Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Presidential Voices

This is pretty cool - you can hear Benjamin Harrison speak! The site says that this is believed to be the oldest recording of any US President.

From this same site, I browsed through to listen to the Presidents I hadn't heard before. The one that got me was Calvin Coolidge - you just HAVE to go listen if you've never heard Coolidge. I've always had a voice in my mind for Coolidge from reading about him (as I'm sure you have) and this is NOT it! The voice just doesn't fit my mental image of "Silent Cal!" Another great one to listen to if you haven't heard him before (and I had several times) is Theodore Roosevelt.

You can also access a variety of different later Presidents though the Vincent Voice Library. Go have fun - I certainly did...and make sure to let me know what you thought of President Coolidge!


M said...

I used to work at the MSU Library were this is hosted. I often would refer patrosn up to the Vincent Voice Library all the time to use some of this material. I am so glad they have been able to put much of it on the Web.

Jennie W said...

I had wondered if you had been there when I wrote the post. It is wonderful what you can access online now - I fully intend to have my students start listening to Calvin Coolidge. It just adds such a great dimension and makes him stand out!

The Pendragon said...

Coolidge did sound very different from what I expected. I thought he'd be more a slow, deep talker. Harrison sounds about right though.

Jess said...

Actually, that's about how I expected Coolidge would sound. Something about him just suggests nasal-ness.

Teddy Roosevelt, on the other hand, really surprised me. I expected HIM to have a little more boom to his voice.

Jennie W said...

I think I always thought Coolidge would sound very laconic - more of a drawl if anything.

I agree that TR sounds funny, but I've heard enough of him that it doesn't surprise me anymore. I think its that we think of him as a cowboy, but he was originally a New Yorker - hence the voice.