First TV station in Texas goes on the air

September 27th, 1948

On this day in 1948, WBAP-Fort Worth became the first television station in Texas--and indeed in the whole South--to go on the air, carrying a speech by President Harry Truman. The station grew out of Fort Worth's first radio station, also called WBAP, established in 1922 by Amon Carter, owner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. By 1950 six TV stations were operating in Texas, including three in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the early 1950s stations in San Antonio and Fort Worth began broadcasting live programs by use of coaxial cable. In 1953 four major television networks served Texas: the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and Dumont. In that year network broadcasting was made possible across the state via Bell Telephone System facilities.

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First TV station in Texas goes on the air

September 27th, 1948

On this day in 1948, WBAP-Fort Worth became the first television station in Texas--and indeed in the whole South--to go on the air, carrying a speech by President Harry Truman. The station grew out of Fort Worth's first radio station, also called WBAP, established in 1922 by Amon Carter, owner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. By 1950 six TV stations were operating in Texas, including three in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the early 1950s stations in San Antonio and Fort Worth began broadcasting live programs by use of coaxial cable. In 1953 four major television networks served Texas: the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and Dumont. In that year network broadcasting was made possible across the state via Bell Telephone System facilities.

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Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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