Profile America: FM Radio Debuts

Monday, March 18th. FM radio is 78 years old this month. In 1941, the first commercial FM station went on the air — W47NV in Nashville, Tennessee. FM —standing for frequency modulation — was first proposed by Edwin Armstrong in 1922. By 1934, he was demonstrating to network officials how FM was unaffected by static, like all the radio stations then on the air, which used AM, or amplitude modulation. World War II interrupted the advance of FM broadcasting, which surged in the 1960s when it began transmitting in stereo. Today, some 81,000 people work in nearly 15,500 licensed radio stations, of which nearly 11,000 broadcast on the FM band. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

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