JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Jan. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of America's first transcontinental telephone call, and Jekyll Island, Ga., is celebrating its role in the monumental event with a live reenactment on Sunday, as well as a new exhibit online.
On Jan. 25, 1915, Theodore Newton Vail, president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), participated in the first transcontinental call, live from Jekyll Island. He was joined on the line by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, in Washington; scientist and telephone inventor Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, in New York; Bell's eminent assistant, Thomas A. Watson, in San Francisco; and American businessman and philanthropist Henry Higginson, in Boston.
When the greeting, "Hello, Jekyll Island," reverberated across the phone lines, it was answered by Vail from one of the parlors of the legendary Jekyll Island Club. Among those witnessing the remarkable proceedings unfolding in the room were business magnates and fellow Jekyll Island Club members J.P. Morgan Jr. and William Rockefeller, along with distinguished American architects William Welles Bosworth and Samuel Breck Parkman Trowbridge.
The famous five-way call 100 years ago transpired around 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and made instantaneous, coast-to-coast conversation possible for the first time. The thrilling moment ceremoniously ushered in a new era of transcontinental telephone service for the expanding U.S. population and is still celebrated today for its historical significance.
To commemorate this momentous occasion and reenact a landmark moment in time, the Jekyll Island Museum is hosting a "Centennial Celebration" this Sunday, Jan. 25, that will pay tribute to the historic role Jekyll Island played in this major communications milestone.
The festivities begin at 4:00 p.m. – the same hour as the precedent-setting transcontinental telephone call a century earlier. Admission is free. The celebration takes place inside the Morgan Center on the grounds of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, 371 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, Ga., 31527. The event will include a short presentation, a complimentary champagne toast, and the unveiling of a commemorative keepsake. Coffee and cake will be served.
The Jekyll Island Museum also has launched an online exhibit about the historic transcontinental call. The fascinating story can be viewed HERE http://jekyllislandmuseum.wix.com/phone-call-exhibit.
SOURCE The Jekyll Island Museum