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VOA Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Voice of America is celebrating its 70th birthday.

VOA went on air February 1, 1942, nearly two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II.

Speaking in German, American journalist William Harlan Hale delivered VOA's first broadcast from New York City via shortwave radio.

"This is a voice speaking from America. Daily at this time, we shall speak to you about America and the war," Hale announced. "The news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth."

VOA Director David Ensor says those words continue to be relevant today.

Marking the 70th anniversary, Ensor said the international broadcasting agency will aggressively move forward to continue to provide an "information lifeline to people in closed societies like Iran."

Since 1942, VOA has expanded into a multimedia news organization that reaches an estimated 141 million people each week.

Today, VOA broadcasts in 43 languages and communicates and interacts with its audiences via radio, television and the Internet.

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