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ARRL Plans Centennial Celebration in Hartford in 2014


The ARRL has announced plans to hold its National Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut on July 17-20, 2014. The Convention will mark 100 years of the ARRL’s founding in Hartford. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has also announced a theme for ARRL’s Centennial year: Advancing the Art and Science of Radio -- since 1914.

In May 1914, Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW -- a leading inventor and industrialist in Hartford, Connecticut -- founded the American Radio Relay League, together with Clarence Tuska, 1WD, the secretary of The Radio Club of Hartford. Today, the ARRL serves more than 158,000 members, mostly licensed radio amateurs, in the US and around the world.

The decision to hold the ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford was made by the ARRL Board of Directors at its July 2012 meeting. The organization’s headquarters has been maintained in the Hartford area since its founding. ARRL’s present headquarters is located on Main Street in Newington, Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford, and is visited by nearly 2000 groups and individuals each year. The site has been home to The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, since 1938.

The proposal to host the Centennial Convention in Hartford was reinforced by the organizers of the ARRL New England Division Convention, held every two years in Boxboro, Massachusetts. “Boxboro’s organizing sponsor, FEMARA, Inc, has graciously agreed to forgo holding a Convention in 2014,” said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B. “Instead, FEMARA has offered to help share its expertise and volunteers as we prepare to bring this national celebration to Hartford. We will also invite help from ARRL members and radio clubs throughout New England and the region to help.”

Proceeds from the biennial Boxboro convention help support the FEMARA Scholarship Fund, awarded to young radio amateurs who are pursuing higher education. “Since Boxboro will not be held in 2014, a portion of the ticket sales for the Centennial Convention will be donated to the FEMARA Scholarship fund,” Kramer explained.

“ARRL members should save the dates,” said ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. “The 2014 Centennial Convention is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it will have all of the trademark elements of a proper convention and hamfest: presentations and forums, exhibits, vendors, demonstrations, flea market, activities for youth and a banquet.

Inderbitzen noted that there will be some very special centennial-themed activities, including tours of ARRL Headquarters and W1AW, guest presenters, some surprises and lots of celebrating: “We want ARRL members to come with all of their experiences from the first 100 years of Amateur Radio and the ARRL, and leave with a shared vision for ARRL’s Second Century.”

The convention’s organizing team is already making plans to bring the convention to Hartford, including the selection of a venue. The area boasts dozens of attractions and activities, making Connecticut a great destination for members who plan to attend the convention with their family and friends. Nearby attractions include the Connecticut Science Center, the Mark Twain House, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center the Wadsworth Atheneum and Six Flags New England. Hartford is served by an international airport (Hartford/Springfield BDL), and is conveniently located between Boston and New York City. Hartford’s centrally located Union Station is serviced by Amtrak and major bus companies.

Preliminary Convention Agenda

  • Thursday, July 17
    • Registration
    • Seminars and Training Tracks
  • Friday, July 18
    • Registration
    • Opening General Session
    • Exhibit Hall and Flea Market
    • Forums and Presentations
    • Dinner Banquet
    • Wouff Hong Ceremony
  • Saturday, July 19
    • Registration
    • Exhibit Hall and Flea Market
    • Forums and Presentations
    • Closing General Session
  • Sunday, July 20
    • TBD
  • Other Activities:
    • Tours of ARRL headquarters/W1AW
    • Donor Reception
    • ARRL National Youth Event
    • Spouse/Family Excursions (area attractions)

About the ARRL Centennial Logo

To help mark the occasion of League’s Centennial in 2014, the ARRL created this colorful, contemporary, celebratory and forward-looking logo. A key element of the ARRL Centennial logo is the traditional ARRL diamond, flanked by five diamonds in different colors that represent each of the organization’s underpinnings: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology and Membership. The diamonds are arranged together, pointing forward.




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