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Radio History TimeLine
Date Events
1672 Static electricity generator developed.
Static Electricity
Static electricity was one of the first forms of electricity to be documented. As far back as 600 B.C., the Greeks noted that naturally occurring amber had the power to attract other objects after it was rubbed. Theophrastus noted, in the 2nd century A.D., that other materials also had this strange power.
William Gilbert, who coined the word "electric," from the Greek, Elekton, for amber, studied the forces that some substances seemed to take on after being rubbed. His studies were conducted in the 1600s.
The first machine for producing these charges was described by the German scientist Otto von Guericke in 1672. His device was made of a ball of sulfur that could be rotated on an axle by turning a crank. A charge could be generated when the user's hand was brought near the ball.
1746 Leyden Jar invented in the Netherlands.
Leyden Jar
The Leyden Jar was the first device developed for storing electricity. A form of condenser or capacitor, it consisted of a glass jar or bottle that was coated on the inside and outside with separate pieces of tin foil.
When a charge from a static electricity generator was brought to one of the pieces of foil, the charge would transfer to the foil and remain there until the foils were brought together at which time there would be a spark.
1749 Franklin (America) writes that a rod could drag electricity from the sky.
Franklin's Spark
Ben Franklin became very interested in the world of static electricity after seeing a demonstration of it in 1746. Contrary to the beliefs of his day, he proposed the idea that electricity flows from areas of higher charge to those of a lesser charge. He said that when the electricity does flow through air, it produces a spark.
He believed that the sparks that occur during a storm, lightning, and those produced by static electricity were one in the same. In 1749 he wrote,
"On the top of some high tower or steeple, place a kind of sentry-box big enough to contain a man and an electrical stand. From the middle of the stand let an iron rod rise and pass bending out of the door, and then upright 20 or 30 feet, pointed very sharp at the end. If the electrical stand be kept clean and dry, a man standing on it when such clouds are passing low, might be electrified and afford sparks, the rod drawing fire to him from a cloud."
1774 Volta (Italy) develops his first battery.
10/14/1788 Born: Sir Edward Sabine, Dublin, English astronomer (magnetic fields)
1799 Hans Christian Oersted (Denmark) shows that electricity and magnetism are related.
1820 Ampere (France) develops his theory about electricity and expresses it mathematically.
1824 Henry develops the electromagnet.
1826 Henry strengthens the electromagnet and lifts over 2,300 pounds.
1827 George Ohm (Germany) develops his law showing the relationship between resistance, amperage, and voltage.
1830 Henry's electromagnet rings a bell by moving an iron rod.
1831 Faraday discovers mutual inductance.
6/1/1831 Sir James C. Ross discovers the north magnetic pole
6/13/1831 Born: James Clerk Maxwell, physicist, formulator of electromagnetic theory
3/3/1843 Congress appropriates $30,000 "to test the practicability of establishing a system of electro-magnetic telegraphs" by the US
1847 Born: Thomas Edison is born.
6/12/1851 Born: Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, England, early radio pioneer
2/22/1857 Born: Heinrich R. Hertz, physicist; 1st to broadcast & receive radio waves
11/18/1863 Born: Billy Sunday, radio evangelist
1864 James Clerk Maxwell presents paper showing that electromagnetic radiation can move at the speed of light.
1866 Mahlon Loomis has the idea that the sky can be used as a conductor in telegraphy, building on the current use of the earth as a ground.
1866 Loomis sets up two kites, one on Bear Mountain and the other on Furnace Mountain in Virginia. He successfully transmitted a signal from one to the other.
7/20/1872 Mahlon Loomis receives patent for wireless ... the radio is born
8/26/1873 Born: Lee De Forest, Iowa, inventor of the Audion vacuum (radio) tube
4/25/1874 Born: Guglielmo Marconi, Bologna, Italy, inventor of radio (Nobel 1909)
6/14/1874 Born: Major [Edward] Bowes, SF, radio amateur hour host
1877 Edison develops the carbon microphone.
1878 David E. Hughes (England) observes the coherer principle in the carbon granules of the microphone.
1878 Edison invents the phonograph.
1879 Edison invents the light bulb.
8/7/1886 Born: Louis Hazeltine, inventor of the neutrodyne circuit - made commercial radio possible
1887 ~Heinrich Hertz (Germany) transmits a spark using a tuned antenna. He also proved Maxwell's theory and the existence of radio waves.
