Today in history: May 10

West Wing Reports
The Week

In 1877, the White House got its first telephone

May 10

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On this day. 1877: The White House gets its first telephone. The phone number was "1." But President Rutherford B. Hayes got few calls. The only other direct line to the White House at the time was from the Treasury Department next door (it wouldn't be for half a century, though, until a president — Herbert Hoover — had the first telephone line installed in the Oval Office). Hayes, who was interested in new technology, also had the first typewriter in the White House, and was personally given a briefing on the phonograph by Thomas Edison.

On this day. 2005: An assassination attempt against President George W. Bush. A man threw a hand grenade at him during Bush's visit to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. It landed 65 feet away but failed to explode.

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"I like the noise of democracy." –James Buchanan

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