Inaugural Media Coverage:

Updated January 12, 2021 | Borgna Brunner

From the telegraph to the Internet

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

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