Making Waves: Louisiana's Radio Story

Waves of War

Laurel, Maryland. Monitoring at the United States Federal Communications Commission listening post. (Library of Congress #LC-USW33-038539-ZC DLC)

Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling (Courtesy of Louis vs. Max Schmeling

The Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling heavy-weight championship fight of June 22nd, 1938 had international implications to radio listeners. The event broadcast from New York's Yankee stadium was viewed as the Americans vs. Hitler's Nazi regime. In just one round, Louis knocked out Schmeling and retained his world title. Ironically, although Schmeling was publicly associated with the Third Reich, he was never a member of the Nazi Party.

Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941 Louisiana's attention, along with the rest of the country's was drawn to news over the airwaves of an attack that would instantly change the face of the nation and the role of radio. Five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk, with the rest damaged and over 2400 Americans dead. (For more information visit the Naval Historical Center's website at:

Training Communications Operators during WWII  (Courtesy of Loyola University Archives)

Wartime Radio

During World War II, priests and professors at New Orleans' Loyola University - future home of WWL - trained soldiers in radio operations- making the school's extensive facilities invaluable to the nation. With the beginning of WWII, WWL in New Orleans once again allowed the government to use its' powerful facilities to aid the country, while at the same time producing wartime radio programs highlighting Louisiana's contributions. During the War, Radio throughout Louisiana became a source of important rationing and civil defense information as well as news.

William Erwin Antony (Courtesy of Joey Kent)Hiroshima

During WWII, early Louisiana radio pioneer William Antony was asked to contribute his talents to a secret Governor Noe at KNOE (Courtesy of KNOE)wartime project. When the atomic bombs went off over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Antony was shocked to discover that he had actually helped to create the radio detonators for them.


Governor Noe

One of the few new radio stations allowed to startup during the War was KNOE, which began broadcasting from downtown Monroe. Begun by former Governor James Albert Noe, the station's call letters incorporated the politician's last name. Noe also started WNOE in New Orleans, allowing Governor Noe to own two stations in the same state with virtually the same name.

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Making Waves: Louisiana's Radio Story

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