Next month marks the 64-year anniversary of famous televised presidential addresses. Though the first TV made in 1926 was crude, the power and potential of the new medium was apparent. But not until October 5, 1947, did a president, in this case Harry S. Truman, address the nation live on television. During that speech, Truman asked Americans to voluntarily use less grain so more could be sent to the hungry of Europe. Since then, we have had many famous televised presidential addresses. Ike′s farewell speech, JFK′s Cuban missile crisis speech, Nixon′s resignation and Ron Reagan speaking from Berlin, Germany, demanding that ″Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!″

famous televised presidential addresses

Now, some people will note that FDR was actually the first president to appear on television. He did so on April 30, 1939 from the New York World′s Fair. But that broadcast was only received by a few television screens set up at the World′s Fair, as well as one at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. During World War Two, the public use of television was very limited. But after the war, television exploded and rapidly expanded is use across the nation. Truman′s speech was the very first live, coast-to-coast address by a president on television.

Now, 64 years later, television itself is being succeeded by the Internet. Growing from a novelty to a handful of networks, to a cornucopia of cable networks, we now live in an era where anybody with a video recorder in their cell phone can post some slice of human, or non-human, life on the Internet for our consumption. Whom amongst us cannot look away watching crazy cats play pianos or perform some other feline stunts?

The quaint, special uniqueness of a presidential address has also become watered down in recent years. Barack Obama has turned the his administration literally into a Reality TV series. Hardly a day goes by without seeing him doing something somewhere. Not content with just ruining television in general, Obama now has embarked on a mission to make presidential addresses to joint sessions of Congress as pointless and hollow as the rest of his speeches. A decade from now, if not sooner, nobody will remember a single speech he made since he gave so many.

But we will still remember those famous televised presidential addresses given by Harry S, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan. The technology starting from the first TV made in 1926 to the video-cell-phone and the Internet today have expanded the use of television from the select few to everybody. Television has given way to video, and we have plenty out there to choose from. But the special uniqueness that some televised events that have become our history is dwindling.