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History Café: The Democratizing Power of Radio

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A hundred years after it debuted, radio broadcasting remains one of the most powerful communications tool for connecting people with news, ideas and entertainment. The original “social media,” radio united Americans in tough times of economic distress and war, and happier times like the dawn of rock music and the rise of professional sports. In Washington, radio was there for countless historic happenings – as well as mundane moments – and broadcaster and historian Feliks Banel has been studying and sharing this distinctive Northwest radio history for 20 years. From the earliest known recordings of local radio, through the unique effects of “War of the Worlds” in the Evergreen State, to chilling wartime bulletins and the years of lively Top 40 and beyond, Feliks will share audio clips and photos to tell stories of radio in Washington.

Come to History Café to discuss some of the pivotal moments in Washington radio history and explore the ways in which broadcasting has helped underserved communities throughout our state.

ASL Interpretation and CART captioning is available during the program through generous support of the Institute for Museum and Library Services. For additional accessibility support, please contact

History Café is produced as a partnership between MOHAI and HistoryLink. Join MOHAI and HistoryLink on the third Wednesday of the month for a discussion about local history—both popular and obscure—and discover something new.

Detailed information on how to participate will be provided via email following your registration.

Location: MOHAI Gourmondo Café

Cost: Free with Registration

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