KDKA, Pittsburgh

For those of us living in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a world without radio, television and the internet. The free flow of information, music and entertainment programming across the country and the world is taken for granted in modern society but was a revolutionary development 100 years ago, when KDKA made communications history with a radio broadcast from Pittsburgh in 1920. The...
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Pennsylvania’s First Television Station: “Loving What We Were Doing”

No champagne corks popped at Philadel­phia’s old Philco plant on October 17, 1941, to celebrate. The achievement failed to rate even a few lines in local newspapers as reports of the increasingly grim drama unfolding in Eu­rope took chilling precedence. Like so many of the seemingly minor events that herald major changes in our way of living, America’s first commercial network...
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Live From Pittsburgh

It was the evening of Tues­day, November 2, 1920. In Pittsburgh’s cold, rainswept streets, patient crowds stood waiting for the Harding-Cox presidential election returns to be posted on newspaper bulletin boards. Meanwhile, across town in a makeshift shack atop one of the Westinghouse Company’s factory buildings in the city’s Turtle Creek section, Leo H. Rosenberg began...
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Some Questions for Examining Pennsylvania’s Black History

Civil rights activist Julian Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in January 1940. When he was five years old, his father, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, was named the first Black president of Lincoln University, Chester County, the country’s oldest private African American college. Bond’s family lived on the campus of Lincoln University until 1957, when Dr. Bond was appointed dean of the...
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Sparking a Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution: An Interview with Dick Clark

For many baby boomers – members of that much-touted generation who came of age in the fifties and sixties – rock ‘n’ roll provided a defining point in their adolescent lives. Few will ever forget the first time they jitterbugged to Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets, or took to the dance floor with The Twist by Chubby Checker. Many cherish the memory of...
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Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

It’s strange how you can be in on the ground floor of a cultural revolution and not know it at the time. But that’s how it was with me and the birth of rock and roll – in Lebanon and West Chester. Admittedly, I was an observer; a chronicler, if you will. The story begins just after the end of World War II when a new radio station, WLBR, was opening in Lebanon. WLBR was a...
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Radio Station KDKA

On Tuesday evening, November 2, 1920, about one thousand people in the Pittsburgh area listened to the results of the presidential election of candidates Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox on “wireless” receivers. Transmitted by a one hundred-watt station that would become KDKA, this was something new-radio broadcasting. And radio would revolutionize communication just as the...
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