World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.
Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum?could support long-distance radio signal propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide and to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges. Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL, the national association for amateur radio® in the United States.
On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.
IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.