Pacifica was born in the late 1940s out of the (now nearly forgotten) peace movement surrounding World War II. Lewis Hill, a conscientious objector and Washington, D.C., newsman, was fired from his mainstream reporting job when he refused to misrepresent the facts.
This was a time when the idea of a listener-sponsored radio station was a new one which had never been implemented. Many people doubted the viability of a broadcast model which didn’t rely on some kind of corporate or government funding. But the idea was too compelling for Hill and others who agreed with him. Pacifica was born and in 1949 KPFA went on the air from Berkeley, Calif.
KPFK, in Los Angeles, was the second of what would eventually become five Pacifica Stations to go on the air. It was 1959 and Terry Drinkwater was the first general manager. Blessed with an enormous transmitter in a prime location, KPFK is the most powerful of the Pacifica stations and indeed is the most powerful public radio station in the Western United States.