1934: The Federal Communications Commission is created
The Communications Act of 1934 replaced the Federal Radio Commission with the more expansive FCC, which also assumed jurisdiction over televisual communications from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The independent agency’s charter establishes the airwaves a public resource, and charges all license holders—such as broadcast networks—with operating as trustees who act in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.”
Today, the FCC is best known for waging a vigilant fight against the scourge of obscenity—a crusade so successful that all traces of so-called “curse words” have vanished from the American English lexicon. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Paula Abdul, ex-X-Factorer (50); Poppy Montgomery, CBS sleuth (37); Phylicia Rashad, Huxtable matriarch (64); Robin Tunney, prison break accomplice (40).