April 20, 1917

In April of 1917 president Woodrow Wilson ordered that all private radio stations be shut down because of the declaration of war.  My hometown newspaper, the Poynette Press reported that the two local wireless operators, Willie Forrest and Leslie Drake had been ordered by government officials to ‘discontinue and take down their apparatus.’  In the opinion of the newspaper ‘This is disappointing to the boys as they were becoming apt in operating and receiving, communicating with each other ad picking up many messages…’.  Willie Forrest became a pioneer of broadcasting.  In 1925 he formed radio station WIBU in Poynette which operated until 2001.

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