Two months after the United States entered World War I, a 20-year-old college student started working as a machinist in Building 23 at General Electric Co.’s sprawling industrial campus in Schenectady.
His name was Wendell King, and by all accounts he was a whiz kid, having started one of the area’s first amateur radio stations from his North Troy home when he was just 12 years old.
While a student at Lansingburgh High School, King would dazzle local businessmen at Rotary luncheons with demonstrations of wireless radio technology, which was cutting edge at the time.
Rulison, Larry. “Black GE worker left lasting legacy; Whiz kid Wendell King, a black Union College student, sparked worker strike 100 years ago.” Times Union. July 2, 2017.
Given Larry Rulison’s recent article about Wendell King of Lansingburgh, another short item about him with a good message around this July 4th weekend:
—Preparedness of amateur radio operators in this country was demonstrated on Tuesday by the successful transmission from Davenport, Iowa, of a message from Colonel W. J. Nicholson, U. S. Army, commandant of the Rock Island Arsenal, addressed to the governors of states and mayors of the principal cities, which was handled by relays of the organized licensed wireless telegraph operators of the various states. The message was flashed from the amateur tower of Davenport Monday night at 11 o’clock. East, west, north, and south from Davenport amateur wireless stations picked up the message and transmitted it to other stations until finally the message had been sent the breadth of the continent to both coasts. The message transmitted read: “A democracy requires that people who govern themselves should be educated and disciplined that they can protect themselves.”
Army and Navy Register. February 26, 1916: 272.
A test wireless message sent out to all parts of the continent from the Rock Island, Iowa, Arsenal to amateur operators was received in Troy, Feb. 22, 1916, by Wendell King of 772 1st Ave. Acting on instructions, Mr. King delivered the message to the mayor’s office. It read: “Democracy requires that people who govern themselves should be educated so that they can protect themselves.”
Calkins, Herbert A. “How Times And Events Change Through The Years.” The Record. February 24, 1968: B4.
The sentence telegraphed appears to have been paraphrased by Col. William Jones Nicholson (1856-1931) from an article that in turn was quoting a phrase from from the address from George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 8 January 1790.”
Democracy requires that a people who govern themselves and educate themselves should be so “armed and disciplined” that they can protect themselves.
“Citizen Soldiery.” The Outlook. February 9, 1916. 303. https://books.google.com/books?id=3UtOAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA303