By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first Presidential Alert in history took place Wednesday afternoon, with nearly all Americans getting a direct message from the highest office in the land.

Unlike other alerts, such as weather alerts, people with cell phones were not allowed to opt out of the presidential message. Unless, that is, their phone was turned off.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been sending out text messages since 2012.

There have been close to 40,000 messages sent over the years to warn people about everything from amber alerts to the weather.

But at 2:18 p.m. Wednesday (Eastern Time), Americans got a test message from the president.

Minnesotans saw the message at 1:18 p.m.

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