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This article was originally published in the April 1968 edition of FRENDX, now The Journal of the North American Shortwave Association. It appears here with permission of NASWA.


As listed in the Frendx March log report, at 0416 on Jan. 31, 1968, on 4, 920 kc/s, I heard Radio Cordac, Bujumbura, Burundi, play the U.S. National anthem. The idea of the "Star Spangled Banner" emanating from a recently Independent African nation which has never been an American possession and never under especially great U.S. influence struck me as distinctly odd, especially as the anthem was used to terminate the Swahili (international) segment of the station's programming and introduce the transmission in Kirundi, the national language.

A reception report was sent, mentioning this oddity. The reply from James E. Morris, director, cleared up the mystery.

"You might be interested - to know that the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" at 0416 on January 31 which was a surprise to you, was also a surprise to us. It was a mistake of the control operator and as a result he was docked 10 cents for this mistake. Such things do happen for it is difficult sometimes for Africans, as well as Americans, to pay atention to details. He was supposed to begin with band number two on the record, instead of number one."

--------- Richard E. Wood


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