This is a comprehensive review of K and W call letter assignments for AM band (mediumwave) radio stations in the United States, with an emphasis on stations that are on the "wrong side of the Mississippi". Reviewing the stations on the AM band, many people have noticed that some of them have the "wrong" first letter for the side of the Mississippi River on which they are located. Stations located east of the Mississippi which were assigned calls from the KD-- ship block, instead of W--, during a June 1920 to April 1921 anomaly. Stations west of the Mississippi River that were licenced before the late January 1923 boundary shift, and were located in the slice of W territory that existed west of the Mississippi prior to the shift.


Portable stations (prior to 1928), which got W call letters because their original owners were located east of the Mississippi, but settled in a permanent home west of the Mississippi. The above map lists the current exceptions to the standard of "K stations west of the Mississippi; W stations east" on the AM band.
Using the Mississippi River to divide the world into two halves, it appears that the entire Pacific Ocean should fall into K territory. This map omits stations in Louisiana and Minnesota because the boundary has not been very strictly followed in those two states].


The next call assignment to a broadcast station located in the original W-west-of-the Mississippi territory that I am aware of did not come until ten days later. This station, licenced to Fred Mahaffey, Jr., in Houston, TX, was assigned KFCV, and from this point on K calls were issued to virtually all stations west of the Mississippi.



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