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60 years ago, Eisenhower inaugurated the first televised presidential news conference

Monday marks the 60th anniversary of the first televised presidential news conference. In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, President Dwight Eisenhower proves that not much has changed since 1955.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    So, finally tonight, our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you too.

    Today marks the 60th anniversary of the first televised presidential news conference. And we wanted to show you what President Dwight Eisenhower's exchange with the press in 1955 looked like. It turns out tensions in China and fights over the budget were making headlines then, too.

    Here's a short excerpt:

  • PRESIDENT DWIGHT EISENHOWER:

    Well, I see we're trying a new experiment this morning. I hope that doesn't prove to be a disturbing influence.

  • QUESTION:

    In light of the latest fighting, would you consider that it would be useful to have a cease-fire between Communist China and National China, if that could be arranged through the U.N. or by some other means?

  • DWIGHT EISENHOWER:

    Well, I should like to see the U.N. attempt to exercise good offices, I believe, because whenever there's any kind of fighting and open violence in the world, there is always a — it's always sort of a powder keg.

  • QUESTION:

    Sir, the congressman on Capitol Hill say that if they can find a copy of the budget to read, that they can't understand it.

    Is there anything you can do to tell these people who have to vote on this where the money is to be spent?

  • DWIGHT EISENHOWER:

    It's my understanding that's what the committees of Congress are for. And that's is what the people that appear before these committees are for. And I can't be expected to take the details of a volume like that, which I forget the number of pages, and explain that in detail to individuals anywhere.

  • QUESTION:

    Tomorrow is the second anniversary of your inauguration. I wonder if you would care to give us an appraisal of your first two years and tell us something of your hopes for the next two or maybe even the next six.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • DWIGHT EISENHOWER:

    It looks like a loaded question.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    So the press was just as respectful then as it is today.

Listen to this Segment

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