Voice of America 1982 40th Anniversary Broadcast
On February 24, 1982, the Voice of America held a celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of its founding. It was believed that the first Voice of America radio broadcast in German was aired on February 24, 1942, but it may have aired three weeks earlier, possibly on February 1, 1942. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan came to the VOA building at 330 Independence Avenue, SW in Washington, DC to deliver a special address. In referring to the early years of the Voice of America during World War II and first VOA Director John Houseman, President Reagan most likely did not know that Houseman was a radical pro-Soviet propagandist who in mid-1943 was forced to resign for hiring communists, some of whom remained with VOA until the late 1940s and continued to broadcast Soviet propaganda in support of communist dictator Josef Stalin. They were slowly replaced in the late 1940s and the early 1950s with anti-communist refugee journalists from Eastern Europe. Under strong pressure from the U.S. Congress, the content of VOA broadcasting changed in the later years of the Cold War from supporting Soviet foreign policy to exposing communist atrocities.