WHAV Sends Happy Birthday Wishes to KDKA Radio on its 100th Anniversary Today

In the original KDKA studio, from left, standby announcer R.S. McClelland, engineer William Thomas, announcer Leo H. Rosenberg and telephone line operator John Frazier. (Public domain.)

Today, WHAV salutes KDKA in Pittsburgh on its 100th birthday.

The Westinghouse radio station signed on Nov. 2, 1920 to bring listeners the results of the presidential election contest between Republican Sen. Warren G. Harding of Ohio and Democratic Gov. James M. Cox of Ohio. In the first election after World War I, Harding won the race. Here is KDKA’s first announcer, Leo H. Rosenberg, with his re-creation of the original broadcast.

“This is KDKA, of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co., in East Pittsburg, Penn. We shall now broadcast the election returns.”

KDKA claims to have been the first radio station in the country, but that status is disputed. What became KQW in California started in 1912, WGI in Medford put concerts on the air in 1916 and the Detroit News-owned WWJ was on the air a couple of months before KDKA. No matter who was on first, WHAV continues celebrating a century of sound.

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