The first broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered took place on May 3, 1971. That day more than 20,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest against the Vietnam War. NPR journalists covered the day's events, producing a 24-minute sound portrait of what was happening which was inducted in 2017 into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for its place in U.S. audio heritage.
In 1971, NPR debuted with nearly 90 founding Member stations, 55 employees, and fewer than 2 million listeners. Now, more than 60 million people access NPR content for free on multiple platforms each week. Through its network of Member stations, NPR provides an essential service to local communities and those seeking vital information during emergencies.
"There is nothing like NPR. It is at the center of largest non-profit news ecosystem in the country — designed to be global, national and profoundly local — with member stations like WBUR creating deep connections to the city and the region, covering the stories that matter to people here in Boston and beyond."WBUR CEO Margaret Low
"For the past 50 years NPR has been an essential, trusted source for international, national and local news, and cultural programming featuring music, history, education and the arts," said NPR President and CEO John Lansing. "The All Things Considered first broadcast was a vivid report on demonstrations against the Vietnam war. Times may have changed but NPR’s mission and commitment to informing the American public has not. We just went through a summer of racial unrest, a global pandemic, and a very contentious election year. NPR is covering all of this and no longer just on the radio, we are meeting our listeners where they are and addressing their interests and needs."
WBUR will broadcast "Fifty and Forward: An Anniversary Celebration of NPR” on Sunday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. The hour-long special is hosted by former WBUR staffer and current ATC Host Audie Cornish.
Listen, follow along and share your NPR anniversary wishes and stories using the hashtag #NPR50.