1893 inventor Nikolai Tesla demonstrated a wireless radio in St. Louis, Missouri
1896 Guglielmo Marconi awarded the very first wireless telegraphy patent in England
1900 Tesla wireless patents granted for his basic radio in the United States
1901 Marconi's place in history was forever sealed when he became the first person to transmit signals across the Atlantic Ocean (December 12, 1901)
1907 Junior Wireless Club Limited was founded (youth run), later renamed to Radio Club America.
1908 Baden Powell formally creates scouting in England.
1909 Radio Club of America is formed. Members are dedicated to the wireless art and science for the betterment of society.
1910's radio was primarily used to contact ships that were out at sea, made most famous and later required by the Titanic disaster.
1910 BSA founded in USA
1912 The introduction of licensing. 5 wpm code required [Morse Code/CW]
1914 American Radio Relay League association for amateur radio enthusiasts is formed.
1916 First regular radio broadcasts in the US.
1917 Code requirement increased to 10 wpm
1917 - 1919 Cessation of ham activity due to WWI (lasts till 1919) During the war, the military used it almost exclusively and it became an invaluable tool in sending and receiving messages to the armed forces in real time, without the need for a physical messenger.
1918 BSA Wireless Merit Badge created with assistance from ARRL.
1920's broadcasting stations such as KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and England's British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began. Private radio receivers start being sold, golden age of broadcast radio starts.
1922 Amateur Radio call signs will now be government assigned. Previously, hams made up their own call signs (often a person's initials). The Amateur Radio service is created with two classes of licenses, First Grade and Second Grade. First Grade required a written essay examination and a code test of 5 words per minute. The test was administrated before a Radio Inspector at a Commerce Department Field Office. The Second Grade license was for people who could not appear at a Commerce Dept. Field Office. An existing Amateur Radio First Grade licensee would administer the test.
1922 BSA Wireless Merit Badge requirement of receiving Morse code at a rate of 10 WPM. Now renamed to RADIO MERIT BADGE.
1923 First Broadcast Radio Commerical by AT&T. NBC & CBS are formed soon after.
1923 Amateur Extra First Grade license class added. Another new license class was created, the Amateur Extra First Grade. This license conveyed additional operating privileges, after passing a more difficult written examination and a code test of 20 words per minute.
1924 Spark gap transmitters banned on newly allocated 80, 40, 20, and 5 meter bands
1926 Spark gap transmitters made illegal all ham bands
1927 The existing Amateur First Grade license is renamed the Amateur Class license. The Federal Radio Commission created.
1928 The Radio Commission starts testing for Amateur First Grade licenses.
1930 BSA Wireless Merit Badge requirement of receiving Morse code at a rate of 5 WPM.
1932 The Amateur Class license class is renamed the Amateur First Class license.
1934 Establishment of the FCC. License restructuring. Code requirement increased to 13 wpm. Accurate logging required. Mobile or portable operation required written notice to the FCC.
1937 BSA First Class requirement 4: Send and receive by Semaphore Code, including conventional signs, thirty letters per minute; or by the General Service Code (International Morse), sixteen letters per minute, including conventional signs; or by Indian Sign Language Code, thirty signs per minute; or by the Manual Alphabet for the Deaf, thirteen letters per minute. [In Morse, this is about three words per minute.]
1939 FCC introduces multiple-choice tests.
1940 US amateurs prohibited from contacting other countries. All licensees required to supply fingerprints, photo, and proof of citizenship to FCC
1941 80m taken over by Army
1942 - 1945 Cessation of ham activity due to WWII (1942-1945)
1942 During World War II, the radio once again fulfilled an important role for both the U.S. and the U.K. With the help of journalists, radio relayed news of the war to the public.
1945 Amateur license terms are extended from 3 to 5 years
1947 First amateur radio contacts over SSB at Stanford University.
1949 Citizen's Radio Service established (the 11 meter ham band is reassigned to models and Class D Citizens Band radio in 1958) CB Radio
1951 New license classes and names changed. FCC creates the Novice, Technician and Extra class licenses to join the Advanced (formerly class A), General (formally Class B) and Conditional (formerly class C) licenses. Licenses terms were now 5 years except Novice which was 1 year, non-renewable. Novices were limited to 75 watts input with crystal frequency control of CW on portions of the HF bands. Novices also had CW and Phone privileges in the 145-147 MHz segment of 2 meters. Callsigns were WN 2x3 for the Novice and a WA or WB 2x3 for Technician. The Novice test was a 20 question written and 5 wpm CW test originally administered by FCC examiners. Also, a person could only hold a Novice license one time. The Technician license was created and had amateur privileges from 220 MHz and up (No 6 or 2 meters). The intent was to get a bunch of people experimenting on the then new (their first use was during WWII) frequencies.
1952 FCC stopped issuing new Advanced class licenses December FCC stopped issuing new Advanced class licenses and took away unique Advanced and Extra privileges, everyone General and up had the same privileges (after changing license classes and rules 1 year earlier).
