Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Quiz Time! Take A Guess At These Presidential Tech Firsts


President Obama was at Stanford University last Friday where he headlined the first White House Cybersecurity Summit.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Because it's just too easy for hackers to figure out user names and passwords - like password.


OBAMA: Or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -7.


OBAMA: Those are some of my previous passwords.


OBAMA: I've changed them since then.


President Obama has been called the first high-tech president - the first to use a smartphone, the first to use a Selfie Stick.

MCEVERS: That got us thinking - for this day on which we remember the birthday of the nation's first president - about some other presidential technology firsts. You can play along. We'll do this in the form of a quiz.

CORNISH: OK, so let's reach back. And, Kelly, who was the first president to broadcast an address from the White House by television? The first presidential White House address on TV.

It was Harry Truman in 1947 to a pretty small audience, though FDR had been seen on TV in 1939 at the World's Fair.

MCEVERS: OK. How about the first president in color?

CORNISH: Eisenhower, 1958?

MCEVERS: OK. Now how about radio? Audie, all of us at NPR should know. First presidential inaugural address over the radio - Calvin Coolidge, 1925.

And Warren Harding before him was the first president to have a radio installed in the White House. That was February, 1922, according to the Library of Congress.

CORNISH: OK, Kelly, lightning round. Who was the first to have electricity at the White House? It was Benjamin Harrison, 1891.


CORNISH: What about the telephone? First president to have one installed? Rutherford B. Hayes.

MCEVERS: All right. Two more. The first photograph of a sitting U.S. president - William Henry Harrison, 1841. And a hard one to finish, Audie, first president to hold a patent. Ready for it? Abraham Lincoln. It was well before he was president. It was 1849. It was a device for boats for buoying vessels over shoals.

CORNISH: That's All Tech for this week. Thanks to all for playing presidential technology firsts. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.