top of page


July 3, 1963 - Two markers at 640 and 1240 on the radio dial will go out of use this summer as CONELRAD ceases as a wartime communication among the civilian population. The new Emergency Broadcast System will open the entire AM broadcast band, instead of only 640 and 1240, to broadcasters authorized to stay on the air during an attack. The change in systems is expected to occur Aug. 5. The new warning system was created jointly by the FCC, Office of Civil Defense, and the radio industry. CONELRAD, standing for “Control of Electromagnetic Radiation,” was established Dec. 10, 1951. It was designed to impede enemy planes and missiles attempting to pinpoint their own locations by using commercial radio beams. The Defense Department decided last year that ultramodern navigational methods had made the system obsolete. Under the new plan, which probably will called EBS, all stations authorized to operate will stay on the air at their frequencies during an attack. They will be permitted to identify themselves geographically, but they will not use call letters because all stations in a specified locale will be broadcasting the same material from a single source. The system is based on a series of priorities by which the President will have first call on the air. Second will be local reports, third, state and regional programs, and fourth, national reports, instructions, and news. Television and FM stations will go off the air during an alert.


bottom of page