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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Inauguration Trivia

With the Inauguration of our 44th President only a week away, here are a few interesting tidbits on past ceremonies thanks to

● Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were the only two presidents-elect to walk to their Inaugurations;

● In 1917 Edith Wilson was the first First Lady to accompany her husband to the Capitol for the ceremony;

● Warren G. Harding was the first president-elect to ride to the Inauguration in an automobile in 1921;

● In 1965 Lyndon Johnson was the first president-elect to ride to the ceremony in a bullet-proof limousine;

● John Adams was the first president to receive the oath of office from the Chief Justice in 1797;

● In 1923 Calvin Coolidge’s father administered the oath to his son;

● The Inaugural parade dates back to George Washington, but it wasn’t until 1873 during Ulysses S. Grant’s Inauguration that the tradition of reviewing the parade at the White House was begun;

● Dolley Madison hosted the first Inaugural Ball in 1809. Beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, the number of balls increased to two and grew to 14 with Bill Clinton’s second Inauguration.

For more on the history of Inaugurations, browse these books:

Presidential Inaugurations by Peter F. Boller

The Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents

Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural by Ronald C. White

Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America by Thurston Clarke

Where will you be for next week’s 56th Inauguration ceremony of a President?
Let us know.

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