First President on TV

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

Who was the first president to give a televised speech? My daughter answered FDR but her teacher says Truman. I have found several web sites, including The History of Television, that says FDR. I need a definitive answer. Please help.

The Answer:

We'll do our best to set the record straight.

According to our sources, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to speak on television. Roosevelt spoke at the opening session of the New York World's Fair on April 30, 1939.

Perhaps this is the source of your confusion: The first presidential address broadcast from the White House was Harry S. Truman's speech about food conservation and the world food crisis on Oct. 5, 1947.

We hope this helps.

-The Fact Monster

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