Regent University School of Udnergraduate Studies

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inauguration facts(!)

In view of the looming inauguration, here are a bunch of facts about the ceremony. Anyone who has seen the Pink Panther movies knows it sounds way better to say "Fact!" with a French accent. Any piece of information with a French sounding "Fact!" before it sounds better, for that matter. So,

Fact -

The inauguration ceremony during which Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States will be the 55th inauguration ceremony in this country's history, and the 19th held since inauguration day was switched from March 4th to January 20th.Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4th in order to give members of the Electoral College from each State four months from election day to cast their ballots for president.

Fact -

Weather's greatest impact on inauguration day came in 1841 when William Henry Harrison decided to brave the elements and deliver the longest inauguration speech ever, an oration lasting an hour, 40 minutes.It was a cloudy, cold and blustery day, and Harrison, who wore neither hat nor overcoat, rode a horse to and from the Capitol ceremony. He subsequently caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. A month later, Harrison died.

Fact -

The warmest January 20th inauguration day came in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was sworn into office under mostly cloudy skies. The temperature at noon on this inauguration day was 55 degrees.

Fact -

The shortest inauguration speech was delivered by George Washington at his second inauguration on March 4, 1793. The speech totaled 135 words.

Fact -

At noon on January 20th the president-elect becomes President.

Fact -

Thomas Jefferson was the first president to complete his inauguration with a parade. Since Jefferson's second inauguration on March 4, 1805, it has become tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Fact -

There have been nine presidents sworn in on days other than inauguration day — eight following eight presidential deaths and one after Richard Nixon's resignation.

Fact -

The coldest inauguration came in 1985 when Ronald Reagan was greeted by extreme cold and wind. The morning low was 4 degrees below zero with the temperature reaching only 7 degrees by noon. The daytime high reached 17 degrees, but wind chill temperatures in the afternoon were 10-20 degrees below zero. The swearing-in ceremony had to be held indoors and the parade was canceled.

Fact -

Though anyone legally authorized to administer an oath could swear in the President of the United States, to date there has been one person to do so who was not a judge. In 1923, John C. Coolidge, Calvin Coolidge's father (a notary public), swore in his son after the death of President Warren G. Harding. Fourteen of the 20 judges to have administered the oath were Chief Justices, dating back to when Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth swore in John Adams in 1797.

Fact -

Grover Cleveland is the only American president to attend two inaugurations as the outgoing president, enjoying the claim of being the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. After four years as the nation's 22nd president, Cleveland was beaten in the election of 1888 by Benjamin Harrison, and attended Harrison's inauguration in March of 1889. Upon leaving the White House, Frances Cleveland told a staff member to "take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house, for I want to find everything just as it is now, when we come back again."When asked when she planned to return, she said, "We are coming back four years from today." And she was right.In the election of 1892, Cleveland was re-elected in a rematch against Harrison, and after four more years in office he attended the 1897 inauguration of William McKinley, who had defeated Williams Jennings Bryan.

and finally,

Last fact -

Ronald Reagan's second inaugural had to compete with Super Bowl Sunday. (1985)

God Bless America.


Paul said...

Love the fact...especially the ones about a certain president ;) Though I must admit, the last one is pretty good!

amanda danae said...

way to Go G.W.! I love this guy... the shortest speech ever eh? totaling 135 words. =) hahah

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