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February 8, 1922, the First Radio Installed in the White House

Harding and Coolidge
Getty Images, photo by Houlton Archive

It’s a big day in White House history today, February 8, 1922, the day a radio was installed in the Presidential Mansion. President Warren Harding was in office at the time and he wanted the radio. In 1922, radio was the hottest new technology much like the internet is today. In the 1920′s radio broadcasts where everything and anything they could get to fill air time. A lot of local radio stations had amateur talent perform while some of the larger stations broadcast news casts, weather reports, popular and classical music, a sort of a free for all radio industry.

It was only two years after President Harding installed the first radio in the White House that President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to broadcast from the White House. The broadcast was for George Washington’s birthday and was heard on over 42 stations around the country.

americanlibrary.gov

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