)
  • 2005-07-10 Freda Wright-Sorce, American radio performer (b. 1955)
  • 2010-12-22 Fred Foy, American radio and television announcer (b. 1921)
  • 2011-11-04 Andy Rooney, American radio and television writer (b. 1919)
  • 2012-08-06 Sir Bernard Lovell, English radio astronomer, dies at 98