Posted On: June 15th, 2019 | Posted By: miketrial
In 1978 I lived in Monterey, California, and would occasionally drive up the coast highway to San Francisco. As I neared the Bay I could pick up radio station KPFA-FM, Radio Pacifica, which I thought was named for the wide blue Pacific Ocean. I liked its eclectic mix of music and opinion.
But Radio Pacifica is not named for the Pacific Ocean, as I thought, but for the now almost forgotten political movement called Pacifism, a total rejection of all war.
The story of KPFA-FM in Berkeley, the first non-profit radio station in the U.S. is a fascinating one. Lewis HIll, the founder, was a Pacifist, a WWII Conscientious Objector, interested in creating a means of encouraging the breakdown of ideological barriers. He wanted to communicate through a medium which would also be completely free of the influence of commercial advertising. At first he thought to start a magazine, but later was inspired to found an FM radio station, the first listener-supported station in the world.