Radio Act of 1912

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The Radio Act of 1912 (37 Stat. 302) is a United States federal law that mandated that all radio stations in the United States be licensed by the federal government, as well as mandating that seagoing vessels continuously monitor distress frequencies. The original bill was initiated during the investigations following the sinking of the Titanic[1] The act set a precedent for international and federal legislation of wireless communications. It was replaced by the Radio Act of 1927.

Enforcement and penalties[edit]

Implementing and enforcing the Act was the responsibility of the United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was empowered to impose fines of not more than $500 and to revoke the licenses of those radio operators who violated the restrictions laid down by the Act.[2][3] Furthermore, the government could seize the equipment of the offending station, as well as suspending the radio license of the operator for one year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "House Strengthens New Wireless Law". The New York Times. June 4, 1912. The Alexander substitute for the Hitchcock bill, which recently passed the Senate, amending the Wireless act of 1910 so as to take advantage of some of the lessons of the Titanic disaster, easily passed the House to-day without amendment.
  2. ^ Hugh Richard Slotten (2000). Radio and Television Regulation: Broadcast Technology in the United States 1920–1960. JHU Press. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8018-6450-X.
  3. ^ Michael C. Keith (2007). The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite & Internet. Focal Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-240-80850-9.

External links[edit]