12 January 2009

The Rise of Radio

John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was the thirtieth President of the United States and claimed many firsts in the use of radio during his presidency. The first commercial radio station in the United States, KDKA in Pittsburgh, began broadcasting in 1922. Coolidge's inauguration in 1923 was a first followed by a broadcast of a speech to Congress later that year. In 1924, he became the first President to appear in a sound film.
Incumbent Coolidge with running mate, John Davis, won definitively in 1924 and his second term, characterized by the Roaring Twenties, experienced an economic boom. Coolidge lowered income tax rates that had crept up during World War I, reduced government spending and vetoed a farm relief bill. Coolidge, a farmer's son, stated that agriculture must stand "on an independent business basis," and said that "government control cannot be divorced from political control."

Coolidge did not seek renomination in 1928, explaining in his autobiography: "The Presidential office takes a heavy toll of those who occupy it and those who are dear to them. While we should not refuse to spend and be spent in the service of our country, it is hazardous to attempt what we feel is beyond our strength to accomplish."

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