Tuesday, November 02, 2010
KDKA on the air Nov. 2, 1920
KDKA's roots began with the efforts of Frank Conrad who operated KDKA's predecessor 75 watt 8XK from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania from 1916. Conrad's musical offerings proved unexpectedly popular and his operations continued until his employer, the Westinghouse Electric Company, realized the commercial potential of this new medium and applied for an official broadcasting license. The KDKA callsign was assigned sequentially from a list maintained for the use of US-registry maritime stations, and on November 2, 1920, KDKA broadcast the US presidential election returns from a shack on the roof of a Westinghouse building in East Pittsburgh. There is some indication that the new license had not been received by that date, and the station may have gone on the air with the experimental call sign of 8ZZ that night. The original broadcast was said to be heard as far away as Canada.