Watch CBS News

The Foote Files: President Woodrow Wilson On The Radio

(CBS 11) - Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) was the 28th President of the United States. From I can ascertain from other sources, he appears to be the first American President to have gone on the radio.

President Wilson served during World War I which resulted in an armistice with Germany in November 1918, in addition to the Paris Peace Conference and establishment of the League Of Nations.

During his second term, he suffered a stroke on October 2, 1919 that was concealed by his inner circle until February 1920 when his actual condition became public.

Woodrow Wilson
circa 1916: Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) the 28th President of the United States of America. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

His wife, Edith, has been described by some historians as "the first female President of the United States" as she and two other staff members determined what the President read and who was allowed to speak with him, including the press. In today's world, some 100 years later, the occurrence of that happening might be a bit more challenging to pull off!

Today's clip is a recording of the President speaking to the country on radio from November 10, 1923.

It is one of the earliest recordings known for a radio broadcast, much less by a sitting or former President, and was delivered from his Washington, DC home. It is probably one of the first times for a radio program to air from a remote location. His address was to give the nation hope for a better world to come.

Sixty years later, President Ronald Reagan embraced radio to speak to the nation with his weekly radio addresses during the 1980's (people may remember that the President as a young man was a sports play by play announcer on radio before going into motion pictures and politics).

Unlike TV, radio is a medium of the mind and after 100 years, it still remains the most personal of all.


Woodrow Wilson 1923 Radio Address - Armistice Day by C-SPAN on YouTube



View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.