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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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This Day in History - 1.18.2012

President Theodore Roosevelt Sends First Trans-Atlantic Radio Transmission


By Lydia Hooper

On January 18, 1903, the first trans-Atlantic radio transmission occurred in a Morse code message from President Theodore Roosevelt on Cape Cod to King Edward VII in London. Before radio, the telegraph was the only means of such long-distance communication and it was expensive for it required wires and cables. Guglielmo Marconi was later able to manipulate radio waves to send wireless transmissions, an inspiration that is certainly still evident today. At the time, this new capability was viewed as especially important for it allowed ocean liner passengers to be rescued from their sinking ships.