1890 Edouard Branly (France) invents the Branly Detector, an improved coherer.
2/2/1890  Born: Charles J. Correll, Peoria, Ill., radio actor (Amos & Andy - Andy)
10/9/1890  Born: Aimee Semple McPherson, Pentecostal radio preacher
12/18/1890  Born: Edwin H. Armstrong, NYC, radio pioneer, inventor of FM
2/27/1891  Born: David Sarnoff, RCA board chairman
6/4/1891  Born: Erno Rapee, Budapest, conductor (NBC Orchestra)
12/29/1891 Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio)
1892 Elihu Thomson (USA) experiments with the electric arc.
1894 Oliver Lodge (England) improves the Branly detector by adding a vibrator.
1894 Marconi makes a bell ring using radio waves.
5/31/1894  Born: Fred Allen, Mass., vaudeville, radio comedian
1896 Alexander Popov (Russia) adds an antenna and a ground to the Branly coherer.
1896 Marconi moves to England.
11/16/1896  Born: Jim Jordan, Ill., radio actor (Fibber McGee)
1897 Marconi receives a British patent (No. 12039) for "improvements in transmitting electrical impulses and signals and an apparatus therefore.
1897 Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company, Ltd. founded. Later named the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company.
4/7/1897 Born: Walter Winchell, radio newscaster, columnist (Untouchables narrator)
4/16/1898 Born: Marian Jordan, Peoria, Ill., radio comedienne (Fibber McGee & Molly)
1899 Wireless transmission across the English Channel demonstrated.
1/15/1899  Born: Goodman Ace, radio & TV writer, actor, columnist, humorist
1900 William Duddell (United Kingdom) discovers that an electric arc can produce a high frequency note when connected to a circuit with coils and condensers that are tuned to the audio frequencies.
1900 Reginald A. Fessenden (USA) transmits voice on a spark transmitter. It was barely recognizable since the waves were not continuous.
2/20/1900  Graham Spry, St. Thomas, Ont., Canadian radio pioneer
1901 Fessenden experiments with the hot-wire barretter. The barretter, or "electrolytic detector," was used to detect continuous waves. He also discovered that treating it with nitric acid turned it into an rectifier."
1901 Marconi and Deforrest compete in the reporting of the America's Cup Yacht race by radio. They end up overriding each other's signals.
6/4/1901 Born: Carlton E. Morse, La., creator of radio show "One Man's Family"
9/28/1901  Born: William S. Paley, founder, chairman of CBS
12/11/1901 Marconi sends 1st transatlantic radio signal (...), Cornwall to Nfld.
1902 Greenleaf Pickard discovers the crystal detector using silicon. He receives a patent.
1902 Kennelly and Heaviside (US) theorize about the ionosphere.
1/1/1902 Nathan Stubblefield makes 1st public demonstration of radio, Penn.
2/9/1902  Born: Chester Lauck, Arkansas, radio actor (Lum & Abner - Lum Edwards)
1903 Fessenden receives a patent for his detector.
1903 Telefunken formed in Germany by K.H. Slaby, G.W.A. von Arco, K.F. Braun, Alexander Meissner, and the Siemens and Halske companies.
1/19/1903 1st regular transatlantic radio broadcast between US & England
8/31/1903  Born: Arthur Godfrey, radio, TV host (Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts)
1/7/1904 Marconi Co. establishes "CQD" as 1st international radio distress signal
11/14/1904 Ambrose Fleming (UK), a consultant to Marconi, receives a patent for the Fleming Valve, the first radio vacuum tube. Was used as a detector to replace the coherer and the magnetic detectors.
