Technological Advancements at the White House  ›




How have advances in communication technology contributed to the public's awareness of the inaugurations of the presidents?  ›

On a rainy March 4, 1845, Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, sat on the inaugural platform and personally reported President James K. Polk's inauguration by telegraph. He transmitted only as far as Baltimore, Maryland. The 1857 inauguration of President James Buchanan was the earliest to have been photographed.

In 1897, President William McKinley took the oath of office at the first inauguration record on movie film and gramophone record. Other inaugural technological firsts:



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President Wilson talks with a pilot circling overhead in a demonstation of air-ground communication on November 22, 1918. National Archives

President Wilson talks with a pilot circling overhead in a demonstation of air-ground communication on November 22, 1918. National Archives


President William McKinley's 1897 inaugural.

President William McKinley's 1897 inaugural.