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HPPR Arts, Culture & History

Looking Back with Gratitude: Saddling Up For KANZ


Chapter One

On a sunny Sunday afternoon June 29, 1980, in an abandoned schoolhouse in Pierceville, Kansas (population 85), KANZ signed on as the country’s first community-licensed, rural public radio station; to the sincere, noble, and hopeful music of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.

Against all odds, and the wisdom of National Public Radio, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and a host of others, the impossible happened. The common man of southwestern Kansas “saddled up” to connect the people of the High Plains and to keep them “in touch with the world…at home on the High Plains.”

The image of two horsemen beginning their journey, much like KANZ was beginning its journey, graced the cover of the first issue of KANZAN, the Guide to Community Radio for Southwest Kansas.  

Join the celebration with a gift to High Plains Public Radio or on our website.