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The year 1938 saw a number of significant events in radio broadcasting.

List of years in radio (table)
In television


  • 3 January – The BBC Empire Service, begun in 1932, transmits its first programme in a foreign language: Arabic.
  • 13 March – CBS carries the first-ever point-to-point news roundup, including Edward R. Murrow's first live report, as part of its coverage of the Anschluss in Austria. Over the next few months, the daily programme will evolve into the CBS World News Roundup, a fixture on the CBS network to this day.
  • 15 March – The BBC begins its Portuguese and Spanish service for Latin America.
  • 14 April – Fireside chat: On Economic Conditions
  • 24 June – Fireside chat: On Party Primaries
  • 12 September – Commentator H. V. Kaltenborn begins his famous marathon of news bulletins on the CBS network covering the intensifying Czech Crisis over the Sudetenland. The first bulletin is a summation of Hitler's closing address to the Tenth (and, as it would prove, last) Party Congress of the Nazi party in Nuremberg. Kaltenborn would eat and sleep in the studio, making periodic updates, until the signing of the Munich Agreement on 29 September.
  • 30 October – Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast on CBS as an episode of The Mercury Theatre on the Air. As the program was self-sustaining and had no commercial interruptions, Welles centered the first two-thirds of the broadcast in the serious style of a series of news bulletins interrupting a live musical broadcast. This approach resulted in panic in various parts of the United States.
  • 10 November – Kate Smith sings God Bless America for the first time on her radio show, a day before Armistice Day.





  1. ^ a b c Cox, Jim (2008). This Day in Network Radio: A Daily Calendar of Births, Debuts, Cancellations and Other Events in Broadcasting History. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3848-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  3. ^ "Network Accounts" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1 March 1938. p. 65. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  5. ^ "The Definitive Avalon Time Radio Log". Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2015.