The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Spring 1986, Volume 32, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor
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President Woodrow Wilson addresses San Diegans in September, 1919 — the first time in history a U.S. president used an electric amplifying device to make his voice heard.
Edwin S. Pridham (left) and Peter L. Jensen in their Napa, California lab shortly after the invention of the loudspeaker.
The President arrives at the stadium in his car. His speech lasted almost an hour.
There were some 50,000 persons in attendance at Balboa Stadium to hear President Wilson’s speech — probably the largest group ever assembled up to that time to hear a President (San Diego’s population was then about 73,000).
Following his speech, President Wilson was toasted at a reception in his honor at the U.S. Grant Hotel. Left to right, Mrs. Louis Wilde, Mrs. Wilson, President Wilson and Mayor Louis Wilde (in white suit behind the President).
The “Living Welcome” September 19, 1919.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS are from the San Diego History Center’s Title Insurance and Trust Collection.