KDKA Firsts

November 2, 1920
The world’s first broadcast by a commercially licensed radio station: The Harding-Cox Presidential Election Returns. Announcer Leo Rosenberg delivered the results starting at 6:00pm.

January 2, 1921
First broadcast of a regularly scheduled church service: Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh.

January, 1921
First full-time radio announcer hired: Harold W. Arlin. Arlin introduced such celebrities as William Jennings Bryan, Will Rogers, Babe Ruth and Herbert Hoover over the KDKA airwaves.

March 4, 1921
First broadcast of a presidential inaugural address: Warren G. Harding, the 28th President of the United States.

March 10, 1921
First broadcast from a theater. The Davis Theater in Downtown, Pittsburgh, featuring soprano Ruth Roye.

April 11, 1921
First broadcast of a sporting event: a 10-round, no decision fight between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee in Pittsburgh’s Motor Square Garden.

May 19, 1921
First broadcast of government market reports, which laid the groundwork for all future farm programs.

July 2, 1921
First broadcast of a World Heavyweight Boxing Championship, between champion Jack Dempsey and French challenger Georges Carpentier.

August 5, 1921
First radio play-by-play of a professional baseball game: the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

September 20, 1921
World’s first radio newsroom, with remote pick-up facilities at the Pittsburgh Post.

October 8, 1921
First play-by-play broadcast of a football game: Pitt’s victory over West Virginia University.

December 4, 1922
First musical group established exclusively for radio broadcast: The KDKA Little Symphony.

July 23, 1982
First radio station in the world to broadcast in AM Stereo.

May 1, 1989
First station in the world to broadcast from the Disney-MGM Radio Studio in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.


One Comment

  1. Rick Takacs says:

    Wow, to be the first radio station is really something to be so proud of…
    And then all the great broadcasts, what history.
    Be proud Pittsburgh, you really have something to be proud o
    As they say,you have come a long way baby!!!!!!.

  2. Matt Stufft says:

    Happy 90th Birthday KDKA!!!!

  3. bob osthoff says:

    Who could ever forget the KDKA broadcast of Maz’s epic homerun to lift the Bucs over the Yankees in the 1960 World Series. Bill Burns, Art Pallin all part of the KDKA history I cherish.

  4. Marianne Warehime says:

    Wow!!!! I am a native Pittsburgher, relocated to Baltimore. I was one of the instructors for Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute who taught
    Bill Rehkopf Emergency Medical Technician.

Comments are closed.

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