NPR 50

On May 3, 2021, NPR turns 50 years old. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on and renewing our commitment to Hear Every Voice..

1A Reflects On The Last And Next 50 Years Of NPR

May 4, 2021

Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts.

NPR's 50 Favorite Songs Of 1971

May 4, 2021

Today, NPR celebrates the 50-year anniversary of our first on-air original show. For five decades, NPR and our member stations have shared the responsibility — and privilege — to serve the individual listener and promote their personal growth. To honor our time spent together, we turned back the clock and reflected on the impeccable sounds of our genesis year.

On today's show, we're taking you back in time and letting you experience what the radio might have sounded like in 1971 when NPR got rolling.

Fifty years ago, on May 3, 1971, National Public Radio broadcast its very first original programming when All Things Considered went on the air. Today, NPR is celebrating that anniversary with special programming and looking back at the news, arts and popular culture of that year.

Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on — and renewing — our commitment to serve an audience that reflects America and to Hear Every Voice.


In the 50 years that All Things Considered has been on the air, the ground under journalism has shifted.

A Timeline Of NPR's First 50 Years

May 3, 2021

Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half-century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on — and renewing — our commitment to serve an audience that reflects America and to Hear Every Voice.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Radio Diaries launched 25 years ago, bringing the voices of teenagers documenting their lives to All Things Considered. Founder and producer Joe Richman looks back on a few diaries that were recorded at the beginning.

Amanda Brand was 17 when I gave her a big clunky cassette recorder and asked her to record her life for a few months. She didn't know what to expect. Neither did I.

It's been a turbulent time, with a deadly pandemic and a chaotic — sometimes violent — political climate. In the midst of all this, NPR is marking a milestone; on May 3, 2021, the network turns 50 years old.

NPR's Turning 50 and We Want Your Advice

Apr 30, 2021

NPR is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and in hopes of avoiding a mid-life crisis, we want to hear from those of you who've hit that milestone.

Is there something you learned in your first 50 years that informs how you live the rest of your life? Whether it be about family, work, hobbies, friendships, self-care, community, relationships — we want to hear it all.

Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on — and renewing — our commitment to serve an audience that reflects America and to Hear Every Voice.

On May 3, 1971, 20,000 demonstrators came to Washington, D.C., stopping traffic in the streets in a protest against the war in Vietnam.

On that same day nearly 50 years ago, NPR, then a fledgling news organization, premiered a new afternoon show. In its first show, All Things Considered presented a 23-minute sound portrait of the day's protests and confrontations that was broadcast to stations across the country.