Tag Archives: National Radio Day

Today: National Radio Day

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who notes that today is National Radio Day:

(Source: National Radio Day)


National Radio Day is a time to honor one of the most longstanding electronic media and its role in our everyday lives. Radio delivers information, news, entertainment and company to millions of Americans every hour of every day. We invite listeners, broadcasters, producers and stations to celebrate on August 20.


Although there is not one authoritative source on the history of National Radio Day, it has been celebrated since the early 1990s on August 20. Perhaps it was decided that August 20 would be an appropriate day because 8MK (now WWJ) in Detroit, first broadcast on August 20, 1920.

According to Wikipedia, WWJ debuted as the “Detroit News Radiophone” and was “the outgrowth of interest in radio technology by the publishers of The Detroit News, combined with inventor Lee de Forest’s longtime promotion of radio broadcasting.”

Regular annual recognition didn’t quite take off until 2011 when NPR brought renewed attention to the day.


National Radio Day is organized by Sabrina Roach, a Doer at Brown Paper Tickets, in partnership with non-commercial radio stations across the United States.

In July 2015, Roach called a meeting of radio broadcasters, producers and enthusiasts to discuss initiating a project to raise the visibility of non-commercial radio across the country. That effort put fresh energy behind the celebration of National Radio Day.

It’s also an ideal time to initiate a common project for full-power and low-power FM (LPFM) stations as hundreds of new LPFMs are getting on the air made possible by the Local Community Radio Act.

Click here to visit the National Radio Day website.

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National Radio Day 2012

Click to enlarge. (Source: NPR)

Today in the US, it’s National Radio Day–a day to acknowledge the significance of radio technology and the way it has shaped our past, shapes our present, and continues to shape our future.

National Public Radio and its member stations typically celebrate with some fanfare. I especially love their vintage-inspired graphic this year, featuring Guglielmo Marconi.

In fairness, we should also acknowledge Nikola Tesla, whose 17 patents may have helped Marconi win his Nobel Prize as the father of radio.

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How to celebrate National Radio Day

ETOW's self-powered shortwave radios continue to be an invaluable source of information in post-earthquake Haiti.

August 20th is National Radio Day, a day for celebrating the invention of radio and this amazing 110+ year old communications medium, still so vital to information access throughout our world.

Those of you who still believe in the relevance of radio, please consider giving the gift of radio by making a tax-deductible donation to Ears To Our World (ETOW). ETOW sends self-powered (wind-up) shortwave radios to some of our planet’s most rural and impoverished  schools and communities, often where there is no internet access nor power grid.

We’ve mentioned ETOW in many previous posts. The organization has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Popular Communications, the BBC World Service, VOA, and Public Radio International’s The World Technology podcast.

Those who think shortwave radio has limited use in today’s information age should see how much impact it has in parts of the world where ETOW works. In these regions, often remote or war-torn, radio connects communities with the rest of the world–and it can mean the world.

Click here to visit ETOW’s website and make a donation.

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