US History

The First US President On Film

Who was the first US President on film?

This clip is the first known and oldest surviving footage of a US President, the head of state and head of government of the United States of America.


The inaugural procession of William McKinley was filmed on March 4th, 1897 as he was sworn in as the 25th president of the United States.

Here’s the video:

McKinley was elected shortly after the invention of film. The procession, including the famous Black Horse Cavalry, was filmed as it travels down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.


President-elect McKinley was sworn in by President Grover Cleveland. Grover Cleveland was therefore the first US President on film, as he swore in President McKinley.

President McKinley was shot in the stomach four years later and died of an infection.


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