“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Pitt County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Voice Of America

Voice Of America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 19, 2013
1. Voice Of America Marker
Cold War broadcasts
relayed from Greenville
to Europe, Africa, and
Latin America, 1963-89,
via station 2 mi. S.W.

Erected 2003 by North Carolina Office of Archives and History. (Marker Number F-67.)
Location. 35° 38.93′ N, 77° 27.773′ W. Marker is in Greenville, North Carolina, in Pitt County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 43 and VOA Site C Road (State Road 1212), on the right when traveling south on State Highway 43. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville NC 27834, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sallie S. Cotten (approx. 2.1 miles away); Otter Creek Bridge Skirmish (approx. 4.2 miles away); Plank Road (approx. 5.2 miles away); Thomas J. Jarvis (approx. 5.4 miles away); a different marker also named Thomas J. Jarvis (approx. 5.5 miles away); Baptist State Convention (approx. 5.5 miles away); Greenville (approx. 5.8 miles away); Chasing Gen. Potter (approx. 7.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
Regarding Voice Of America. In 1942, the Foreign Information Service, precursor to the Voice of America
Voice Of America Marker, NC 43 at VOA Site C Road (SR 1212) image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 19, 2013
2. Voice Of America Marker, NC 43 at VOA Site C Road (SR 1212)

(VOA), made its first broadcast from New York City to Europe: “Here speaks a voice from America,” intoned the announcer, who went on to explain (in German) that the United States would be bringing the world truthful news about the war. Within months twenty-three transmitters were in place and twenty-seven language services on the air. Hearings held by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1953 posed a temporary setback as charges arose that subversives were at work within VOA. That same year VOA became the largest component of the new United States Information Agency. Headquarters for VOA were established in Washington in 1954, setting the stage for rapid expansion. VOA technical facilities and programming saw vast improvements as America sought to thwart the propaganda of communist bloc countries which, in turn, sought to electronically jam the broadcasts. International radio became an instrument of American foreign policy.

A key link in the network was built in eastern North Carolina. The facility consisted of three sites west, east, and southeast of Greenville. The sites were chosen to ensure the best “electronic propagation conditions.” The receiving station (named for Edward R. Murrow) was located four miles west of town. Programs originating from the Washington studios were beamed via microwave to Greenville and then were relayed to Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Transmitter sites were erected about eighteen miles away—“Site A” across the Beaufort County line and “Site B” near the Beaufort-Craven line. Each of the remote sites housed nine transmitters—three of 500,000 watts, three of 250,000 watts, and three of 50,000 watts. In all, the sites covered 6,193 acres and employed 100 people working around the clock. With its inauguration in 1963, the $23 million Greenville operation doubled the VOAís power.

VOA personnel ceased to use Site C in 1985. Decommissioned by the government in 1999, the relay station (“Site C”) property was sold in 2001 to East Carolina University. There today ECUís West Research Campus houses its Physician Assistant Program and the North Carolina AgroMedicine Institute. The site hosts a facility developed by the Office of State Archaeology in cooperation with ECUís Program in Maritime Studies. The lab serves as base for conservation work on artifacts recovered from the presumed wreck of the flagship of the pirate Blackbeard, Queen Anneís Revenge. (North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources)
Categories. CommunicationsWar, Cold
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 347 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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