On December 18, 1958, the world’s first “talking” satellite was launched, a product of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Laboratories at Fort Monmouth. Called “Score,” the satellite was placed in orbit by an Atlas missile, and would broadcast the first human voice from space: President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Christmas greeting to the world. This pre-recorded message proved that voice and data signals could be efficiently relayed over great distances by communications satellite.
Source: Pierce, John R., and Tressler, Arthur G., (1964). The Research State: A History of science in New Jersey. D. Van Norstrand Company, Inc., Princeton, N.J., pp. 126-127.