Happy Havana Treaty Day!

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Happy Havana Treaty Day!

Postby jon » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:37 am

Can you imagine what would happen today if 95% of the stations in North America had to change frequencies at midnight last night? That is what happened on this day in 1941. In War time, yet. Canada had been in World War II for over a year and a half, and the U.S. was little more than 6 months away from "joining up", though they were already providing Canada and the U.K. with a lot of weapons and machines.

As mentioned in Today in Broadcast History, the Havana Treaty of 1937 was finally enacted. Technically, it was known as the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement.

Its major solution was the creation of 1-A Clear Channels, which allowed a single AM station to be "all alone" on a frequency at night throughout the area governed by the Treaty. Alaska, Hawaii and Northern Canada were exempt, within limits, and Central America South of Mexico since only the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were the original signatories.

The treaty would not have happened if it had not been for the Mexican Border Blasters, some running many hundreds of thousands of watts. Despite being runs by Americans, they were encouraged by the Mexican government to force the U.S. to solve the problem of interference from U.S. stations into Mexico in an era when there were no Mexican clear channels.
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