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Chapter 21: KPFA, Berkeley, and Free Radio Berkeley
KPFA was the first listener-supported independent1 station in the United States. Except for two breaks, the first from August 1950 to May 1951 and the second from July 14–21, 1999, it has broadcast every day since April 15, 1949.
Continuity, however, is only one of the features that distinguishes it from other local radio stations in the United States. In its early days, when the first Cold War and its ultimate expression, McCarthyism, were placing a rigid clamp on political criticism and independent thought, KPFA struck out in the opposite direction. It was, in a sense, an echo from the Roosevelt era and the hopes and optimism that period inspired in many politically committed and ...