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Old 31 July 2010, 05:33 PM
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Default more to add on alleged telegram, KFSG, Hoover, etc.

Hi, it's Jim again. Back in 2003, I first believed the incident to be true. But, after re-reading my letter from Rolf McPherson in 1994 and trying to find any DOC actions against KFSG, I had my doubts about the telegram incident.

As Aimee's son Rolf stated in his letter, "This is one of the many rumors which have persisted through the years. Mother never attempted to defy the law, but always endeavored to comply with the rules. The statements you mention certainly were not typical of her way of doing things. I might explain that the equipment in those days was not always adequate, but the situations were cleared as quickly as they could be.

Radio historian Thomas White has cited several examples across the USA in 1924-'25 where there were 'interference' problems caused by people who lived near one radio station's transmitter, had trouble tuning into other radio stations in the same city, due to bad selectivity in cheaper radios; that is, limited ability to separate a strong signal from the other weaker radio stations on the dial. This has led me to believe that KFSG was never at fault, at all. The problems were eventually solved without KFSG being taken off the air or losing its license.

Author Matthew Sutton also said in an email that this may well be only a fun story that Hoover liked to tell with some exaggeration. In addition, I asked Thomas White if Hoover ever take matters into his own hands when it came to radio stations violating the rules, or did station owners ever ask Hoover to take action personally, instead of going to their local radio inspector?

Mr. White replied, "Some station owners tried to go directly to Hoover, but as
far as I know he always refused to get directly involved,
because 1) the Secretary of Commerce has better things to do
than get involved in local problems -- that's what the local
inspectors and the Bureau of Navigation staff were for, and
2) in any event, he was always nervous about the legal limits
as to how much legal authority he actually had."

Also, in a 1923 hearing on getting new federal radio regulations, Hoover testified that the DOC was getting thousands of protests monthly over questions of interference, but the radio inspectors were always trying to find ways to compromise, such as having stations be on the air less or hsaring time on their frequency with other stations. Hoover also said his department was at the time, "without the necessary authority to effect results." This statement completely contradicts the basis of Hoover's story that the DOC or local radio inspector temporarily shut down KFSG. Meanwhile, on the website for the Hoover Presidential Library, it mentions the telegram story, but says that Aimee 'eloped' with the DOC representative sent out to get her to comply with the rules. This statement is totally false.
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