Invented by Al Gross in 1945, the CB radio originally served as a method of communication for troops during World War II. After the war, Gross worked to make it possible for two-way radios to be used for personal communication and the CB radio service was established by law in the U.S. in 1949.
I find a US (from 1963) magazine very interesting for CB radio opérators and SWL in PDF
All frequencies in the HF spectrum (3–30 MHz) can be refracted by charged ions in the ionosphere. Refracting signals off the ionosphere is called skywave propagation, and the operator is said to be "shooting skip". CB operators have communicated across thousands of miles and sometimes around the world. Even low-power 27 MHz signals can sometimes propagate over long distances.
In times of high sunspot activity, the band can remain open to much of the world for long periods of time. During low sunspot activity it may be impossible to use skywave at all, except during periods of Sporadic-E propagation (from late spring through mid-summer). Skip contributes to noise on CB frequencies. In the United States, it is no longer illegal to engage in (or attempt to engage in) CB communications with any station more than 250 km (160 mi) from an operator's location. This restriction used to exist to keep CB as a local (line-of-sight) radio service; however, in the United States the restriction has been dropped. The legality of shooting skip is not an issue in most other countries. A recent FCC decision now allows shooting skip in the United States.[44