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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Please speak more slowly"

Today's History Lesson #2

I must admit when I was in school, my least favorite subject was history. Not for a moment could I see any relevance in memorizing what occurred on this day in that year and that date in this year, in this decade and that decade, from one century to the next. Perhaps the problem was no more than simply memorization...memorize, memorize, memorize only to regurgitate fact after fact in order to pass a test! Never was a connection made to how this day in history connected the past to the present nor how it laid the foundation for people, places and things yet to be. 

Can you imagine the President of the United States running the country without the assistance of a telephone? It had to appear at some point in time. Think primitive phone! NO cell phone since it did not enter into conversation until 1973!

This Day in History: May 10, 1877 

President Rutherford B. Hayes
AP Photo

Abraham Lincoln pioneered government use of the telegraph during the Civil War. Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, had the first telegraph room built in the White House. On May 10, 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes had the first telephone installed in the telegraph room. Hayes was an early adopter of the new invention. Barely 14 months had passed since Alexander Graham Bell famously transmitted the words, “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” — proving his device worked.
For the first phone call, Hayes rang Alexander Graham Bell who was sitting in a room 13 miles away. The historic words that Hayes spoke are words that have reverberated throughout the ages to politicians and public officials all over the country. He said, "Please speak more slowly." 
First Telephone (National Museum of American History)
While Hayes embraced the new technology, he rarely received calls. One reason: The phone, whose number was '1', could be reached only from the Treasury Department, then as now, across East Executive Avenue from the White House.
Presidential Telephones of the United States
President Herbert Hoover at his desk
in the Oval Office of the White House in 1930
More than 50 years passed before President Herbert Hoover had the first telephone line installed at his desk in the Oval Office, a Western Electric 102.

WOW! How phones have changed!

The "50 Millionth Telephone in Service in the Nation" 
Presented to the President of the United States
Dwight D. Eisenhower - November 18, 1953 
The phone was a Western Electric 500 with a gold finger wheel and finger stop with gold lettering on the dial. The gold trim along the bottom of the set consisted of 48 stars, one for each state at the time.
Click HERE for more information on this phone (PDF). (Source: Pacific Telephone Magazine, December 1953. Scan thanks to paul-f.com)
It's you, it's me, it's us!