This Was Television On January 20

1949: The first televised inaugural

Harry S. Truman, who had assumed the presidency upon Franklin Roosevelt’s 1945 death and had been elected to his own term in office the previous November, became the first U.S. president to be inaugurated on television. According to the Truman Library, the ceremony was watched by an estimated 10 million Americans—the largest single TV audience in history to that point, and a greater number of people than had witnessed all previous presidential inaugurations combined.-A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Daniel Benzali, attorney (63); George Burns, comedian (d. 1996); James Denton, plumber (50); Arte Johnson, sketch comic (84); DeForest Kelley, doctor dammit (d. 1999); Kerri Kenney-Silver, Stateswoman (43); Lorenzo Lamas, bounty hunter (55); Bill Maher, provocateur (57); Melissa Rivers, red carpeteer (45); Skeet Ulrich, apocalypse survivor (43); Rainn Wilson, Dunder Mifflinite (47).

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