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This Day In Market History: Truman Makes First Televised Presidential Address

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This Day In Market History: Truman Makes First Televised Presidential Address

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened: On Oct. 5, 1947, President Harry Truman delivered the first televised presidential speech — an appeal for Americans to limit grain, meat and egg intake to redistribute stock to famished Europeans.

Where The Market Was : The S&P 500 traded around $15.45, while the Dow rested at $1,993.18.

What Else Was Going On In The World: On an average annual wage of $2,850, Americans could purchase a postage stamp for 3 cents and a vehicle for $1,300. The U.S. as a whole had recently announced a $12-billion plan to help rebuild Europe after World War II. 

From TV To Twitter: Where Tech Meets Politics: Truman’s first broadcast set a precedent for presidential correspondence. He later leveraged the medium for campaign ads, and the platform also came to air candidate debates, inaugurations and other political events.

The first strategic telecasting brought viewers to the White House and ultimately made TV a critical tool for democratic participation.

Contemporary politics have similarly bolstered fledgling technology. President Donald Trump’s proclivity for Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) has helped establish a new virtual “public square."

The evolution of political communication tools has even prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to settle whether access to Twitter and other social media is a constitutional right.

At the same time, the Trump presidency has reinforced the utility of The New York Times Co (NYSE: NYT) and other traditional media.

 

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