Historical Highlights

The Inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge in 1925

March 04, 1925
The Inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
The 38th Speaker of the House, Nicholas Longworth of Ohio served three terms as the chamber's presiding officer (1925–1931).
On this date, the first national radio broadcast of an inauguration occurred when President Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office on the East Front of the Capitol. Elected Vice President in 1920, Coolidge first took the oath of office when President Warren Harding died suddenly in 1923. After winning election to a full term in 1924, Coolidge followed his predecessor’s example and insisted upon a modest inaugural ceremony. “I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people,” Coolidge said about his governing philosophy. “The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government.” The simple inaugural proceedings did, however, make headlines. The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company installed a series of loud speakers and microphones on the inaugural platform. The new equipment, operated from a room below the Capitol's steps, enabled people in attendance to better hear the proceedings and allowed those not in the nation’s capital to “listen in” on the day’s events. For the occasion, a radio announcers’ booth was constructed on the inaugural platform. More than 20 radio stations broadcast the proceedings to an estimated 23 million listeners, including many children whose school auditoriums had been fitted with electronic equipment to facilitate the broadcast of the historic event. People who tuned in heard detailed descriptions of the Capitol grounds and the history of past inaugurations. The print media also covered the day's proceedings, and made mention of many in attendance, from the new Speaker of the House for the 69th Congress (1925–1927), Nicholas Longworth of Ohio, to former Congresswomen Mae Nolan of California and Alice Robertson of Oklahoma.

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Beginning in 1844, electronic technology fashioned an information transformation in Congress. The telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and computer revolutionized the way information was disseminated from the halls of the House of Representatives.

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