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Inaugural Media Coverage:

From the telegraph to the Internet

by Borgna Brunner
Media Technologies

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First inaugural to be covered by telegraph:
James Polk (March 4, 1845)


First newspaper illustration of a presidential inauguration:
Franklin Pierce (March 4, 1853)


First inaugural to be photographed:
James Buchanan (March 4, 1857)


First inaugural recorded by a movie camera:
William McKinley (March 4, 1897)


First inaugural broadcast nationally by radio:
Calvin Coolidge (March 4, 1925)


First inaugural recorded by a talking newsreel:
Herbert Hoover (March 4, 1929)


First inaugural televised:
Harry S. Truman (January 20, 1949)


First closed-captioning of a television broadcast for the hearing impaired:
Ronald Reagan (Jan. 20, 1981)


First inaugural to be broadcast live on the Internet:
Bill Clinton (Jan. 20, 1997)

Source: Architect of the Capitol





Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The longest inaugural speech was William Henry Harrison’s. At 8,445 words, it is nearly twice the length of any other president's.

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