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Did You Know – Inauguration Facts

Barack Obama Sworn In As U.S. President For A Second Term
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Yesterday was officially the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.  The inauguration happens every 4 years on January 20th.  Over the years it has ranged from a simple oath taking ceremony to a longer affair with parades and inaugural balls.  Here are some more facts about the presidential inauguration that you may not know about already:

Thanks to

  • George Washington’s was the shortest inaugural address at 135 words. (1793)
  • Thomas Jefferson was the only president to walk to and from his inaugural. He was also the first to be inaugurated at the Capitol. (1801)
  • The first inaugural ball was held for James Madison. (1809)
  • John Quincy Adams was the first president sworn in wearing long trousers. (1825)
  • Franklin Pierce was the first president to affirm rather than swear the oath of office (1853). Herbert Hoover followed suit in 1929.
  • William H. Harrison’s was the longest inaugural address at 8,445 words. (1841)
  • The first inauguration to be photographed was James Buchanan’s. (1857)
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first to include African-Americans in his parade. (1865)
  • James Garfield’s mother was the first to attend her son’s inauguration. (1881)
  • William McKinley’s inauguration was the first ceremony to be recorded by a motion picture camera. (1897)
  • William Taft’s wife was the first one to accompany her husband in the procession from the Capitol to the White House. (1909)
  • Women were included for the first time in Woodrow Wilson’s second inaugural parade. (1917)
  • Warren G. Harding was the first president to ride to and from his inaugural in an automobile. (1921)
  • Harry Truman’s was the first to be televised. (1949)
  • Lyndon Johnson was the first (and so far) only president to be sworn in by a woman, U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes. (1963)
  • Jimmy Carter’s inaugural parade featured solar heat for the reviewing stand and handicap-accessible viewing. (1977)
  • Ronald Reagan’s second inaugural had to compete with Super Bowl Sunday. (1985)
  • The first ceremony broadcast on the Internet was Bill Clinton’s second inauguration. (1997)

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