13 Interesting Presidential Inauguration Day Facts
It is finally Friday, which means you made it through another work week and there are only a few more hours before the weekend begins! This Friday, however, is a little different than the previous ones we had in January so far. Today, January 20, 2017 is also Inauguration Day! Once every four years, the President-elect takes an oath to lead responsibly and prepare for their transition into presidency. After an intensive 2016 election campaign, America’s 45th president will be Donald J. Trump, and despite the varied feelings/emotions/opinions voters have expressed, the majority consensus show they are giving Trump a chance at leading. Trump’s presidential term will commence at noon, when the Chief Justice of the Supreme court administers the oath. Inauguration is a significant part of America’s history. So let’s travel back in time today with 13 interesting presidential Inauguration Day facts! This one goes out to our history bluffs out there– how many do you know?
- From 1793 to 1933, Inauguration Day has taken place on March 4th following a presidential election. Since 1937, the official date is January 20th. However, if January 20th falls on a Sunday, the Chief Justice administers the oath to the president on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21.
2. The first inauguration ceremony was held in April 30, 1789 for George Washington. His speech came up to 135 words, making it the shortest inauguration speech in history thus far! (The average length of an inaugural address goes on to approximately 1,200 to 2,500 words!)
3. On the contrary, the longest inaugural address was 8,445 words and given by William H. Harrison on March 4, 1841. Unfortunately due to the severe weather conditions on Inauguration day, Harrison contracted pneumonia and passed away one month later.
4. John Quincy Adams switch up the fashion trends by being the first president to wear long trousers instead of knee breeches on for his swearing on March 4, 1825.
5. Tickets to the inaugural ball can be quite expensive, some even as much as $12,500 a pop! However, the 400 tickets to James Madison’s celebration on March 4, 1809 went for only $4 apiece. (Today, that value is approximately $60-70.) This also marked the first of many presidential inaugural balls.
6. The youngest president to be inaugurated was Theodore Roosevelt at 42 years of age on March 4, 1905.
7. The oldest president to be inaugurated was Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981. He was 69 years of age, and only 17 days short of his 70th birthday.
8. On March 5, 1917, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to permit women to participate in the inaugural parade.
9. The involvement of media has come a long way in covering our presidential inaugurations: The first ceremony to be photographed was James Buchanan’s in March 4, 1857. The first ceremony to be filmed by a motion camera was William McKinley’s in March 4, 1897. The first ceremony to be nationally broadcast on radio was Calvin Coolidge’s in March 4, 1925. The first ceremony to be televised was Harry S. Truman’s in January 20, 1949. And the first ceremony to be stream live online was William J. Clinton’s in January 20, 1997.
10. An estimated of 1.2 million people attended Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration in January 20, 1965…
11. But the highest record of attendees goes out to President Obama who drew a record 1.8 million people in January 20, 2009.
12. Not surprisingly, the most expensive presidential inauguration was none other than Barack Obama’s, with a bill over $150 million! Two thirds was financed by private donors and the remaining from taxpayers.
13. Trump allegedly struggled to attract some A-List celebrities to perform for his inauguration but he plans on keeping the festivities ‘short and sweet’ to really focus on the oncoming presidential task at hand. The Inaugural Committee has set aside 3 inaugural balls and scaled down a couple of events, including the parade, to take up less of the people’s time waiting in the cold.
So, there we have it. Who’s planning on watching today’s inauguration? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Did you know the Women’s March on Washington is also happening today? Diverse women (and men) of all shapes and sizes, ethnicity and race, religious faiths, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, and backgrounds are coming together to march and stand together for the protection of their rights, safety, health and families. Find out more here!