January 25, 1961
JFK NEWS CONFERENCE TELEVISED LIVE
Today JFK held his first meeting with the press as President of the United States. What makes this press conference unique is that it is the 1st to be televised “live”.
The press conference was held in the State Department Auditorium. JFK stepped to the podium & read a brief statement & then took questions from reporters who stood to be recognized by the President.
The podium was flanked by US & Presidential flags. On the front of the speaker’s stand was the traditional Presidential Seal & still another huge Presidential Seal hung on the curtain above & behind JFK.
Here is just one of the questions & JFK’s response:
“Mr. President: Do (you) plan to take any steps to solve the problem in Fayette County, Tennessee, where tenant farmers have been evicted from their homes because they voted last November, & must now live in tents?”
JFK: “The Congress…enacted legislation which placed… responsibility on the Executive Branch to protect the right of voting. I supported that legislation. I am…interested in making sure that every American is given the right to cast his vote without prejudice to his rights as a citizen, & (we) will (provide) that protection, with all vigor.”*
JFK would hold a total 64 conferences during his Presidency. 9 out of 10 Americans watched at least one of his 1st three press conferences. The average number of viewers for all his televised conferences was 18 million.
*Courtesy JFK Library, Boston
January 25, 1964
THE BEATLES ARE A HIT
Today “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, recorded by the British rock music group “The Beatles”, makes it to the top of the charts.
This recording, the 1st #1 hit by the group, is on the Capitol label. The tune was written by group members John Lennon & Paul McCartney. The other Beatles are George Harrison & Ringo Starr.
The recording was made at EMI Studios on October 17, 1963 on “4-Track” machines. This was the 1st such recording ever made.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was influenced by Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, who wanted John & Paul to write a song that would appeal to listeners in the United States.
January 25, 1924
FIRST WINTER OLYMPICS OPEN IN FRANCE
Today the 1st Winter Olympics opening ceremonies were held in Chamonix, France. The ceremonies at the Alpine Village were directed by Gaston Vidal, the French Undersecretary of State for Physical Education.
There were 5000 people in the audience who saw 150 skaters take to the ice as the national anthems of the participating nations were played.
By the time the Winter Olympics are over, the US & Great Britain will win 4 medals each. Canada will win a GOLD medal by defeating the US in the finals of hockey by a score of 6-1.
Finland & Norway were dominant in the games as they would go on to win 28 of the 43 medals awarded.
January 25, 1915
TRANSCONTINENTAL TELEPHONE SERVICE BEGINS
Today Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated transcontinental telephone service in the United States.
Bell was in New York City while his former assistant Thomas Watson was in San Francisco. Two other participants were Theodore Vale, AT&T president who was in Jekyll Island, Georgia & President Woodrow Wilson at the White House.