This Day in Pop Culture for August 20

Radio microphones

1920: The First Commercial Radio Station Begins to Air

The first radio transmitters capable of audio transmissions began around 1915 which led to the idea of creating broadcasting stations for newspapers. In 1916, the DeForest Radio Telephone Telegraph Company began airing a “wireless newspaper” which featured music and news in New York City. Surprisingly, the idea didn’t catch on right away and Mr. DeForest was unable to attract any publishers. Then, with World War I starting, all civilian radio stations went silent. The ban was lifted in October of 1919 and DeForest began airing his show once more offering local franchises and national advertisers ad time. The Detroit News was the only taker. Then in May of 1920, the newspaper made arrangements for DeForest to develop and broadcasting service in Detroit. Michael DeLisle Lyons, a teenager, was an amateur radio operator was hired to get the station up and running by installing a transmitter connected to an antenna at the top of the building. The first in a series of trial broadcasts began on this day in 1920. Later on August 31, The Detroit News Radiophone broadcasts began. Today, the station is known as WWJ, 950 AM and is owned by CBS Radio. (Image: Wikimedia)

Sony Pictures Television

2021: Shortest Game Show Gig Ever?

After Alex Trebek had passed away in November 2020, Sony Pictures featured a variety of guest hosts for the entire 37th year of Jeopardy! Mike Richards, the executive producer of the show won the coveted title of new official host on August 11 the following year. He taped his first show on August 19 only to step down from the position on this day in 2021 after recordings of disparaging remarks he made about women and Jews on the podcast The Randumb Show in 2013 and 2014 had surfaced. He and Sony thought it best that role should go to someone more worthy.

Movies Released

  • Garden State (2004)
  • Nanny McFee Returns (2010)
  • Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)
  • PAW Patrol the Movie (2021)
  • Piranha (2010)
  • The Switch (2010)

TV Series Debuts

  • Saved by the Bell (1989)
  • Yo Gabba Gabba (2007)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1890: H.P. Lovecraft (author)
  • 1931: Don King (boxing promoter)
  • 1946: Connie Chung (jounalist)
  • 1947: Ray Wise (actor)
  • 1953: Peter Horton (actor)
  • 1954: Al Roker (TV weatherman)
  • 1956: Joan Allen (actress)
  • 1974: Amy Adams (actress)
  • 1974: Misha Collins (actor)
  • 1992: Demi Lovato (singer)

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