Sunday, February 05, 2012

Poland's President Visits Radio Free Europe's Former Headquarters in Munich | Cold War Radios

Poland's President Visits Radio Free Europe's Former Headquarters in Munich | Cold War Radios:


VOA has also been celebrating its first broadcast. Voice of America went on the air February 1, 1942, nearly two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and the United States entered World War II. I found that rather late, bearing in mind the BBC started its foreign language service (Arabic) in 1938 to counteract broadcasts in Arabic from Italy into the Middle East.

Speaking in German, American journalist William Harlan Hale delivered VOA's first broadcast from a studio in New York City and broadcast to Germany via shortwave radio. The publicity guys were out there from day one, with those huge cardboard signs on the microphones.

"This is a voice speaking from America. Daily at this time, we shall speak to you about America and the war," Hale announced. "The news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth."

Current VOA Director David Ensor says those words continue to be relevant today.

 

Marking the 70th anniversary, Ensor said the international broadcasting agency will aggressively move forward to continue to provide an "information lifeline to people in closed societies like Iran."  The official party for the VOA anniversary will be on March 7th in Washington DC. 
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