Date: February 13, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes about the power and social good that can be brought about by the use of radio and television.
(Original document available here)
A new social force is being developed by radio waves. The address of the Pope was given wider broadcasting than any other ever delivered, reaching almost all over the world. The morning papers carry radio photographs of Marconi in Rome preparing for its transmission. Report comes simultaneously of a successful experiment in television by which people in Leipzig were able to recognize the image of a man in Schenectady. The time may not be far away when it will be possible to have a receiving set in the home that will produce a sound motion picture. Central stations may be able to receive and broadcast to the eye and ear events taking place all over the world.
It is difficult to comprehend what an enormous power this would be. New forces are constantly being created for good or for evil. When primitive people come in contact with civilization usually they use its powers for their own destruction. Unless the moral power of the world increases in proportion to its scientific power there is a real danger that the new inventions will prove instruments of our own destruction. If moral development keeps step, peace and good will have gained new allies.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.