6/29/1905 Born: Ed Gardner, Long Island, NY, radio actor (Duffy's Tavern - Archie)
1906 Telefunken transmits voice 25 miles with a spark transmitter.
1906 Fessenden wins a lawsuit against DeForrest over the responder, an electrolytic detector.
1/13/1906 1st radio set advertised (Telimco for $7.50 in "Scientific American"), claimed to receive signals up to ONE MILE
1/19/1906 Born: Lanny Ross, Seattle, radio singer (Show Boat, The Swift Show)
3/29/1906 Born: E. Power Biggs, Westcliff-on-Sea, England, organist (CBS)
5/30/1906 Born: Norris Goff, Arkansas, radio actor (Lum & Abner - Abner Peabody)
6/18/1906 Born: Kay Kyser, radio & film personality (3 Little Fishes)
10/20/1906 Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrates his 3-element radio tube
11/22/1906 International Radio Telegraphic Convention adopts "SOS" as new international radio distress signal
12/24/1906 Reginald A. Fessenden becomes 1st to broadcast music over radio, Mass.
1/15/1907 DeForrest awarded a patent for the three element, grid vacuum tube, the Triode. It improved the audio, allowed amplification and when ocillated becomes a transmitter. He sells it to AT&T.
10/17/1907 Transatlantic radio telegraph service inaugurated
12/16/1907 Eugenia Farrar becomes 1st singer broadcast over radio, Brooklyn
1908 DeForrest transmits voice and music over 500 miles from the Eiffel Tower.
1908 Amateur interest in radio is on the rise. Many magazine appear such as Modern Electronics and Electrician and Mechanic.
1908 Valdemar Poulsen (Denmark) uses an electric arc in a gaseous atmosphere and magnetic field to create 100 kilocycle waves that are transmitted 100 miles.
3/20/1908 Born: Frank Stanton, broadcast executive (CBS)
10/20/1908 Born: Arlene Francis, Boston, radio-TV personality (What's My Line)
1909 First amateur radio club formed. (New York City)
1909 Cyril Elwell (USA) purchases the rights to Poulson's device and forms the Federal Telegraph Company. Receives many Navy contracts. Eventually the Poulson arc and the Alexander Alternator become the dominant technologies.
1/16/1909 David, Mawson & Mackay reach south magnetic pole
1/23/1909 1st radio rescue at sea
2/23/1910 1st radio contest held, Philadelphia
8/27/1910 1st radio message from an airplane, Sheepshead Bay, NY
1911 Alexander perfects the magnetic amplifier, a type of transformer.
12/10/1911 Born: Chet Huntley, NBC TV newscaster (Huntley-Brinkley Report)
8/9/1912 The Radio Act becomes law. Attempts to limit the interference between broadcasters.
9/30/1912 Born: Kenny Baker, radio singer, actor (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back)
3/15/1915 Born: David Schoenbrun, CBS news bureau head (Washington, Paris)
4/4/1915 1st radio telephone communication (one way), Long Island to Delaware
9/29/1915 1st transcontinental radio telephone demonstration, NYC-SF
10/21/1915 1st transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va. to Paris
11/26/1915 Born: Earl Wild, Pittsburgh, pianist (NBC Symphony)
7/2/1916 Born: Barry Gray, radio personality (started call-in radio)
4/6/1917 During World War I, the Federal government (for the Navy) takes control over all radio stations.
3/7/1917 1st jazz recording released (The Dixie Jazz Band One-Step)
6/4/1917 Born: Charles Collingwood, CBS news commentator
7/14/1917 Born: Douglas Edwards, Okla., CBS newscaster, TV's 1st network news anchor
4/27/1918 Born: John Scali, newspaperman, correspondent (ABC)
5/9/1918 Born: Mike Wallace, host of CBS's "60 Minutes"
5/28/1918 Born: Johnny Wayne, Toronto, radio & TV comedian (Wayne & Shuster)
9/4/1918 Born: Paul Harvey, radio news commentator (The Rest of the Story)
10/5/1919 1st 2-way radio conversation between a submerged sub & another vessel
10/17/1919 Radio Corporation of America (RCA) founded
1/14/1920 Born: George Herman, CBS newsman
7/10/1920 Born: David Brinkley, TV newscaster (NBC, ABC)
8/20/1920 1st US commercial radio, 8MK (later WWJ), Detroit, begins daily broadcasts
9/6/1920 1st radio broadcast of a prizefight - Jack Dempsey kayos Billy Miske
