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90th Anniversary of KDKA Election Coverage

Industry website RadioInk today ran a feature about the 90th anniversary of election night coverage on Pittsburgh radio station KDKA.

In that election, Republican Warren G. Harding defeated Democrat and fellow Ohioan (and fellow newspaperman) James M. Cox. Many people forget now that Cox's running mate, who would go on to make pretty good use of radio himself as a campaign tool and domestic agenda promotion device, was Franklin D. Roosevelt.

KDKA, now an all-news station owned by CBS, presented a special anniversary broadcast Tuesday morning from the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Audio of that broadcast is available here.

It wasn't too many years ago that KDKA was widely believed to be the country's first radio station, which was a bit of an oversimplification. Broadcast history (and history in general) has evolved, and the obsession with "firsts" seems to have subsided. Meanwhile, there's growing appreciation for more complex and subtle narratives, such as Ken Burns' film (based on the Tom Lewis book), Empire of the Air.

(Posted by Feliks Banel)

1 Comment(s)
Nov 17, 2011
8:23 AM
Samara Latta said:

Many thanks for having written this. Thatís the most nice post I have found about this.
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