The Birthplace of Public Radio

100 years ago public radio was born from "The Wisconsin Idea" - the progressive political philosophy adopted from a book by University of Wisconsin political science professor Charles McCarthy; published in 1912.

McCarthy described legislation that would strengthen the middle class through laws regulating business, improving education, establishing workers’ compensation, protecting the environment and limiting child labor. The university agreed that the new radio be used to serve these goals.

Theodore Roosevelt’s introduction to McCarthy’s book described Wisconsin as “literally a laboratory for wise experimental legislation aiming to secure the social and political betterment of the people as a whole.”