Night of Nights
See the MRHS Evnts section for information about Night of Nights 2010
The last commercial Morse message in North America was transmitted from the Globe Wireless master station in Half Moon Bay, California on 12 July 1999.
[Check the Incredible Radio Tales section for Richard Dillman's moving account of what it was like to be there on that historic day.]
Once again Morse was declared dead on that day, as had happened so many times before. But with the restoration of KPH it became possible tp acknowledge and honor the history of Morse communications and the men and women who were part of that profession with a special on the air event.
On 12 July 2000, the first anniversary of that alleged last message, the Maritime Radio Historical Society brought KPH back to life on its original commercial frequencies, using the original transmitters and antennas at Bolinas. We gratefully acknowledge the help and support of Globe Wireless and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Without the assistance of the fine folks at those two organizations the event could never have taken place.
It was an emotional moment as the station returned to the air and many of the original KPH operators returned to the station they thought they would never see again. It was an event we came to call the "Night of Nights". Photos of that original Night of Nights appear below.
Night of Nights has since become a tradition. Every year since, at 0001GMT, KPH has returned to the air to pick up the thread, keep the faith and carry on with the traditon of maritime Morse in honor of the men and women who came before us.
Night of Nights has grown. Now we originate the signals of KFS using one of the 1940s vintage Press Wireless PW15 transmitters recovered from the KFS transmitter site (see the MRHS Projects section for photos of the recovery of two PW15s) and of our own coast station KSM.
Other stations have joined us on the air for this event including WLO in Mobile, AL and KLB near Seattle, WA. In the past USCG stations NMC, NOJ and NMN have joined in too.
Listeners around the world wait with their earphones on to hear the marine bands once again poulated with Morse signals. We receive many letters after these events, many of them quite emotional. These are usually from ex-seagoing ROs who heard the KPH signal in every ocean of the world but never expected to hear it again. Yet on the Night of Nights there it is again, rising up out of the static to be heard once again.
It means a lot to us to know our project means as much to others as it does to us.
Night of Nights is a public event. The receiving station is open to visitors and it's usually packed with old timers and new comers alike. Why not join is on the next 12 July?
View all images as a slideshow