11/2/1920 KDKA early commercial radio station goes on the air, Pittsburgh
1/2/1921 1st religious service radio broadcast in US, Pittsburgh
4/11/1921 1st radio broadcast of a sports event - boxing match, KDKA, Pittsburgh
8/5/1921 1st live radio baseball broadcast, Pirates 8, Phillies 0 (KDKA)
10/5/1921 1st radio broadcast of a world series - Yanks beat Giants 3-0
4/28/1922 WOI (Ames, Iowa), country's 1st licensed educational radio station
8/14/1922 WSB, Atlanta broadcasts probably the 1st country music on radio
8/28/1922 WEAF in NYC airs 1st radio commercial - Queensboro Realty Co. pays $100 for 10 minutes of air time
10/7/1922 World series broadcast over distant radio stations via telegraph lines
10/28/1922 1st coast-to-coast radio broadcast of a football game - WEAF, NY
11/14/1922 BBC begins domestic radio service, from 2LO at Marconi House
4/17/1923 Born: Harry Reasoner, newscaster (ABC, CBS)
12/6/1923 Calvin Coolidge broadcasts 1st presidential radio message
12/31/1923 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester
3/21/1924 1st foreign language course broadcast on US radio, WJZ, NYC
7/6/1924 1st photo sent experimentally across the Atlantic by radio, US-England
11/30/1924 1st photo facsimile transmitted across Atlantic by radio
3/4/1925 Pres. Coolidge's inauguration broadcast live on 21 radio stations
4/18/1925 1st photo sent by commercial radio across the continent, SF-NYC
11/11/1925 Louis Armstrong records the 1st of his Hot Five recordings
11/28/1925 Grand Ole Opry premiers on WLS radio, Nashville
4/18/1926 Rev. Howard Hough forms 1st radio church in US, Portland, Maine
4/30/1926 Transatlantic commercial radio facsimile service inaugurated
11/15/1926 National Broadcasting Co. goes on the air, with 24 radio stations
7/14/1927 Born: John Chancellor, TV journalist (VOA, NBC)
8/1/1927 Carter Family makes its 1st recording, Bristol, Tenn.
8/4/1927 Jimmie Rodger's 1st recording session, Bristol, Tenn.
9/18/1927 Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air with 16 radio stations
11/29/1927 Born: Vin Scully, sportscaster (NBC Baseball Game of the Week)
12/10/1927 Grand Ole Opry makes its 1st radio broadcast, in Nashville, Tenn.
3/19/1928 Amos & Andy debuts on radio (Blue Network)
10/18/1928 Born: Keith Jackson, ABC sportscaster
12/3/1928 Voice of Firestone music show begins on NBC (later ABC) radio (-55)
12/23/1928 NBC sets up a permanent, coast-to-coast network
1/3/1929 27-year-old William S. Paley becomes president of CBS
8/19/1929 Amos & Andy premiers on NBC Red radio network (-1960)
11/20/1929 The Rise of the Goldbergs premiers on NBC radio (-1949)
2/4/1930 The American School of the Air premiers on CBS radio (-1948)
3/6/1931 The March of Time news documentary premiers on CBS radio (-1945)
9/25/1931 Born: Barbara Walters, Boston, 1st network news anchorwoman (ABC)
10/31/1931 Born: Dan Rather, CBS anchorman
12/25/1931 NY's Metropolitan Opera broadcasts an entire opera over radio
1/12/1932 The Ed Sullivan Show premiers on CBS radio
3/24/1932 1st US radio broadcast from a moving train, WABC, from Maryland
3/29/1932 Jack Benny's 1st radio appearance, on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (CBS)
4/27/1932 Born: Casey Kasem, Detroit, radio personality (American Top 40)
5/2/1932 The Jack Benny Program premiers on NBC Blue radio network (-1955)
10/10/1932 Betty & Bob premiers on radio
10/11/1932 1st political campaign telecast (Democratic Nat'l Comm.), CBS, NYC
10/23/1932 The Fred Allen Show premiers on radio
12/4/1932 Walter Winchell's Journal premiers on NBC Blue radio network (-1955)
1/8/1933 Born: Charles Osgood, CBS newsman
1/31/1933 The Lone Ranger premiers on WXYZ radio, Detroit (later Mutual, ABC)
The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger was first heard on WXYZ radio, Detroit, Michigan, on January 31, 1933 and continued on radio until September 3, 1954. Created by station owner, George W. Trendle, and written primarily by Fran Striker, the show feature a western hero who has assumed mythic proportions in the American culture.
