Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television?

Olivia Olphin January 20, 2021
Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television?

Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television? As today, 20 January, marks the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States, let’s take a look at some inauguration facts and firsts.

Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television?

The first televised inauguration was that of President Harry S. Truman in 1949.

Truman’s inauguration and speech were watched by over 10 million people all over the US.

However, the first ever inauguration ever to be broadcast was Calvin Coolidge’s in 1925, via radio.

Decades later, President Bill Clinton’s inauguration was the first to have been broadcast live on the internet.

Harry Truman was first sworn into the White House in 1945. He is best known for making the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending the US’s involvement in the Second World War and kickstarting the Cold War.

President Truman also worked towards rebuilding cities in Europe after the Second World War, fought against communism, and entered the US into the Korean War.

Other inauguration firsts

The first president to be sworn into the presidency on the new date of 20 January was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.

The date changed from 4 March to 20 January because of the ratification of the 20th Amendment, which reduced the presidential transition period.

Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images

In 1961 Robert Frost became the first inaugural poet. He read his poem called The Gift Outright at the Kennedy inauguration.

Joe Biden will take an oath outside the Capitol building today. But in 1829, Andrew Jackson was the first president to be sworn in on the East Portico of the Capitol.

And, more than 150 years later, in 1981, Ronald Reagan was the first president to choose the West Terrace for his event.

President Biden will follow in Reagan’s footsteps and be sworn in from the west side of the building. However, the National Mall will be closed and supporters are being told to watch the inauguration on TV from the safety of their own homes.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.