World Amateur Radio Day (PIECE) Tuesday, April 18 will mark the 92nd anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), and radio amateurs around the world will take to the airwaves to celebrate the day in 1925 when the IARU was formed in Paris. “Celebrating the contribution of amateur radio to society” is WARD’s theme.
Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the shortwave spectrum – far from being a wasteland – could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being sidelined,” notes the IARU history. Pioneers of amateur radio, including ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, met in Paris in 1925 and established the IARU to support amateur radio worldwide.
Just 2 years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, amateur radio got the allocations still recognized today – 160, 80, 40, 20 and 10 meters. Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand frequency allocations for amateur radio. With the support of enlightened administrations in all regions of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.
Of the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas and Region 3 includes Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Island nations and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of amateur radio.
Today, amateur radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3 million licensees! World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU member societies can demonstrate the capabilities of amateur radio to the public and enjoy global friendship with fellow radio amateurs around the world.