The Lone Ranger was really John Reid, the last of a group of Texas Rangers who were ambushed by the Butch Cavindish gang. Nursed back to health by the Indian, Tonto, Reid assumes a disguise and vows to fight injustice wherever he may find it.
Known for his silver bullets and his "great horse, Silver," the Ranger became a huge hit on the local Michigan Radio Network and as more stationed picked it up, the show became the cornerstone of the fledgling Mutual Broadcasting System in 1934. It moved to NBC-Blue in 1942 and to ABC in 1944 where it remained for the rest of its history.
The show made a successful transition to television.
4/26/1933 Born: Arno Penzias, US radio astronomer (Nobel Physics Prize 1978)
6/23/1933 The Breakfast Club premiers on the Blue radio network (-1968)
7/10/1933 1st radio system installed in police cars, Eastchester Township, NY
7/31/1933 Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy premiers on CBS radio
8/14/1933 Ma Perkins premiers on WLW radio, Cincinnati (later NBC, CBS; -1960)
8/21/1933 Born: Chris Schenkel, ABC sportscaster
11/19/1933 Born: Larry King, radio talk show host - "143 Arivadechi"
3/11/1934 Born: Sam Donaldson, ABC News White House correspondent
9/10/1934 Born: Charles Kuralt, "On the road" for CBS
9/15/1934 The Gibson Family premiers on NBC radio - 1st musical comedy
9/23/1934 1st radio transmission known to have been heard in arctic & Antarctic
10/17/1934 The Aldrich Family premiers on NBC radio
12/25/1934 A Christmas Carol with Lionel Barrymore 1st broadcast, CBS radio
4/1/1935 1st radio tube made of metal announced, Schenectady, NY
4/16/1935 1st radio broadcast of "Fibber McGee & Molly"
Fibber McGee and Molly
Fibber McGee and Molly are of the most fondly remembered characters in radio. Starring husband and wife team Jim and Marian Jordan, Fibber was a teller of the tall tale and the tongue twister while Molly was the level headed one who tried to keep Fibber in his place.
Story lines were thin and usually focused on the stream of characters who came calling to their house at 79 Wistful Vista. These included the haughty Mrs. Uppington, the Old Timer, Wallace Wipple, Mayor LaTrivia, and Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, who was spun off into his own successful program. Marian Jordan also played the little girl known as Teeny who was always comes over to bother Fibber.
The show was sponsored by Johnson Wax for much of its broadcast history with the commercials woven into the show when announcer Harlow Wilcox came by to visit. Beginning in 1935 on the Blue Network, the show ran in various forms until 1959.
One of radio's most remembered sound effects occurred on the show when Fibber would open the hall closet, causing the messy contents to spill out as the sound effect technician used every noisemaker in his collection.
7/5/1935 1st "Hawaii Calls" radio program is broadcast
1/15/1936 Gang Busters premiers on CBS radio (later Blue, Mutual) (-1957)
1/31/1936 The Green Hornet premiers on WXYZ radio, Detroit (-1952)
2/29/1936 Fanny Brice's character Baby Snooks' 1st radio appearance
6/12/1936 1st 50-kW radio station in US, Pittsburgh
7/29/1936 RCA shows the 1st real TV program (dancing, film on locomotives, Bonwit Teller fashion show, monologue from "Tobacco Road" & comedy)
12/17/1936 Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy 1st heard on radio, "Royal Gelatin Hour"
1/25/1937 The Guiding Light premiers on NBC (later CBS) radio (-1956)
8/18/1937 1st construction permit for an FM radio station granted, Paxton, Mass.
