1922 : WKAR, Michigan’s First Public Radio Educational Station

August 18, 2018 all-day

WKAR is a National Public Radio member station in East Lansing, Michigan; broadcasting at 870 kHz. It is owned by Michigan State University, and carries news and talk shows from NPR. It is part of MSU’s Broadcasting Services Division, and is a sister station to the FM radio and television stations with the same call letters. Its studios and offices are located in the Communication Arts and Sciences Building, at the southeast corner of Wilson and Red Cedar Roads on the MSU campus.

The station dates to experimental broadcasts at Michigan State, then known as Michigan Agricultural College, beginning in 1917. WKAR-AM’s first official broadcast was a “Founder’s Day” speech on May 13, 1922. MAC was granted a full license on August 18, 1922. The station’s call letters were assigned randomly by Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (which was the sole radio licensing authority). It was the only radio station in the Lansing area until 1934.

Source : Wikipedia

WKAR and Michigan State University entered the era of radio broadcasting on August 18, 1922. Every day during the month of August, we’ll bring you a piece of history from 1922 until now. Let’s start with what life was like when WKAR went on the air in 1922: There were 3.9 million people in Michigan. Lansing’s population was around 57,000 in the 1920s. Alexander Groesbeck was Michigan Governor. Michigan State University was known as Michigan Agricultural College in 1922.

Reginald Hardwick, “Remembering History as WKAR Turns 95“, WKAR, August 1, 2017.

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