Sunday, April 18, 2021, 0000 UTC thru Monday, April 19, 2021, 0000 UTC

ARRL wishes all of our members and friends a very happy World Amateur Radio DaySunday, April 18! Join us in celebrating the global community of radio amateurs who explore, develop, and enjoy radio communication. Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will be on the air on April 18 from ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut. World Amateur Radio Day celebrates the 1925 founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as its theme for this year’s anniversary.

World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum could support long-distance radio signal propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide and to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges. Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL, the national association for amateur radio® in the United States.

On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.

For its part, ARRL has accelerated new opportunities for its members to connect and learn through the ARRL Learning Network webinar series, and temporary rule changes to popular on-air events to encourage greater individual and at-home participation. Over the last year, many ARRL-affiliated radio clubs and in-person ham radio events moved their activities online. These efforts have all ensured that radio amateurs remain active and involved throughout our common pursuit of skill, service, and discovery in radio communications and radio technology.

How: World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but rather an opportunity to “talk” about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your radio club and amateur radio in local media as a lead-up to ARRL Field Day (held each year during the fourth full weekend in June) and another ham radio related activity in your community – such as volunteers who serve in local emergency communication readiness including the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service®.

Here are just a few ways to participate in, and promote, World Amateur Radio Day:

  • Get a station on the air! Create your own personal “event” to talk about amateur radio to others, including family and friends.
  • Find out more about World Amateur Radio Day by checking the IARU website and other Resources listed below.
  • Create and hold a special net or on-air event on World Amateur Radio Day to raise the level of attention for the celebration, and to encourage other hams to talk about our hobby. Consider creating and offering a commemorative certificate for contacting your special activation. It can be an electronic one as these are cost effective.
  • ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB is also Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 1800 to 2359 UTC. The contest is aimed at hams licensed for three years or less. Use the opportunity to wish participants “Happy World Amateur Radio Day 2021” on the air.
  • Get the word out! If you are an ARRL Public Information Coordinator, Public Information Officer, or responsible for radio club publicity, send a press release and conduct some public relations outreach to highlight the day and/or events. Use the IARU theme for 2021 to create a relevant, powerful, and contemporary message. Talk about all of the activities radio amateurs have continued to support during the pandemic, and how amateur radio serves our communities. Find recent examples of amateur radio in-the-news at www.arrl.org/media-hits.
  • Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity(ies) on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay. Make sure you send it to various clubs, reflectors, and media.

Join us in celebrating World Amateur Radio Day and all the ways amateur radio brings us together!