EWTN Timeline: 40 Years of History

The vision of Mother Angelica has endured for four decades and is still going strong.

EWTN Timeline: 40 Years of History
EWTN Timeline: 40 Years of History (photo: National Catholic Register)
EWTN Timeline Version 2
EWTN 40th Anniversary Timeline

Aug. 15, 1981 — Poor Clare Mother Mary Angelica inaugurates EWTN’s programming from Irondale, Alabama.

1985 — A new 6,500-square-foot studio is built. 

1987 — Programming expands to 24 hours, reaching 10 million subscribers. 

1992 — Shortwave radio service launches. 

August 1993 — Live coverage is broadcast from World Youth Day ’93 in Denver. 

1995 — EWTN announces the launch of its first international television service for Latin America.

October 1995 — EWTN provides live coverage of Pope John Paul II’s U.S. visit in both English and Spanish, on television and radio.

1996 — Worldwide AM/FM radio service begins. 

1996 — EWTN launches television service to Europe.

1996 — EWTN begins its first internet services.

September 1996 — The World Over debuts with Raymond Arroyo.

1996 — EWTN inaugurates programming in the Pacific Rim, reaching Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and the Philippines.

1996 — EWTN.com goes live.

Jan. 21-25, 1998 — EWTN provides live coverage of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in both English and Spanish.

December 1998 — EWTN launches satellite television service to Africa.

Jan. 21, 1999 — EWTN airs EWTN Live over the internet.

Dec. 19, 1999 — The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama, is consecrated during a live broadcast. 

2000 — Jubilee of the Year 2000 coverage includes Pope John Paul II opening the jubilee door Dec. 24, 1999, his trip to the Holy Land, the canonization of St. Faustina in Rome, and the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto in Fátima, Portugal. 

Sept. 5, 2001 — Mother has a stroke, which results in some facial paralysis. A second more severe stroke follows on Dec. 24. 

October 2005 — EWTN begins celebrating 25 years with its 25th-Anniversary Family Celebration in Denver.  

2006 — EWTN.com celebrates 10 years on the internet. 

April 2008 — The network broadcasts complete live coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States. 

2009 — EWTN Global Catholic Network hits the “150 million television homes” mark.

October 2010 — EWTN’s Facebook fans top 50,000.

Feb. 1, 2011 — EWTN acquires the National Catholic Register, the nation’s leading Catholic newspaper. 

August 2011 — EWTN is on Roku, with programming in English and Spanish.

Feb. 15, 2013 — EWTN mourns the passing of Deacon Bill Steltemeier, founding president and longtime chairman of the board.

September 2013 — EWTN News Nightly launches from Washington, D.C.

June 19, 2014 — Catholic News Agency and its sister agency, ACI Prensa, are acquired by EWTN.  

August 2014 — An EWTN journalist accompanies Pope Francis on a papal flight for the first time during the apostolic visit to South Korea. 

May 15, 2015 — EWTN opens its West Coast studio on the campus of Christ Cathedral in Orange, California.

July 2015 — EWTN Publishing begins producing books featuring the writings of Mother Angelica and other Catholic authors.

March 27, 2016 — Foundress Mother Mary Angelica dies. 

September 2016 — EWTN News inaugurates the Vatican Bureau, where St. Peter’s Basilica sets the backdrop.

April 12, 2017 — Pope Francis appoints EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Warsaw as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication.  

Aug. 29, 2017 —  EWTN opens its first studio and office in the United Kingdom near the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, north of London. 

Nov. 29, 2018 — Following a legal battle that has lasted nearly seven years, EWTN prevails in its lawsuit against the U.S. government over the “HHS Contraception Mandate.”  

Aug. 15, 2019 — EWTN launches ACI Africa, a Nairobi, Kenya-based Catholic news agency, which will publish in English, French and Portuguese, for the African continent. 

March-April 2020 — EWTN viewership on every platform explodes during the coronavirus pandemic, as people turn to the network for spiritual support during a troubled time. 

Aug. 15, 2021 — Network marks 40 years of sharing the Eternal Word.

Oscar Wergeland, “Service in a German Village Church,” ca. 1880

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