The History of Presidential Texts

By Conor Friedersdorf

Soon Americans may get text messages from the Oval Office during emergencies. What if we'd had this technology all along?

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President Obama could soon have the ability to personally text message every single cell-phone-toting American --- whether they like it or not -- with "critical emergency alerts" under a new federal program that civil libertarians and political opponents say is a Big Brother-like intrusion posing a high risk of political abuse. ~ The Boston Herald

Oh, I don't know. Just think of all the trouble this technology could've saved had it existed in the past.

APRIL 18, 1775 - Paul sez Red Coats r coming!!

MARCH 4, 1829 - Party at my place

APRIL 4, 1841 - Plz send 4 priest ASAP

JANUARY 1, 1863 - U R free now :)

OCTOBER 29, 1929 - Wow, btwn u and me, just got some gr8 news. Think I'll go buy some stock.

OCTOBER 30, 1938 - Chill, it's fiction.

NOVEMBER 3, 1948 - Correction: Truman Defeats Dewey.

OCTOBER 4, 1957 - Help wanted: engineers, rocket scientists, monkey trainers

AUGUST 8, 1974 - cya

AUGUST 30, 2005 - running late but en route

Other suggestions? Use the Twitter hash tag #preztexts - if warranted I'll update this item with the best ones.

Image credit: Zahid Hussein/Reuters

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/the-history-of-presidential-texts/238758/