Voice of America
Powel Crosley Jr. from Cincinnati, Ohio pictured with the wireless, crystal radio set that he perfected and manufactured, 1938. The stuffed toy dog on his lap was a company mascot known as the 'Crosley Pup'.
In 1942, in the midst of World War II, the United States government contracted with the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation to build a radio station capable of broadcasting its message around the world. The Crosley Broadcasting Corporation chose to build the installation on six hundred acres of land in Union Township, Ohio, approximately twenty-five miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio. The site became known as Bethany Station. The program broadcast from the site became known as Voice of America.
The company chose this site due to its relatively high altitude and also because of its flatness. These two conditions made the location ideal for constructing radio towers and for broadcasting. In 1944, the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation completed the installation's construction. The station originally required 3.5 million watts of electricity to operate and consisted of ten transmitters and twenty-two antennas. Once the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation completed the station, the radio program began to broadcast.
The station broadcast its telecasts in fifty-three different languages at first, hoping to provide people around the world with information on the United States' efforts during World War II. The United States government intended the Voice of America to provide hope to people around the world and to counteract the propaganda espoused by America's enemies in this conflict. When Bethany Station began operating, the broadcaster stated, "We shall speak to you about America and the war. The news may be good or it may be bad, but we will tell you the truth." Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany and one of the United States' main opponents in World War II, often referred to the Voice of America as "the Cincinnati Liars," hoping to convince his diminishing supporters that Germany still could and would succeed in the conflict.
The Voice of America continued to broadcast during the Cold War. During this conflict, Bethany Station focused on building support for capitalism and democracy around the world, hoping to prevent communism's acceptance. With the United States' victory in the Cold War and subsequent budget cuts, Bethany Station ceased broadcasting the Voice of America in 1994.
Since 1994, commercial development has occurred on part of the site, but other areas remain undeveloped. Part of Bethany Station is now under the control of Butler County MetroParks, which hopes to construct a museum in commemoration of the Voice of America. Miami University also operates approximately twenty acres of the site as a learning center.