This Day in History: Live cameras in Congress

Sixty-seven years ago today, the U.S. Congress broadcast its proceedings on live television for the first time.

On January 3, 1947, the opening session of the 80th Congress was broadcast live from the House Floor by a local television stations in Philadelphia and New York. You can spot that historic footage at the beginning of this newsreel: 

For years, the daily work of Congress, from the House and Senate floors to the myriad committee rooms, has been shown on live television, promoting transparency and giving Americans the important opportunity to see this branch of their government in action.   

The U.S. Supreme Court, however, nearly half a century after Congress opened its doors to live cameras, has yet to allow its proceedings to be televised, live or otherwise. For more, see Doug Kendall and Tom Donnelly’s piece for CNN.com: Justices, let cameras into the court.

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