The FCC Turns Eighty and the Road Not Taken
Eighty-years ago, Calvin Coolidge, in the one of the most unfortunate acts of his presidency, signed into the law creating the Federal Radio Commission (the original name of the current Federal Communications Commission). Though Coolidge signed it, the FRC was the brainchild of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.
It was a typical Hoover reform. During the 1920s, he was a dynamo of activism. In a few years, he had cajoled scores of local governments to assume ownership of airports as well as implement zoning.
Perhaps Hoover’s proudest accomplishment during this period, however, was to single-handedly expand federal authority over the radio spectrum. Historians have praised him for bringing “order” to electromagnetic chaos. In actuality, as Jesse Walker explains, he had short-circuited promising efforts to introduce property rights and true free speech to the airwaves.
comments powered by Disqus
David T. Beito - 2/25/2007
You're right to key in on that. When I wrote it, I wondered if it was the right word.
Sudha Shenoy - 2/24/2007
Was it a 'reform'? Or a spanner in the works? For _govt officials_, yes, it _has_ to be a 'reform'. In terms of the spontaneous processes already underway, it's interference, wrecking, hammering, something destructive.
- In Trump’s America, is the Supreme Court still seen as legitimate?
- The Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare for Everybody But Alaska Might Be Unconstitutional
- Parliament Square in London Is Closer to Having First Female Statue
- Battle Over Confederate Monuments Moves to the Cemeteries
- German WW1 U-boat found off Belgian coast
- Yale history department now emphasizing global history in undergraduate courses
- University of Utah appoints first Mormon Studies professor
- Eric Foner discusses the manipulation of history
- Male historian tapped to lead Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas
- Decline in History Majors Continues, Departments Respond