Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Day Trivia

George Washington
-Set the precedent of kissing the Bible after the oath.
-Because of pressing public business, the inaugural ball was held on May 7. The president's wife, Martha, did not make the trip to New York.
-Gave the shortest inaugural address (135 words).

John Adams
-First president to receive the oath from the Chief Justice of the United States (Oliver Ellsworth).

Thomas Jefferson
-Began the custom of writing to Congress to accept the inauguration and arrange the time for the ceremonies.
-The first and probably only president to walk to and from his inaugural.
-First president to be inaugurated at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
-First newspaper extra of an inaugural address, printed by the National Intelligencer.

James Madison
-First inaugural held in the Hall of the House.
-First inaugural ball to be held on the day of the inauguration.
-The United States Marine Band set a precedent by playing for the inaugural ball.

John Q. Adams
-First president sworn in wearing long trousers. (Washington Post, 3/4/1933)

Martin Van Buren
-First time that outgoing and incoming presidents (Jackson and Van Buren) rode together in a carriage to the Capitol for the inaugural. (Jeffries, In and Out of the White House, p. 103; Washington Post, 1/20/1949)
-First use of inaugural programs. (Washington Star, 3/4/1905)
-First use of floats in an inaugural parade. (Fox, Washington, D.C.: The Nation's Capitol)
-First time two inaugural balls were held. (Washington Post, 12/26/1948)

William H. Harrison
-First president to arrive in Washington by railroad for his inaugural.
-Longest inaugural address (10,000 words).
-Broke precedent by beginning address, taking oath, and then resuming address.
-First official planning of a parade to follow the inaugural at the Capitol. The parade or inaugural planning committee was appointed by the local political organization of the party victorious in the national election

John Tyler
-First vice president to assume the presidency due to the death of the president.

James Polk
-First inaugural to be covered by telegraph.
-First known newspaper illustration of a presidential inauguration. (The Illustrated London News)

Franklin Pierce
-Drove to and from the Capitol standing up in his carriage.
-Affirmed (rather than swore) the oath of office.
-Broke precedent by not kissing the Bible, but merely placing his left hand on it.
-First president to deliver inaugural address without referring to notes.

James Buchanan
-First inaugural known to have been photographed.

Abraham Lincoln
-First time that African-Americans participated in the inaugural parade.

Andrew Johnson
-First instance of the Chief Justice administering the oath of office to the vice president upon the death of the president.

Rutherford B. Hayes
-First president to take the oath of office in the White House.
-Was sworn in prior to Inauguration Day, because it fell on Sunday. Took oath privately on Saturday, March 3, and publicly on Monday, March 5, 1877. (The Presidents and Their Wives, p. 3)

James Garfield
-The first time that a mother of the president attended the inaugural ceremonies.

William McKinley
-First inaugural recorded by movie camera.
-Had glass-enclosed reviewing stand in front of the White House.

Theodore Roosevelt
-The only President not sworn in on a Bible. Mr. Ansley Wilcox, at whose home Roosevelt took the oath of office, wrote in 1903, "According to my best recollection no Bible was used, but President Roosevelt was sworn in with uplifted hand."

William H. Taft
-First time that a president's wife rode with her husband in the procession from the Capitol to the White House.

Woodrow Wilson
-Broke the precedent by taking the oath on a Sunday.
-First time that the oath has been taken privately in the President's Room at the Capitol.
-First time that women participated in the inaugural parade.

Warren G. Harding
-First president to ride to and from his inaugural in an automobile.
-First use of loudspeakers at an inaugural.

Calvin Coolidge
-Oath of office given by the president's father, a Vermont Justice of the Peace.
-First time an ex-president (William Taft) administered the oath of office as Chief Justice.
-First inaugural to be broadcast nationally by radio.

Herbert Hoover
-First inaugural to be recorded by a talking newsreel.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
-First president to be inaugurated on the January 20th date, a change made by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
-First time the vice president--elect was inaugurated out-of-doors on the same platform with the president-elect. No vice presidential address was given.
-First president to take the oath of office for a third term.
-First and only time a president was inaugurated for a fourth term. (The 22d Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1951, restricts the presidency to two terms.)

Harry S. Truman
-First inauguration to be televised.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
-Broke with custom by reciting his own improvised prayer instead of kissing the Bible.
-First time that a president was inaugurated for a term limited by the Constitution (22d Amendment).

John F. Kennedy
-First president to be inaugurated on the extended East Front.
-First time that a Speaker of the House administered the oath of office to the vice president. (Previously the oath had been given by either the President pro tempore of the Senate, the ex--Vice President, or a United States Senator.)
-First time a poet, Robert Frost, participated in the official ceremonies at the Capitol.
-First time that both parents of the president-elect attended their son's inauguration.
-As the first Catholic elected president, Kennedy was the first to use a Catholic (Douay) version of the Bible for his oath.
-First appearance of the Air Force Academy Band in the parade.
-First time that the parade was televised in color
-Last president to wear traditional stovepipe hat to the inauguration.

Lyndon B. Johnson
-First time that the oath was administered in an airplane (Air Force One, a Boeing 707, at Love Field in Dallas, Texas).
-First time that the oath was administered by a woman, Sarah T. Hughes, U. S. District Judge of the Northern District of Texas.
-First use of a bullet-proofed, closed limousine.

Richard M. Nixon
-Two Bibles were used in the inauguration; they were family heirlooms, dated 1928 and 1873.

Gerald R. Ford
-First unelected vice president to assume the presidency.
-First vice president to assume the presidency under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which specifies that, upon the resignation of the president, the vice president shall become president.

Jimmy Carter
-Folding chairs instead of wooden benches were used on the East Plaza.
-Used an old family Bible; second Bible on lectern had been used at inauguration of George Washington.
-At Carter's request, the traditional inaugural luncheon was not held.
-First president to walk all the way from the Capitol to the White House with his family after ceremony.
-First time that an outgoing President left from the Capitol Grounds aboard a helicopter.
-Provisions were made for the handicapped to watch the parade.

Ronald Reagan
-First closed-captioning of television broadcast for the hearing impaired.
-First time that the oath was taken in the Rotunda.
-First inaugural that fell on a Super Bowl Sunday.
-The Bible was placed on a marble-topped table that was built for the second inaugural of Abraham Lincoln. The table was constructed with an iron baluster cast for the Capitol dome in the 1860's.
4.First time a television camera was placed inside the president's limousine from the Capitol to the White House. (Washington Post, Jan. 18, 1985)

William J. Clinton
-First time that the ceremony was broadcast live on the Internet.
-First inaugural that fell on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.
Inaugurations Home Page


Julie said...

See...this is why I love your blog...reading this and watching the inauguration was "school" for today!!

cindy said...

Glad I could help!!

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Hi there,
Glad I stumbled upon your cool blog (via CCGB).
I love all the Shrek movies too!
Anyways, I love your inauguration day trivia.
I will share it at my party Saturday nite. We're having a small get-together (Festivus) for those who were not invited to any of the inauguration balls.
I will drop by again!