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Building Firsts1

1875 First hydraulic lift elevator installed in an U.S. government building (in the Department of State wing).
1875 First Department of State employees to work in the building moved in on July 14.
1876 First Treaty signed in the building was with Mexico
1879 First telephone and telegraph lines installed in the building by the Army Signal Corps.
c. 1890 First light bulb used in the south wing in the State Department Diplomatic Reception Room.
1905 First high-ranking female in any organization to have an office was Miss Mabel Boardman who served as secretary of the American Red Cross in room 341 until 1913, but was in fact the organization's chief.
1910 First lighter-than-air craft to touchdown on the streets of any city in the world lands on West Executive Avenue when English pilot Claude Graham-White lands to have lunch with the Secretary of War Jacob Dickinson.
1911 First refrigerator plant installed at the EEOB; makes ice for the White House.
1918 First Department to outgrow space in building and leave was the Navy
1920 First electric elevators installed to replace hydraulic elevators.
1929 First President to have an office in the building (Rm. 274) was President Hoover following West Wing fire, December 24.
1930 First name change to building to become The Department of State Building.
1939 First Executive Branch agency to move in was the Bureau of Budget, precursor of the Office of Management and Budget.
1955 First televised press conference ever made by a president (Eisenhower) occurs in room 474 on January 19.
1960 First Vice President to have an office in the building (Rm. 274) was Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1969 First historical designation when building listed as a National Historic Landmark, highest recognition possible.
1988 First wife of a Vice President to have an office in the building was Marilyn Quayle. (Rm. 269)
1994 First White House web site unveiled.

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