Flashback Friday: KDKA Firsts

 

Thinking about a world without the internet makes me feel like there was once a utopian world where people actually communicated with one another. On the other hand…the internet. We kinda need it. I’m glad we do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing and you wouldn’t be reading.

Well, twenty-two years ago today, KDKA.com went online for the first time. This isn’t the only “first” for KDKA and May 19th, however. Back in 1921, the radio station broadcast the first broadcast of government market reports, which laid the groundwork for all future farm programs. In two polar opposite ends of the media and technology spectrum, this is a pretty historical day for KDKA. Which got me thinking…what else can KDKA claim first to? I’ve written about a couple before, but here’s a list of interesting firsts by arguably the Steel City’s most infamous media outlet:

  • First broadcast of a regularly scheduled program. (The church service of the Calvary Episcopal Church.)
  • First full time radio announcer hired. (Harold W. Arlin.)
  • First broadcast of an presidential inaugural address (Warren G. Harding, 1921)
  • First broadcast of a sporting event. (A 10 round, no decision, fight between Johnny Dundee and Johnny Ray at Motor Square Garden Pittsburgh.)
  • First broadcast of a world heavy weight boxing championship between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpenter.
  • First radio play-by-play of a professional baseball game. (Pirates over the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5.)
  • Worlds first radio newsroom with remote pick-up facilities at the Pittsburgh Post.
  • First play-by-play broadcast of a football game. (Pitt victory over West Virginia)
  • First musical group established exclusevley for radio. (Known as The KDKA Little Symphony)
  • First radio station to broadcast AM in stereo.
  • First station in the world to broadcast from the Disney-MGM Radio studio in Lake Buena Vista Fla.

 

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