It’s amazing how far we have come in the domain of technological advancements in such a short period of time. The commander-in-chief of the United States has always had access to the world’s cutting-edge technology, and so, in honor of President’s Day, we are taking a look at some monumental “presidential firsts”.
6. The first in a list of things we now take for granted: owning a car. Teddy Roosevelt takes the honor, and was also the first to ride in an automobile during a presidential motorcade.
5. It’s not surprising that Ronald Reagan, a former actor, would be the first president to ditch his glasses for contact lenses. And that’s exactly what he did in the mid-60s soon after soft lenses were released onto the market. Severely nearsighted, it was rumored that he often removed one lens during his speeches so he could read his notes, and left the other lens in place so he could see his audience.
4. Today’s environmentalists would be proud of Jimmy Carter as he was responsible for having solar-energy panels installed on the White House in 1979 as a response to the Arab oil embargo and resulting energy crisis.
3. Although FDR is better known for his famous fireside chats on the radio, in April of 1939, he became the first president to speak on television. The president held himself up at a podium and gave opening remarks at the World’s Fair in New York while an aide can be seen waiting behind him with a cane to assist.
2. Believe it or not, Andrew Jackson was the first president to ride a train in. Sure, that may not seem like a big deal to us now—after all, there are probably millions of us who have never ridden a train—but before then, it was all horse drawn carriages. Mass production of the bicycle hadn’t even happened yet. Travel by train transformed the world and put travel time into hours and days, rather than weeks and months.
1. Bill Clinton sent the first email from the Oval Office, was in office when the first White House website was implemented, and was first to participate in any kind of online chat…in effect welcoming the White House into the modern technological age as we know it.
To find out more on presidential firsts, read the whole article here.