Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

World Amateur Radio Day – April 18, 2023

World Amateur Radio Day happens every year on April 18. Amateur radio, commonly referred to as HAM radio, makes use of the radio frequency spectrum for non-commercial purposes such as exchanging messages, private recreation, emergency communication, wireless experimentation, and self-training. Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) and the International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.) assign radio frequencies to amateur radio services. These frequencies are used by amateur radio operators to interact with similar people via two-way personal communication. The I.T.U. is responsible for all matters related to information and communication technologies. The transmission’s technical and operational characteristics are regulated by national governments that issue licenses with unique identifying call signs to individual stations. These call signs must be used in all transmissions.

History of World Amateur Radio Day

Amateur Radio Service was established by the I.T.U., a special agency of the United Nations formed on May 17, 1865.

Hams is another term for amateur radio operators. The term “ham” was initially used as a derogatory moniker for amateur radio operators by operators in the commercial and professional radio communities in 1909. The term was quickly adopted by the operators and became ingrained in their lexicon. The phrase, however, did not become widely used in the United States until around 1920, after which it gradually spread to other English-speaking countries.

International Amateur Radio Union (I.A.R.U.) was formed by the Amateur Radio pioneers in Paris on April 18, 1925, to support Amateur Radio worldwide. It was first discovered by Amateur Radio experimenters that the short wave spectrum could support worldwide propagation. The I.A.R.U. noted that in the race to exploit these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was at great risk of being pushed aside.

Since its inception, the I.A.R.U. has worked relentlessly to safeguard and increase Amateur Radio frequency allocations. Radio amateurs can now experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically positioned throughout the radio spectrum thanks to the help of enlightened administrations all over the world.

The I.A.R.U. has expanded from 25 countries upon its founding in 1925 to 160 member societies in three regions. Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia are all part of IARU Region One. Region Two includes the Americas, while Region Three includes Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and the majority of Asia. The I.T.U. has recognized the I.A.R.U. as representing amateur radio’s interests.

World Amateur Radio Day timeline

1888
Radio Waves Exist

Henry Rudolf proves the existence of radio waves.

1905
First Wireless Telegraphy Receiver

The first commercially produced wireless telegraphy receiver becomes available to amateurs.

1908
Wireless Telegraph Club

Students at Columbia University form the club that we now know as Columbia University Amateur Radio Club.

1979
New Amateur Radio Bands

Three new amateur radio bands are established at the world administrative radio conference.

World Amateur Radio Day FAQs

When were HAM radios most popular?

In the 1970s.

Why is it called HAM radio?

The term ‘ham’ was a derogative nickname for radio amateurs but it has since been accepted by them.

Who uses HAM radio?

People use amateur radio to communicate across town, over the world, and even into space, all without the use of cell phones or the Internet.

World Amateur Radio Day Activities

  1. Learn more about amateur radio

    Amateur radio is not as popular as it ought to be. Do more research about it.

  2. Educate people on amateur radio

    After doing research, spread the knowledge. This could get you a listening buddy or you might even succeed in convincing someone to join amateur radio.

  3. Listen to amateur radio

    There are apps available on both iOS and Android that allow you to listen to them. Try some today!

5 Interesting Facts About Radio

  1. The most powerful radio station

    W.L.W. is the most powerful radio station ever.

  2. The world’s first voice message

    The world’s first voice message was transmitted by Reginald Fessenden in 1900.

  3. Eiffel Tower broadcast

    Radio scientists did the first public radio broadcast from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

  4. Antennas kill

    Many birds are killed by radio antennas every year.

  5. Eternal travel

    There is a popular belief that radio waves will continue to travel forever.

Why We Love World Amateur Radio Day

  1. Amateur Radio alerts us about a local emergency

    Sometimes, thanks to Amateur Radio, we get first-hand reliable information about a local emergency, which can save lives. Television news can be slow and social media can be full of misinformation but amateur radio is often reliable.

  2. Amateur Radio is a worldwide community

    Amateur radio is a tremendous social activity. Radio amateurs often come together for different social events and radio meet-ups. The best thing is that these gatherings are available both offline and online. They are not just limited to radio amateurs alone, anyone living near the gathering can participate.

  3. It is a day to show off

    World Amateur Radio Day is a day for radio amateurs to show their skills to the world. Amateurs of different regions come together to celebrate with one another.

World Amateur Radio Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 18Tuesday
2024April 18Thursday
2025April 18Friday
2026April 18Saturday
2027April 18Sunday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.