On Friday, January 20, 2017, our country will swear in the next President of the United States. Here are some fun & interesting Inauguration Day facts…
- The word “inauguration” is a Latin word meaning “installment under good omens.”
- Inauguration Day used to be held on March 4th. This was before technology allowed for a quicker vote count. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president to be sworn in on the old date of March 4th for his first term and the first to be sworn in on the new date of January 20th for his second term.
- Teddy Roosevelt wore a ring containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair during his second inauguration ceremony.
- George Washington’s speech as he began his second term was the shortest of any incoming president at 135 words.
- William Henry Harrison, on the other hand, gave a 2-hour speech consisting of 8,445 words that could’ve led to the pneumonia he contracted just days after his inauguration. Harrison’s swearing in ceremony was held in a snowstorm, and he refused to move the proceedings indoors. He died 1 month into his term making him the first president to die in office.
- In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be sworn in after the government move to Washington, D.C.
- At the inauguration of James Madison in 1809, the tradition of the inaugural ball began. First Lady, Dolley Maddison hosted the event and offered tickets at $4 each.
- The first televised inauguration was in 1949 when Harry S. Truman took the oath of office.
- Barak Obama used 2 historic Bibles in his ceremony in 2013.
- Donald J. Trump will be the oldest president in the history of the U.S. Ronald Reagan was not far behind him as he was 17 days shy of his 70th birthday when he took office.
Popular quotes from past presidents:
~ “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 inauguration
~ “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy, 1961 inauguration
~ “Our long national nightmare is over.” — Gerald R. Ford, 1974 inauguration, referring to Watergate
~ “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” — Ronald Reagan, 1981 inauguration
Source: gotham-magazine.com, cnn.com