➦In 1901...Fessenden applies for high-frequency dynamo patent.
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company.
The host of the broadcast was Fessenden. After giving a resume of the program Fessenden played a recording of Handel's "Largo" on an Ediphone thus establishing two records - the first recording of the first broadcast. Fessenden then dazzled his listeners with his talent as a violinist playing appropriately for the Christmas season, "Oh Holy Night" and actually singing the last verse as he played. Mrs. Helen Fessenden and Fessenden's secretary Miss Bent, had promised to read seasonal passages from the Bible including, "Glory to God in the highest -and on earth peace to men of good will," but when the time came to perform they stood speechless, paralyzed with mike fright. Fessenden took over for them and concluded the broadcast by extending Christmas greetings to his listeners - as well as asking them to write and report to him on the broadcast wherever they were.
The mail response confirmed that Fessenden had successfully invented radio as we know it. Technically, he had invented radio telephony or what radio listeners would call "real" radio as opposed to Marconi's Morse code broadcasting. Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio and he fully expected the world to beat a path to his door. Instead, he never received his due recognition, lost control of his patents and the ensuing revenue which made other inventors and companies immensely wealthy. Even today the Encyclopedia Canadiana does not give him a separate listing. Mention of him is only included under the listing for his mother Clementina who established Empire Day in Canada. Reginald is mentioned as one of her four sons, "inventor of the wireless telephone, the radio compass and the visible bullet for machine guns, he also invented the first television set in North America in 1919."
➦In 1920…The Canadian Marconi Company's station XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) in Montréal gave what it would later claim to be the first scheduled radio broadcast in North America, and quite possibly in the world. Its call letters were changed to CFCF on November 4, 1920, and while the meaning of that call sign has never been officially confirmed, it is generally believed to be "Canada's First, Canada's Finest."
WNBC signed on for the first time on March 2, 1922, as WEAF, owned by AT&T Western Electric. It was the first radio station in New York City.
The call are popularly thought to have stood for Western Electric AT&T Fone or Water, Earth, Air, and Fire (the 4 classical elements). However, records suggest that the call letters were assigned from an alphabetical sequence. The first assigned call was actually WDAM; it was quickly dropped, but presumably came from the same alphabetical sequence.
In 1922, WEAF broadcast what it later claimed to be the first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line, (the IRT's Flushing-Corona line, now the number 7 line).
In 1926, WEAF was purchased by the Radio Corporation of America, making it a sister station to WJZ. RCA then formed the National Broadcasting Company, which operated two radio chains.
On November 11, 1928, WEAF moved from 610 to 660 AM. The move that solidified WEAF's position as the most pretigious of all broadcasters took place in the autumn of 1933, when NBC moved to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and became the "radio" that gave Radio City its name.
In 1943, the United States Supreme Court ordered RCA to sell off one of its radio networks, citing antitrust concerns. The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested, along with several stations (including WJZ), to Edward J. Noble and rechristened the Blue Network as the American Broadcasting Company. WEAF's call letters were changed to WNBC in 1946, then to WRCA in 1954, and back to WNBC in 1960.
➦In 1985...the United States began broadcasting to Cuban citizens on "Radio Marti".
➦In 2011…Longtime Pittsburgh radio personality (KDKA, 1973-2001) John Cigna died following a stroke and of complications from emphysema at 75.
➦In 2014...Chicago radio talk show host (WGN, WCFL, WIND)/sports commentator Bill Berg died of complications from Parkinson's disease at 77.