July 12 – Night of Nights

Posted on July 12, 2017

On this date in 1999, at 5:00 p.m., the last commercial radio transmission in Morse Code was made.

Or...actually, it was supposed to have been the last. But the men and women who worked in maritime radio felt sad when silence fell on the bands on which there used to be so many radiograms, and the occasional call for help.

And they made a plan to commemorate that last transmission - in a way that would make it, not the last, but lasting!

The first Night of Nights was celebrated on July 12, 2000, and that night and every July 12th after radio station KPH begins to transmit in Morse Code at 5:01 p.m. and continues to do so until midnight.

Some people sit at the receiving station, hearing the short and long beeps and watching as it is translated by skilled radiotelegraphers into weather forecasts, traffic lists, press releases, and special commemorative messages. 

Other people participate by making calls from ships on the sea, just like old times. 

It may not sound really impressive or exciting - Morse Code is like a super low-res pong game in the age of sophisticated multi-user video games! But for lots of people, keeping the knowledge of maritime radio and honoring the memory of those who served in that arena are both important reasons to keep up Night of Nights year after year.



Also on this date:

Independence Day in Sao Tome and Principe

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