Wow, what a day today, January 21st, 2013 is turning out to be. Not only is today Martin Luther King Day and The Presidential Inaguration, but it’s also National Hug Day. There’s alot to celebrate and think about today.
Usually, the inauguration is held on January 20th except when that day falls on a Sunday. If so, the public inauguration is held on the next day, Monday. This has only happened a handful of times since the country has held these inaugurations. This massive event to commemorate the swearing in of the president every four years had me thinking about its history and if any, how technology has played a role in the way this custom has evolved over the years and how it has been brought to the public.
I was able to watch a little bit of the inauguration and see some pictures today and boy was I suprised. I guess I have never payed attention in the years past but this display was quite impressive with the parades and floats and the marching bands. This all isn’t new. A long standing centuries old tradition has been brought before our eyes today and its pretty cool. Things have changed alot since the first inauguration. For example, only the members of Congress gathered to hear President Washington’s first inaugural address. Today, an estimated 1 million people were present to witness Obama’s second inauguration. Here are some interesting facts about the inauguration:
• The commencement takes place every four years on January 20 ( 20th Amendment). Prior to this, the date was March 4, the day of the year on which the Constitution of the United States first took effect in 1789. The last inauguration to take place on the older date was FDR’s first term on March 4, 1933.
• George Washington was inaugurated in New York City, the first capital on April 30, 1789.
• In deciding what the new Chief Executive’s official title should be, John Adams preferred “His Most Benign Highness,” but congress settled on “President of the United States.”
• Presidents repeat the oath in the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” President Washington added the words, “So help me God,” a custom followed by every President since.
• In 1793, the oath of office for Washington’s second term was administered by William Cushing, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and the first in a long line of Supreme Court Justices to preside over Presidential Inaugurations.
• Thomas Jefferson was the first to be sworn in as President in Washington, D.C. in 1801
• Since Thomas Jefferson’s second inaugural on March 4, 1805, it has become tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House
• James Madison’s swearing-in speech was the first published in the newspaper in 1809
• In 1845, Samuel Morse, inventor of the electric telegraph, tapped out the news when James Polk took the oath
• The first photographed inauguration happened in 1857 for James Buchanan
• Movie cameras recorded highlights of William McKinley’s Inauguration in 1897
• The radio broadcasted Calvin Coolidge’s oath of office in 1925
• Harry Truman became the first President whose swearing-in was televised in 1949
• President Bill Clinton’s second Inauguration in 1997 was the first to have an official web site and to be seen live on the Internet by people around the world
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