Nelson's View

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration fun facts

I unfortunately did not get to view Barrack Obama's inauguration on Tuesday but I'm sure it was quite the ordeal (and I'm sure I'll be able to watch it on the internet). In fact Bill Clinton's second term inauguration was the first such event broadcast live on the online in 1997. Thousands and thousands went to Washington this year to watch the inauguration but I imagine a few of those in the very back row might have needed a pair of binoculars. Some even paid a fortune for tickets that were meant to be free. The inaugural has become quite the event with entertainment and parties.

Here are some other fun facts about previous inaugurations.

*George Washington, our first president of the United States gave the shortest inaugural address which was only 135 words. William H. Harrison was a little longer winded at 8,445 words and lasted almost 2 hours. Unfortunately for President Harrison he gave his address in a snow storm and came down with a cold and died a month later from a respiratory infection. (If you are going to run a country, be able to make a decision, like putting on a coat in winter.)

*The first inaugural ball was held in 1809 for our fourth president, James Madison.

*James Buchanan's inauguration was the first to be photographed in 1857 and William McKinley's inauguration was the first to be recorded by a "motion picture camera," in 1897. The first televised inauguration took place in 1949 - Harry Truman. Think about all the cameras they must have had at Obama's inaugurations.

*Warren G Harding was the first to ride to to his inauguration in an automobile in 1921.

*When Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for his second term in 1985, the Super Bowl fell on the same day.

* Former President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in for the first time during an inauguration ceremony by a woman - U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes in 1963.

*William Taft's wife Helen was the first "first wife" to accompany her husband in the procession from the Capitol to the White House in 1909. In 1917, women were included for the first time in the second inaugural parade of Woodrow Wilson.

*The crowd at Abraham Lincoln's inauguration grew rowdy so the police department had to be called in.

*During Dwight Eisenhower's inaugural ceremony he was lassoed by a cowboy on a horse while in the reviewing stand.

*In 2009 the country saw the first inauguration of a President who was not Caucasian. Wonder when our inauguration will see it's first woman president?