1954 Novice license testing duty turned over to hams. Novice license testing was turned over to volunteer hams who would administer the code test, send paperwork to the FCC who would then return a written test which the volunteer would administer and then send to the FCC for final grading.
1955 Technician class licensees receive 6 meter privileges.
1959 Technician class licensees are given a portion of the 2 meter band (145-147MHz).
1965 First Class requirement 4: Send and receive a message of at least 20 words, using either international Morse or semaphore codes and necessary procedure signals. [No speed requirement]
1965 An amateur radio license is accepted as proof of Morse competence for BSA Radio merit badge.
1967 Incentive Licensing takes effect, returning the Advanced class license and taking privileges away from Generals, effectively stopping growth of Amateur Radio and causing a lot of bad feelings among the amateur community for the ARRL who originally proposed the program.
1967 Viterbi decoder invented, beginning of modern digital communication.
1972 Technician licenses are granted access to the complete 2 meter band. Novices are allowed to use radios with a VFO, and logging requirements are relaxed.
1972 BSA First Class Rank drops Morse requirement.
1974 FCC begins issuing prefix callsigns as part of new repeater regulations.
1975 The Novice and Technician licenses get major changes. Among the changes are an increase in power for Novices from 75 to 250 watts. Technicians are also given full Novice privileges on the HF bands
1976 Prefixes for Novice licenses were eliminated. Effective July or October 1, 1976, anyone who had held an Amateur Extra class license prior to November 22, 1967, could select one specific 1x2 call sign.
1977 FCC suspends all Amateur Radio license fees. Code sending test is waived. Any prior Amateur Extra class licensee could select one specific 1x2 call sign.
1978 Call signs now assigned automatically in sequential order. As of March 24, the FCC will be assigning call signs automatically, in sequential order. This is the start of the Group call sign assignments. Also, the Novice license becomes a renewable license (following the example of all other license classes). The FCC stopped (February 23) the Extra-class only vanity call sign program due to internal mishandling and maybe some corruption. The ability of a person to hold multiple station licenses (having multiple callsigns), known as a secondary callsign, at different addresses is eliminated by the FCC. Instant upgrades (/AE) allowed. Moving to a new call district no longer required a change of callsign.
1979 Morse returns as an option for the BSA Communications Skill Award: Signal by two of the following methods: silent Scout signals, manual alphabet, sign language for the deaf, Indian sign language, sports signals, Morse code, semaphore code, Scouts trail signs. [This long list of options requires fourteen pages of documentation in the Handbook. Oddly, the handbook includes the Braille alphabet, though it is not one of the signaling systems listed in the requirement.]
1981 Space Shuttle STS-1 mission uses digital voice communication.
1982 VEC created, President Regan signs into law a bill that allows the FCC to authorize licensed hams to create and administer amateur radio license tests.
1984 Amateur licenses go from a 5 year tenn to 10 years. Testing no longer required to take place at FCC field offices.
1984 BSA Radio Merit Badge requirement change, Broadcast and SWL options added, Morse Code entirely dropped.
1987 Novice enhancement. Expansion of privileges for Novices; voice privileges; a chance to sample HF without a Morse key.
1988 Military and commercial use of Morse code ceases.
1990 BSA First Class Rank drops Morse requirement (again). About 1000 Radio Merit Badges earned each year.
1991 No-code Technician/Tech license class created. FCC creates a new Technician license without a Morse code requirement. This was based on a proposal by QCWA.
1995 Vanity callsigns introduced.
1999 Three license classes now. The FCC proposes major changes to amateur rules, cutting license classes from six down to three with a single 5 wpm code test for the two highest classes General and Extra (new Novice and Advanced class licenses are eliminated).
1999 Morse replaced by satellite for global maritime distress calls (no more SOS).
2000 Highest code test is 5 WPM. April 15 Code speed for General and Extra license reduced to 5 wpm. No new Novice, Technician Plus or Advanced class licenses will be issued. Novice and Advanced class licenses can continue to be renewed. All Technician Plus licenses became converted to Technician (on the license), but retained their HF (equivalent to Novice) privileges. In a few years when all code tests were eliminated, ALL Technician Licensees have HF (Novice) privileges.
2005 No more code test. FCC releases NPRM regarding the elimination of Morse Code tests for all licenses.
2007 FCC drops Morse requirement for all amateur licenses.
2009 BSA Radio/Wireless Merit Badge surpasses 7000 per year.
2010 Morse returns for one year in the centennial Signaling merit badge with three requirements around Morse.
2012 BSA adds Morse interpreter strip.
2015 Morse returns yet again as part of the Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge: Send or receive a message of six to ten words using Morse code. [No speed requirement]
(Courtesy THOMAS C HASHEM, KA1F) & https://www.techwholesale.com/history-of-the-radio.html