John F. Kennedy Held First Presidential Press Conference 49 Years Ago Today
via press release:
Monday, January 25th. In this world of instantaneous and constant media coverage, it may seem hard to believe, but the first televised presidential news conference was held on this day just 49 years ago. Only five days in office, President John F. Kennedy faced network cameras to answer the questions of the Washington press corps. It was an innovation to see a president in an unrehearsed setting, and the session established a tradition that continues to this day. Some presidents relish the give and take, others are obviously less pleased by the format. In 1961, more American homes had radios than had television sets. Now, both are nearly universal, and the average home has close to three television receivers. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, now preparing for the 2010 Census on April 1st.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2010, p. 100 Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 796 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009, t. 1090
Source: U.S. Census Bureau