May 10, 1877 -- President Rutherford B. Hayes installed the first phone in the White House. He called it, "one of the greatest events since creation."
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."
President Hayes embraced the new technology, though he rarely received phone calls. In fact, the Treasury Department possessed the only other direct phone line to the White House at that time. The White House phone number was “1.”
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