I want to report BIG NEWS!!! It is the BIGGEST news that ever happened in the history of this Work! Later on, after the World Tomorrow has dawned, the world may look back on this event as a big milestone in world history!
The world today took no notice whatever. Yet in our radio studio here in Pasadena, a spontaneous SHOUT reverberated from an assembled thirty or forty people crowded into the studio. And we heard at the precise same instant — via trans-Atlantic telephone connection — a sudden even louder shout emanating from some 200 people gathered into the radio studio of our college in England and in the college dining hall there.
For ten minutes the two radio studios had been connected by telephone. In both studios we had been waiting tensely for the event that happened. We had compared clocks. We were only 5 seconds apart — except that it was 7:00 P.M. in England, and 11:00 A.M. in Pasadena.
Just now, as I picked up paper to write this letter, I happened to pull out of a file a letter which I wrote from London, June 6, 1956, to our staff in Pasadena. That letter had direct connection with this BIG NEWS which happened a week ago Tuesday — on January 5, 1965. It said:
"We've been so busy since returning to London, I have not until now gotten around to writing. Our problem in developing the Work of God over here is this: finding a medium, or media, for reaching the people of Britain DAILY. A once-a-week broadcast, ending at midnight (as we then had on Radio Luxembourg), is too late for more than a very few to listen regularly every week. And we've learned that once a week is not enough. There is no possibility, presently in sight, for daily radio TV, or any other mass media."
That was 8 1/2 years ago. The months and the years rolled by. There was NO WAY opening to reach the people of Britain DAILY. A second half-hour opened on Radio Luxembourg — but it was too late at night, and listening reception in the British Isles was too weak and spotty to give us real coverage. Some two years ago, Radio Luxembourg switched our time to 6:00 P.M. — because listening reception was even poorer at that hour, and they reserved the later night time for commercial sponsors.
But THIS IS GOD'S WORK, not man's. Jesus Christ is the living and guiding HEAD of this Work. He says HE is the one who opens doors (Rev. 3:7-8) through which to carry His Gospel to the peoples of Europe (Col. 4:3; II Cor. 2:12-13).
We couldn't see HOW — or when — the door of DAILY BROADCASTING to all Britain could be opened. In England, as in European countries, THE GOVERNMENT controls all radio broadcasting. The only radio stations in Britain are the GOVERNMENT-controlled BBC. And the British GOVERNMENT supports only the official GOVERNMENT-religion — the Church of England.
True, there is the powerful radio Luxembourg in the tiny country of Luxembourg, actually owned in Paris, and 100% Roman-Catholic dominated — and they have allowed a small amount of non-Catholic religious broadcasts at listening-hours they have felt not harmful to Catholic interests. This station had opened to The World Tomorrow to allow TWO programs a week in the German language, beamed on Germany and Austria, and one French-language program a week, beamed on France — and at very early morning periods. Then also Radio Europe Number One had opened for three French-language programs a week — also at very early morning periods.
BUT HOW WERE WE EVER TO REACH BRITAIN WITH DAILY BROADCASTING? We know the British are God's Birthright people Ephraim. We knew God would not neglect to get HIS LAST WARNING MESSAGE to Ephraim! BUT HOW — WHEN?
About two years ago there was considerable talk in England about a so-called "pirate" ship radio station, anchored just outside British territorial waters. But it never seemed to get going. Garner Ted Armstrong went over to interview the promoters. But neither he nor our London advertising agency felt it offered anything desirable for us. Then last spring two well-financed operations with substantial and reputable backing actually succeeded in getting on the air from so-called "pirate" ships. One was called Radio Caroline, the other Radio Atlanta. They each put out about 5,000 watts of power. We could hear them clearly out at the college, but not within the congestion of London proper. These two later consolidated. There was some negotiation through our advertising agency, but we did not go on.
Meanwhile, the largest of all these operations — Radio LONDON — strongly backed by responsible men and adequate capital — had been waiting for these other ship-broadcasters to break the ice.
When Radio Caroline opened last year, there was a great furor in London papers. The government did everything they could to stop it. But it turned out that the radio Caroline lawyers had surveyed the situation thoroughly. They were sure of their ground. They were doing nothing illegal. They were breaking NO LAW! They were broadcasting from the open sea — INTERNATIONAL WATERS — belonging to NO nation. The British government has NO JURISDICTION beyond its 3-mile limit!
The British Government, finally gave up the fight for the time being. Then, this last December, the most powerful ship-station of all, Radio LONDON, a super-power station broadcasting 50,000 watts, got on the air, anchored just off the British coast in the Thames Estuary. On Friday, December 4th, our office at the college in England called me long distance. It appeared that Radio LONDON was about ready to accept the WORLD TOMORROW for daily broadcasting!!! Our people at the college there were terribly excited! On Monday, December 7, I flew back over to London for a Tuesday morning appointment with the Radio LONDON people at the office of our advertising agency.
We had conferences Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon, and all doubts on both sides were cleared up and erased. I flew back to the U.S. on Thursday. We had agreed on a daily broadcast time — of 7:00 P.M. With this 50,000-watt transmitter virtually inside of the area of England, this would give us a clear reception, not only in downtown London, but over an area populated by some 37 MILLION PEOPLE!!! — even in daylight! During some 7 1/2 or 8 months a year, it ought to give us good listening coverage of all Great Britain — including Ireland and Scotland!
The station management had a few fears about the program going on daily. We both felt it advisable to go on by degrees — not all at once. So we decided on a schedule as follows: The first three weeks, Monday nights only; the second three weeks, twice weekly — Monday and Friday nights; the third three weeks, three times a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Beginning the fourth three weeks, or the tenth week, EVERY-NIGHT broadcasting, at 7:00 P.M., every night in the week.
