Friday, January 16, 2009

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President...

Next week, our 44th President of the United States will be sworn into office. That calls for Inauguration Trivia! Because I am a dork like that.

  • The first president to ride in a car at his inauguration was Warren Harding in 1921.
  • Harry Truman had the first televised inauguration in 1949.
  • Obama will be the 44th President of the United States and this will be the 56th formal inauguration.
  • George Washington's was the shortest inaugural address at 135 words.
  • The first inaugural ball was held for James Madison.
  • In 1985, Ronald Reagan's second inaugural had to compete with Super Bowl Sunday.
  • Except for Washington's first inaugural, all presidents until 1937 were inaugurated in March in an effort to avoid bad weather.
  • The warmest inauguration was Ronald Reagan's first (Jan. 20, 1981). It was 55°. The coldest was Reagan's second (Jan. 21, 1985). It was 7°.
  • Only four retiring presidents have not attended the inaugurations of their successors.
  • The oath is taken with a hand upon a Bible, opened to a passage of the president-elect's choice. Each president has chosen a different passage. Theodore Roosevelt's 1901 oath was the only one not sworn in on a Bible.
  • The weather was so cold during the second inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant that the valves on the band's musical instruments froze during the ball, and guests danced with their coats on.
  • George H. W. Bush celebrated with nine balls, while Bill Clinton managed to attend each of the 14 balls held in his honor, if only briefly.

Edited by Rhonda to add: We have a winner! I threw all the entries into a big bowl and drew out the following name: Lauren Bjorkman!! CONGRATS!! Please email me at rhonda @ rhondastapleton dot com with a valid email address...and, since you commented on both my blog post and Amanda's, you get $20 worth of Amazon gift cards. YAY! She and I will get those out to you ASAP. Thanks again to everyone who entered--we're so glad to have such thoughtful and smart commenters!


  1. Hey, didn't one of our presidents actually catch a cold at his inauguration that turned into the pneumonia that killed him? I hope Obama's got a good wool coat and a thick muffler!!

  2. wow, that would sure suck.

  3. Wow--great are such a cutie nerd, Gwen!

    and Louisa, that would SUUUUUCK!!

  4. Hey, that's some ballsy info.

    It's kind of cool that MLK Day is kicking it all off, ennit?

  5. Amanda Brice3:11 PM

    It's uber cool that MLK Day is kicking it all off, Chrissy!

    I already know what I'm blogging about on my day next from the ball I'm going to!!!!!!

  6. Louisa Edwards wrote: Hey, didn't one of our presidents actually catch a cold at his inauguration that turned into the pneumonia that killed him?

    Ah, yes, William Henry Harrison! Though I guess nowadays they've decided that that story is apocryphal, and he didn't actually catch it at his inauguration. (Maybe he tipped over in his canoe?) ;-)