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World Amateur Radio Day

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — 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 met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.  Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.

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 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators!

World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.

World Amateur Radio Day 2024

IARU is very pleased to announce the theme of: “A Century of Connections: Celebrating 100 years of Amateur Radio Innovation, Community, and Advocacy”.

IARU celebrates its centenary in 2025. Since its founding in Paris, France, IARU has worked tirelessly to promote innovation in amateur radio and to encourage the growth of the service in communities throughout the world.

IARU has represented the Amateur Services at international and regional regulatory bodies by relying on our volunteers who come from many countries and communities. IARU has been a sector member of the ITU since 1932 and the work of our volunteers has continued since that date with unmatched success, as was highlighted with the accomplishments at WRC-23.

Leading up to our centenary year, we should take time to reflect on the remarkable achievements of radio amateurs over the last 100 years.

While the Amateur Services have been in operation for over a century, 1924 was the first year that intercontinental amateur communication became more or less commonplace.

Since that time radio amateurs have made unparalleled advances in technology related to the Amateur Services that play a critical role today in sustaining world-wide communications and allow us to respond to global emergencies. 

World Amateur Radio Day is an opportunity to reflect on our achievements since 1924. We should celebrate our diverse community and the advances and innovations we have made as we look forward to celebrating the IARU centenary next year.

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