For Obama worshipers, Obama's coronation will be the most exciting moment of their lives. It's a simple thing really: Obama swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, then he promptly sets out to execute his personal agenda. To me it seems quite bureaucratic and not at all interesting. But inauguration history is interesting, so for those who need a break from the Obama hype, here are some interesting tidbits:
- In 1793, George Washington gave the shortest inaugural address: 135 words.
- 1801: First inaugural speech to be reported in full in a newspaper was Thomas Jefferson's. An extra edition of the National Intelligencer was printed minutes after the speech ended.
- In 1829, Andrew Jackson, "the People's President," held an open house. About 20,000 people trampled mud and horse manure into the White House, destroyed rugs, broke satin-covered chairs, smashed crystal and china, and spilled liquor. Fights broke out, women fainted and Jackson had to escape through a window. Order was restored when barrels of whiskey were placed on the South Lawn, drawing the crowd outside.
- In 1841, William Henry Harrison defied a driving ice storm for 90 minutes to deliver the longest inauguration speech in history (8,445 words). He died one month later of pneumonia, believed to have been brought on by prolonged exposure to the elements on his Inauguration Day.
- 1873: Ulysses S. Grant's inauguration was so cold - a low of 4 degrees and a high of 16 - that trumpet valves froze and violin strings snapped. One hundred and fifty canaries, whose chirping was to amuse guests, froze to death in their cages.
- Theodore Roosevelt's 1901 oath was the only one not sworn in on a Bible.
- 1913: West Point cadet and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower marched at Woodrow Wilson's inauguration.
- President Wilson did not have any parties at his 1917 inaugural, saying that such festivities would be undignified.
- President Roosevelt held his 1945 inaugural at the White House, making a short speech and serving guests cold chicken salad and plain pound cake.
- Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 parade was covered by a 24-year-old reporter from the Washington Times-Herald known as the “Inquiring Camera Girl”. Her name was Jacqueline Bouvier, eventually to become Jackie Kennedy.
- In 1961, John F. Kennedy was the last president to wear traditional stovepipe hat to the inauguration.
- January 20, 1969 Richard M. Nixon took the oath of office on two Bibles; both family heirlooms.
- Apropos comments from Reagan's inauguration in 1981: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."
- Ronald Reagan's second inaugural had to compete with Super Bowl Sunday.
- Clinton's 1997 inauguration was the first ceremony to be broadcast live on the Internet.
- In 2001, George W. Bush's inauguration was the first to be interrupted by naked protesters.
- The oath is taken with a hand upon a Bible, opened to a passage of the president-elect's choice. For his first inauguration, Bill Clintion chose Galatians 5:8. "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
- Barack Obama will be using Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural Bible to take his oath of office.
What Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration. Obama's Inauguration Has Been Financed by Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives.
William Ayers turned back at Canadian border: To me it seems quite bureaucratic and not at all interesting ... If it were me I would have let me in. I couldn't possibly be a threat to Canada." Great response by a reader: "Who among us hasn't tried to blow up the Pentagon? Give the guy a break. While he has never expressed regret for his terrorist activities, I'm sure one day he might. Maybe." Hat tip: American Thinker
Biden tries to shush wife after state-VP slip
We need a timetable for withdrawal from the Obama agenda! Bring my tax dollars back home! A Times/CBS News Poll, conducted last week, offered at least some guidance for the Obama Expectations Clock. Most respondents said they thought it would take Mr. Obama two years or more to deliver on campaign promises to improve the economy, expand health care coverage and end the war in Iraq.
To heck with Champagne, break out the Botox. It's inauguration party time.
Every network from BET to Disney Chanel to QVC will have wall-to-wall coverage of the inauguration.