9/13/1937 Born: Fred Silverman, broadcasting executive (ABC, NBC)
11/13/1937 NBC forms 1st full-sized symphony orchestra exclusively for radio
5/12/1938 Born: George Carlin, comedian (7 dirty words, AM & FM, Carwash)
5/17/1938 Radio quiz show "Information Please!" debuts on NBC Blue (-1948)
7/11/1938 Mercury Theatre on the Air with Orson Welles premiers on CBS radio
11/10/1938 Kate Smith sings "God Bless America" for 1st time in public (radio)
11/20/1938 1st anti-Semitic attack over a US radio network, by Father Coughlin
1/16/1939 I Love a Mystery premiers on NBC radio
1/21/1939 Born: Wolfman Jack, DJ (Midnight Special), a howling success in radio
4/24/1939 US Signal Intelligence Service formed, authorized to intercept radio & telephone communications
4/30/1939 NBC 1st demonstrates TV at opening day of NY World's Fair, with FDR
7/2/1939 The Aldrich Family radio comedy premiers on NBC (-1953)
7/3/1939 Blondie (based on the comic strip) debuts on CBS radio (-1950)
9/7/1939 Radio NY Worldwide - WRUL, later WNYW - begins radio transmission
11/20/1939 Young Dr. Malone soap opera premiers on NBC Blue radio (-1960)
3/23/1940 Truth or Consequences with Ralph Edwards premiers on CBS radio
4/21/1940 1st $64 Question, "Take It or Leave It," on CBS radio
7/3/1940 1st starring radio roles for Abbott & Costello, on NBC
9/30/1940 Captain Midnight premiers on radio
12/8/1940 1st NFL championship on network (MBS) radio; Bears beat Redskins 73-0 (NFL record high score)
12/9/1940 Longine Watch Co. & W2XOR, NY sign 1st contract for FM commercials
2/15/1941 Duke Ellington's 1st recording of "Take the A Train"
3/1/1941 1st US commercial FM radio station goes on the air, Nashville, Tenn.
7/1/1941 1st commercial TV licenses granted, W2XBS-WNBT (NBC) & WCBW (CBS), NYC
2/27/1942 J.S. Hey discovers radio emissions from the sun
6/17/1942 Suspense premiers on CBS radio (-1962)
8/7/1942 Born: Garrison Keillor, PBS radio personality (Prairie Home Companion)
9/18/1942 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation authorized for radio service
1/25/1944 Beulah makes her 1st radio appearance, on "Fibber McGee & Molly"
4/10/1944 1st regular network news telecast premiers on NBC
10/8/1944 Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet debuts on CBS radio
11/21/1944 The Roy Rogers Show premiers on Mutual radio (later NBC) (-1952)
1/6/1945 The Saint with Edgar Barrier premiers on NBC radio (-1950)
1/15/1945 Art Linkletter's "House Party" premiers on CBS radio (-1967)
9/3/1945 1st internat'l sporting event after WW II - US-USSR radio chess match
9/8/1945 1st 2-way radio-equipped bus in US enters service
10/5/1945 Meet the Press premiers on NBC radio
11/6/1945 HUAC begins investigation of 7 radio commentators
5/9/1946 1st variety show on TV, "NBC's Hour Glass," premiers (-1947)
6/8/1947 Lassie premiers on ABC (later NBC) radio (-1950)
6/12/1947 Sgt. Preston of the Yukon premiers on ABC radio (later MBS) (-1955)
7/6/1947 The Candid Microphone with Allen Funt premiers on ABC radio (-1948)
7/7/1947 You Are There historical drama premiers on CBS radio (-1950)
7/7/1947 Escape adventure series premiers on CBS radio (-1954)
10/13/1947 Kukla, Fran & Ollie premiers (WBKB-TV, Chicago; later on NBC, ABC)
10/27/1947 You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx premiers on ABC radio
1/18/1948 Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour" begins, DuMont (later NBC/ABC/CBS)
6/21/1948 Dr. Peter Goldmark of CBS demonstrates the "long playing record"
7/5/1948 Lucille Ball's 1st regular radio show, "My Favorite Husband," debuts
7/19/1948 Our Miss Brooks with Eve Arden premiers on CBS radio
7/26/1948 1st black host of a network show - CBS's "Bob Howard Show"
8/22/1948 Box 13 detective thriller with Alan Ladd premiers on Mutual radio
10/21/1948 Facsimile high-speed radio transmission demonstrated, Washington DC
1/10/1949 The Goldbergs (Jewish comedy) moves from radio to CBS (later NBC) TV
6/3/1949 Dragnet is 1st broadcast on radio (KFI in Los Angeles)
