Imagine life without the internet. This may not be all that hard for everyone, as there are many people who grew up without the internet and managed quite well. So now, try to imagine life without television. A little worse, right?
But many people are not fans of sitting in front of the TV, so having so television may seem perfectly bearable as well. Now for the hardest part: imagine life without either of the aforementioned things, and now without radio, either.You come home after a long day at work, and are greeted by silence. Complete and utter silence. Even if you do like to read, you have to admit that a life without any kind of broadcasting whatsoever. And that’s what life was like just one hundred years ago.
I think by now we can all agree that all forms of broadcasting have contributed to making our lives happier and more interesting, and have provided plenty of entertainment on cold dark nights that would have otherwise been spent, well, sleeping. Public Radio Broadcasting Day is a day dedicated to appreciating technology and how much it has improved our lives.
The History of Public Radio Broadcasting Day
The first public radio broadcast in history took place on January 13, 1910, when a live opera featuring some of the most renowned opera singers of the day was broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House.
This first-ever broadcast was several hours long and consisted of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticanaand Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, two very popular opera at the time, performed by such opera stars as Emmy Destin, Riccardo Martin and Enrico Caruso. Not many people were able to actually pick up the broadcast, which was heard only in the De Forest Radio Laboratory, on board ships in New York Harbor, and in large hotels on Times Square.
Several public receivers had also been set up in various locations around New York City so the public could listen to the music as well. The furthest the music was reported heard was on a ship about 20 kilometers away from the city.
Even though the experiment was considered largely unsuccessful due to the poor quality of all of the devices used, and the amount of static and “homeless song waves”, as the New York Times later put it, the fact remains that that was the very first public radio broadcast in human history, and one that changed the entertainment industry forever.
How to celebrate Public Radio Broadcasting Day
A great way to celebrate his holiday would be to pay homage to those who have been responsible for the development of broadcasting technologies over the past hundred years. Listening to the radio drama play called “War of the Worlds” that caused panic all over America when the audience unexpectedly believed the alien invasion described in the play to be real, would be the perfect way to understand just how much radio broadcasting changed the world, and just how unprepared the world was for such an invention.
“Up Close and Personal” has long since been a favorite movie about broadcasting, as has Bridget Jones’ Diary, though both have little to do with the actual history of the industry, and more to do with watching people fall in love against the backdrop of broadcasting media. Not that there’s anything wrong with watching that.