And that’s the way it was: February 22, 1924

Calvin Coolidge broadcasts the first presidential radio address to the American public

If Barack Obama is our first social-media president, then Calvin Coolidge rightly deserves to be called the first wireless-telegraphy president. On February 22, 1924, Coolidge became the first president to address the American people over the new-fangled medium of radio. He later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, precursor of the Federal Communications Commission.

Alas, no recordings of President Coolidge’s radio broadcast exist; however, we do have the following footage of “Silent Cal,” as the laconic president was nicknamed, discussing fiscal policy, yay. (If slipping into deep unconsciousness is not on your present agenda, take heed: Like noted orator President Barack Obama, Coolidge also uses his mouth to project sound, but there the similarities end.)

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review. Tags: , , ,