1932 - The Empire Service is founded
The BBC Empire Service was originally intended for English speakers around the British Empire. King George V explained the remit of the station in his first ever Christmas message, and the BBC's founder, John Reith, warned listeners to keep their expectations low.
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1933 - Franklin D Roosevelt speaks on radio
By 1933 politicians around the world were learning to use the mass media. In depression-era America, the newly-elected President, Franklin D Roosevelt, saw radio as a means to reach out to a demoralised nation.
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1934 - Adolf Hitler utilises the media
Adolf Hitler understood the potential of the media, and he hired a gifted young filmmaker, Leni Reifenstahl, to chart his rise. Her films were beautifully shot glorifications of the Nazi ideal; viewers were meant to be in no doubt as how powerful Hitler had become.
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1935 - A new radio station in West Africa
The BBC's Empire Service was expanding in all directions during the 1930s. A new radio station in Accra opened up West Africa to voices from London. The governor of the Gold Coast - now Ghana - was ecstatic.
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1936 - King Edward VIII abdicates
Reluctantly the British Royal family began to embrace broadcasting in the 1930s, with Christmas speeches and appearances in cinema newsreels. When King Edward VIII had to abdicate because he wanted to marry a divorcee he used radio to explain himself to the public.
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1937 - The Hindenburg disaster
American reporter Herb Morrison took a prototype radio van to watch the airship the Hindenburg coming in to land. His words as he witnessed the subsequent tragedy became some of the most famous in broadcasting history.
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1938 - Orson Welles causes hysteria
Everyone listened to the radio in the 1930s, and most believed what they heard. Following Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds, people across America took to the streets in panic, and police stations were mobbed by hysterical listeners.
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1939 - Britain goes to war
When Hitler's armies invaded Poland - war engulfed Europe. The British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain used the BBC to tell the people that Britain was at war with Germany. The BBC was now part of the war effort.
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