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World Amateur Radio Day is Friday, April 18

04/15/2014

“Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication” is the theme for World Amateur Radio Day 2014, Friday, April 18. Radio amateurs celebrate World Amateur Radio Day each year on April 18 to recognize the anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in Paris in 1925. ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, was its first president. The primary purpose of World Amateur Radio Day is to highlight Amateur Radio and its benefits to countries and communities. This year the IARU and its more than 150 member-societies are marking the organization’s 89th anniversary.

“Amateur radio has truly entered the 21st century. In less than 100 years Amateur Radio communication has evolved from crude spark-gap technology to digital signal processing and software-defined radios,” the IARU has pointed out. “The amateur’s HF choice between voice and CW has been expanded to a broad range of communication choices from television to spread spectrum.”

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. As the rush to shorter wavelengths ensued, however, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. So, Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just 2 years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 150 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

World Amateur Radio Day activities and special events are an opportunity to spread the word about what radio amateurs are doing in the 21st century. Several IARU member-societies and associated clubs are expected to sponsor special event stations this weekend to mark the occasion.

 



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