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55th Anniversary: KPFA On the Air

April 15, 2004
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Robert Fisk

Chief Middle East correspondent for the London Independent.

On April 15, 1949, at 3 pm, a charismatic, chain smoking conscientious objector named Lewis Hill sat before a microphone and said "This is KPFA Berkeley."

55 years ago today, KPFA went on the air and the first listener-supported radio station in the United States was born.

Hill had an idea for creating a radio station that would not be funded by advertising sponsors, but rather by listeners.

FM radio was in its infancy so in addition to broadcasting the signal, KPFA had to give out radios to listeners to receive it.

Today we bring you a documentary "KPFA on the Air", a film by Veronica Selver and Sharon Wood and narrated by Alice Walker.


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