Walter Cronkite is made anchorman for CBS Evening News. U.S. troops on training missions in Vietnam are ordered to fire if fired upon by enemy troops. Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite, is launched by the U.S. The year is 1962 and on Oct. 1 of that same year more history was made as KUAC-FM 104.7 signed on the air, broadcasting from Constitution Hall on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. As the strains of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto filled the airwaves, local residents heard a new voice in the wilderness allowing Fairbanks to listen in on the rest of the world.
Following in the Alaskan tradition, KUAC-FM was the first public radio station in the 49th state. It was established so that Alaskans would have access to the same opportunities as other Americans. Connecting Alaska to the world was a challenge for broadcasters in those days. Over the years, many people have given their best efforts, their volunteer time, and their financial support to make it happen.
Almost five decades later, much has changed. However the core purpose remains the same: Improving lives through broadcasting.
Today, KUAC-FM 89.9 broadcasts at 38 kW from Ester Dome near Fairbanks and is heard on translators throughout interior Alaska. KUAC FM is also a member of Community Radio of Alaska with individual programs repeated around the state via satellite. KUAC now brings listeners such public-radio mainstays as NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.