World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), observed every April 18, marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in 1925. As they do every year, radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate Amateur Radio’s contribution to society.
“April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide, and the fun we have,” the IARU said in announcing World Amateur Radio Day 2016. “We hope you will join in the fun and education that is World Amateur Radio Day!”
Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that — far from being a wasteland — the shortwave spectrum could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers — ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, among them — met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.
As Maxim and his counterparts envisioned, the IARU is an international confederation of national Amateur Radio organizations that allows a forum for common matters of concern and collectively represents matters to the International Telecommunication Union (UIT).
Just 2 years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained several allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Since its founding, the IARU has worked to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio.
From 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 Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The ITU has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.
Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators!
The IARU has provided a World Amateur Radio Day poster. Any club may download it to promote WARD. The poster comes in two sizes (61cm x 91cm) (small (A4) flyer).
Groups should promote their WARD activity on social media by using the hash tag #WARD2016 on Twitter and on Facebook. The IARU will list all WARD activities (scroll below the announcement). To have your WARD activity listed, e-mail ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. Read more.