The station management wanted to start with the first Monday in the new year, 1965.
On Monday morning, January 4, we called our college in England at 10:45 A.M., by long distance (trans-Atlantic) telephone. Everyone there was tense. The program was supposed to go on at 7:00 P.M. — which was 11:00 A.M. in Pasadena. In our radio studio at Bricket Wood they had Radio LONDON tuned in. Reception was loud and clear, with music coming from the station. We could hear it by telephone here in Pasadena. Then, suddenly, about 7 or 8 minutes before 7:00 P.M. in England, the broadcasting stopped!! The station was OFF THE AIR! We were disappointed. Yet we knew every- thing would work out as God decreed.
Later that day in Pasadena a telegram explained the station had shorted an insulator. They had been putting out only 10,000 watts. The engineers on the ship wanted to boost it up to the full 50,000 watts for the first time with our program. When they pulled the switch for the full power, a few moments before 7:00 P.M., it shorted an insulator and put the station off the air.
We got word to them to broadcast the program on Tuesday night.
About ten minutes before 11:00 A.M., in Pasadena, we once again were in telephonic connection with our radio studio in England on Tuesday. The broadcast ship was now putting out 20,000-watts, and coming in strong and clear.
We had waited so many years for this, it was a very tense and exciting ten minutes. Finally, it was one minute to seven in England. Then thirty seconds.
Would we be on this time? Ten seconds. Five seconds. The music stopped. The announcer's voice came firm and clear: "This is RADIO LONDON. The time, 7 o'clock."
Then came the voice of our own announcer, Art Gilmore:
"The WORLD TOMORROW! Ambassador College presents Herbert W. Armstrong......."But we didn't hear the rest of it — the spontaneous SHOUT of those in our studio was too loud — and over the telephone came the roar that went up from those listening in over there!
The program had now actually started from this ship within the Thames Estuary! We were told that the engineers on the ship had not wanted to chance another blow-out, putting the station off the air again, so this first program had gone out on 20,000 watts. But we understand they are up to the full 50,000 watts now. And as I now write, Monday, January 18, it is now 25 minutes to eleven — which means 25 to 7 in England, and the third program will be on the air in a matter of minutes. By March 8, The WORLD TOMORROW is scheduled to be going out over all Britain with the full 50,000- watt signal, EVERY NIGHT at 7!
Co-Workers, I wonder if you can realize fully what this means?
Over in England, the population is so condensed that ONE 50,000-watt station, inside the mouth of the Thames Estuary (virtually within England), is heard clearly over an area populated by 37 million! And at this time of year, it can be heard clearly over the entire British Isles — where 53 million people live. But that is not all! We have received letters from Germany that this Radio LONDON is being heard even over there. It is a CLEAR CHANNEL, non-directional signal.
But here are additional vital facts: A 50,000-watt station in New York or Chicago will put out the same power, but will reach only a fraction as many people. In the United States there are hundreds of stations on the air. All these many other stations set up interference — prevent a station from reaching out as far. And no similar area in America contains so many people. Over there, we have to compete only with the two BBC wave-lengths — the "Home" service, and the "Light" service Radio London is broadcasting on a dial-spot midway between those two, so that people tuning from one BBC program to the other are bound to be stopped. The two Radio Carolines, and Radio Luxembourg, are broadcasting in the 1400 to 1500 kilocycles — near one end of the dial, while Radio LONDON is right in the middle of the entire dial.
These so-called "Pirate" ship commercial broadcasting operations are proving VERY POPULAR with the British people. Radio Caroline has claimed listening audiences in the millions. The largest and most reputable business firms in Britain are advertising on these stations. So, although the GOVERNMENT would stamp them out if it could — and undoubtedly will TRY additional maneuvers to put them out of business — the British PEOPLE are strongly for them, and conservative British BUSINESS and INDUSTRY is supporting them. And the government is going to find it difficult to fight most of the voters, as well as Business and Industry.
If Jesus Christ were here today, IN PERSON, exactly as He was over 1900 years ago, preaching His same Message, the British government would give Him no broadcast time — would do all it could to keep His Message from reaching British people.
But Jesus Christ, as the God of the Old Testament, says: "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold He taketh up the Isles as a very little thing." (Isaiah 40:15). Again: "The ETERNAL... brings to nothing what the nations plan; but the ETERNAL'S purpose stands forever." (Psalm 33:10-11).
JESUS CHRIST OPENS DOORS for His GOSPEL!
That is HIS part. And He expects you and me to do our part!
This Radio LONDON offers opportunity to get the Message out to the LARGEST AUDIENCE, by far, of any radio station we have ever gone on! Because of its matchless vast audience, THE COST is HIGHER THAN ANY STATION WE HAVE EVER GONE ON! It will cost several scores of thousands of dollars a year! But it will carry a TERRIFIC IMPACT on all Britain!
The year 1964 saw this Work of God leap ahead, making far greater advances than any previous year. But, already, the new year 1965 has made the BIGGEST advance ever made at any one time in the history of the Work!
God BLESSES those who bless His WORK — who PRAY for it — have their hearts in it — become HIS INSTRUMENTS in it, supporting it with their generous offerings, beside honest tithes! NEVER was the Work of God in greater NEED of your prayers, and your sacrifice financially.
We must break ground for the new dining hall on the Ambassador College campus here in Pasadena within the next week or ten days. We need more and more students, to be trained for their part in this every-growing Work around the world! The need of these additional facilities is DESPERATE! So REMEMBER ESPECIALLY THE SPECIAL BUILDING FUND!
Let us THANK GOD for the glorious privilege of having part as a Co-Worker with Jesus Christ in HIS WORK!