I recently had the opportunity to listen to a small portion of the first broadcast of WJR, which originated in Royal Oak. It was from Father Charles Coughlin letting people know about the cross that the Ku Klux Klan had burned outside of the church in 1926.
What was interesting about the recording was that you could hear something very distinct in Father Caughlin’s voice. You might think you would hear fear or desperation, but instead, you could pick up on his confusion. You could pick up on how he was confused that anyone could do something like this.
It was interesting to listen to something that helped put Royal Oak on the map. It was this radio broadcast that led to WJR being broadcast in the Detroit area. It was this broadcast that brought people to Royal Oak to support a man and his church with donations that were fed into the local community and made it stronger.
The owner of this piece of local history wishes to stay anonymous at this time but is taking steps to try to copy and digitize the recording so others may hear it as well.