Voice Of America Station

This exhibit is the control room and one of the Collins 821A-1 250,000-watt transmitters from the VOA station in Delano, California. Built in 1944 and rebuilt in 1965, the station served all of the Pacific Rim and Central and South America from Delano 130 miles north of Los Angeles until its closing in 2007.

VOA was created in 1942 to provide a counterpoint to the propaganda being broadcast by Nazi Germany and Japan over shortwaves. In the first broadcast, VOA pledged to broadcast the news, good or bad, truthfully without any governmental interference or propaganda.

Because the United States did not any large shortwave transmitters available, VOA began construction of three US stations in 1944. They were in Bethany, OH, Dixon, CA and Delano, CA. and were completed and in operation by the end of 1944. Eventually VOA operated 40 transmitters throughout the world and broadcast in 50 languages in order to ensure their signal could be heard in all countries despite efforts of some countries to jam their signals. The three original stations have ceased operations. In the 1980s, a large transmitting station was built in near Greenville, NC and that station remains in operation.

The purpose of VOA was and remains to share our culture with music, information and unvarnished truthful news reporting. The newspapers and broadcast activities in many countries are operated by the governments who broadcast what they wanted their citizens to hear, not what was necessarily the truth.

The market for shortwave broadcasting has been eroded by the popularity and availability of the internet. VOA has severely curtailed its operations accordingly.