On this day. 1877: The White House gets its first telephone. The phone number was "1." But President Rutherford B. Hayes got few calls. The only other direct line to the White House at the time was from the Treasury Department next door (it wouldn't be for half a century, though, until a president — Herbert Hoover — had the first telephone line installed in the Oval Office). Hayes, who was interested in new technology, also had the first typewriter in the White House, and was personally given a briefing on the phonograph by Thomas Edison.
On this day. 2005: An assassination attempt against President George W. Bush. A man threw a hand grenade at him during Bush's visit to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. It landed 65 feet away but failed to explode.
Quote of the day
"I like the noise of democracy." –James Buchanan
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week