Profile America: First Commercial Radio Broadcast

Wednesday, November 2 — Even with all of our electronic diversions, many of us listen to radio at some point every day. The wide variety of formats means we can choose our favorite type of music, and radio keeps us up to the minute on news and weather. The presidential election held on this date 96 years ago was the occasion of the first commercial radio broadcast. Station KDKA in Pittsburgh carried the results, in which Warren G. Harding defeated the ticket of James Cox and his vice-presidential nominee Franklin Roosevelt, whose famous radio days lay ahead.

 

Just two years later, that first station was joined by 400 others as the popularity of radio swept the nation. Today, there are some 6,700 radio broadcast establishments, employing almost 95,000 people.

 

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey here.

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