It’s been 60 years since the first live presidential address was televised, and we have a list of some famous ones that date back to World War II with Harry S. Truman.
Sept. 4, 1951 – Speaking at a San Francisco conference, President Harry S. Truman accepted a treaty that officially led to peace with Japan. It was a famous speech that was televised using microwave technology to 87 stations in 47 cities across the nation.
Jan. 17, 1961 – On this date was a televised speech in which the public was warned about the “military-industrial complex.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his parting address, after two terms in office. The former World War II hero spoke from the White House’s Oval Office.
Oct. 22, 1962 – President John F. Kennedy spoke to the nation about nuclear missile sites discovered in Cuba. Kennedy explained during a famous televised speech how the United States was planning to stop the Soviet Union from bringing more military supplies into the island country. The United States and Soviet Union eventually reached an agreement to end the dispute.
Aug. 8, 1974 – President Richard Nixon announced on national television that he was resigning as U.S. president. His famous resignation came after a political scandal tainted his presidency. It was a remarkable address that shocked the nation.
Sept. 11, 2001 – President George W. Bush spoke during a live televised address to the nation following the terrorist attacks in Washington D.C. and New York City. This line from his speech “A great people has been moved to defend a great nation” stood out to many following the address.
Jan. 20, 2009 – Barack Obama, the first African-American president, moved listeners with his inaugural address. A record number of people attended the event. It is one of the most famous televised speeches in history.