FOX 5 began operating on May 19, 1945
WASHINGTON - FOX 5 History
ALLEN B. DUMONT, FOUNDER OF CHANNEL 5 IN 1938: "A good start in TV broadcasting can be made for as little as $25,000. And that figure can be shaved if need be.
Watching FOX 5, you may not realize how much of a pioneer the station has been. WTTG was one of the first television stations in the world. FOX 5 began operating on May 19, 1945, as the first station in Washington DC and the second station of the now-defunct DuMont Television Network.The station was known as W3XWT: "W" meant North America, "3" was the region of the country, "X" meant experimental and "WT" were the station's call letters. DuMont Labs, manufacturer of TV sets and transmission equipment, owned the station. Founder Allen DuMont saw the television station as a prime way to sell more DuMont brand TV sets. "
In addition to being the first television station in Washington, DC, WTTG was:
• First station to broadcast live a presidential inauguration (Harry S. Truman - 1945)
• First station to televise live before a studio audience (1946)
• First television station to sign on early in the morning in Washington, DC (typically, television started in the afternoon)
• Originating television station for national coverage of the McCarthy Hearings (1954)
• Originating television station for national coverage of the Hoffa/Kennedy Hearings (1957)
• First station to have videotape facilities (1959)
• First station to become fully automated (1966)
• First primetime newscast in the country (1966)