6/26/1949 Fred Allen's last regular radio show airs
7/7/1949 Dragnet premiers on NBC radio; also a TV series in 1951 & 1967
8/25/1949 Father Knows Best premiers on NBC radio (-1954)
9/15/1949 The Lone Ranger debuts on television (ABC)
10/2/1949 The Aldrich Family premiers on NBC TV
10/4/1949 The Life of Riley with Jackie Gleason (later Wm. Bendix) begins, NBC TV
10/7/1949 Ford Theatre dramatic anthology premiers on CBS (later NBC, ABC) TV
11/4/1949 One Man's Family premiers on NBC TV
7/10/1950 Your Hit Parade premiers on NBC (later CBS) TV (-1959)
9/7/1950 Truth or Consequences moves from NBC radio to CBS TV (later NBC)
10/2/1950 Lux Video Theatre dramatic anthology premiers on CBS (later NBC) TV
10/5/1950 You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx expands from radio to NBC TV
10/12/1950 The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show premiers on CBS TV
10/28/1950 The Jack Benny Show premiers on CBS (later NBC) TV
6/28/1951 Amos 'n' Andy premiers on CBS TV (-1953)
7/2/1951 National premier of "The Bob & Ray Show," on NBC radio (-1953)
9/30/1951 The Red Skelton Show premiers on NBC (later CBS) TV
10/15/1951 I Love Lucy debuts on CBS TV
12/5/1951 Dragnet pilot shown on NBC TV
12/30/1951 The Roy Rogers Show premiers on NBC TV (-1957)
1/3/1952 Dragnet with Jack Webb premiers on NBC TV (-1959)
6/30/1952 The Guiding Light soap opera moves from radio to TV
7/30/1952 CBS radio soap opera "Guiding Light" begins running concurrently on TV
10/1/1952 This Is Your Life hosted by Ralph Edwards premiers on NBC TV
10/1/1952 Cavalcade of America dramatic anthology series begins (NBC, ABC)
10/3/1952 1st video recording on magnetic tape, Los Angeles
10/3/1952 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet premiers on ABC TV
10/3/1952 Our Miss Brooks starring Eve Arden premiers on CBS TV
5/15/1953 Final episode of "Lum & Abner" radio show, on the air since 1931
2/1/1954 Edwin Armstrong dies (suicide).
12/26/1954 Final episode of radio's "The Shadow," after 24 years
9/10/1955 Gunsmoke premiers on CBS TV
10/23/1956 1st video recording on magnetic tape televised coast-to-coast
1/4/1957 Blondie situation comedy premiers on NBC TV (later on CBS)
9/14/1957 Have Gun Will Travel starring Richard Boone premiers on CBS TV
11/23/1958 TV show "Have Gun Will Travel" adds a radio version, on CBS
9/15/1959 Fibber McGee & Molly moves to NBC TV from radio - lasts 5 months
2/8/1960 Congress begins investigating payola in radio & records
11/25/1960 Last day of radio soap opera - 6 cancellations, including "Ma Perkins," "Young Dr. Malone"
8/8/1963 Kingsmen release "Louie, Louie" - radio stations label it obscene
1/27/1965 1st ground station-to-aircraft radio communication via satellite
9/9/1966 The Green Hornet makes his television debut, on ABC
8/15/1967 Britain's Marine Offense Bill makes pirate radio stations illegal
9/30/1967 BBC starts its own popular music radio station
2/20/1971 National Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations off the air - mistake wasn't resolved for 30 minutes
1/6/1974 The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre premiers
7/18/1974 World's tallest structure, 646-m Polish radio mast, completed
7/3/1978 Supreme Court rules 5-4 that FCC had a right to reprimand NY radio station WBAI for broadcasting George Carlin's "Filthy Words"
5/29/1979 The Source, 1st rock 'n' roll radio network, premiers
8/11/1984 During a radio voice test Pres. Reagan jokes he "signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes"
3/18/1985 $3.5 billion purchase of ABC by Capital Cities announced
12/11/1985 General Electric acquires RCA Corp. & its subsidiary, NBC
10/24/1987 NBC technicians accept pact, end 118-day strike
10/3/1988 WBMW FM, Wash., DC changes calls to WJFK & begins airing Howard Stern
10/7/1988 WNBC 660 final transmission; WFAN moves from 1050 to 660 & WUKQ begins on 1050 at 5:30 p.m. (NYC radio)
11/30/1988 Soviet Union stops jamming foreign radio broadcasts after 38 yrs