A lot has been made this year of it being the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the release of Sgt. Pepper’s, the Monterey Pop Festival, the founding of Rolling Stone Magazine, but did you also know that it’s the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967?
Signed into law in November of 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which would go on to pave the way for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR).
At its onset the act states, “It is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes.” And it goes on to state that the “expansion and development of public telecommunications and of diversity of its programming depend on freedom, imagination, and initiative on both local and national levels.”
Hm. Starting to sound like something you could get behind? A mere 11 years later, KVMR went on the air from its humble abode atop Banner Mountain. Fast forward nearly another 40 years and that same station is as successful and vibrant as ever. It is interesting to note, that when people describe KVMR programming, some of the adjectives used are instructional, educational and cultural. All words found in the original language of the act.
In describing the act, LBJ said in part, “…While we work every day to produce new goods and to create new wealth, we want most of all to enrich man's spirit. That is the purpose of this act.”
So as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and all the great happenings during that year, let’s also take a moment to reflect on the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act as we enjoy the privilege and many benefits of our very own community radio station and all of the other spirit enriching things that have manifest in the half a century since.