The official theme for the 2013 inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future”. The theme is in reference to marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom on the top of the Capital Dome in 1863.
Monday, January 21, 2013 is slated for the Presidential Inauguration held in Washington, DC. Monday will kick-off a week filled with festivities that include the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Parade and Address and a variety of inaugural balls and galas that will honor the President of the United States.
15 Trivia Facts about the Presidential Inauguration
1. The first President to be inaugurated was George Washington on April 30, 1789. After he repeated the verse for the swearing in as designated in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, he added the words “so help me God” and kissed the Bible.
2. George Washington was also noted for delivering the shortest Inaugural speech. His speech only contained a total of 135 words.
3. James Madison was the president who introduced the Inaugural Ball. Tickets to this ball cost $4, which back then was a lot of money. Ironically James Madison had a Vice President name George Clinton.
4. On March 4, 1837, Martin Van Buren became the first president who was not born a citizen of Britain. He also introduced the tradition of the former president and the new president riding together to Inauguration Day.
5. William Harrison was the president who gave the longest Inaugural address totaling 8,445 words.
6. President Franklin Pierced was the president who used the word “affirm” instead of “swear” while taking office. He also canceled the ball.
7. In 1897 William McKinley was the first president to be inaugurated on film. He also was the first president to have the ritual luncheon.
8. William McKinley’s second inauguration was the first inauguration in which the House and Senate developed the JCCIC to plan Inaugural events.
9. On March 4 1933, the morning worship service tradition was first held by FDR and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his second term, was also the first president to be sworn in on January 20th.
10. In 1949, Harry S. Truman became the first President to have his inauguration televised.
11. Dwight D. Eisenhower broke tradition after taken his oath of office. Instead of kissing the Bible, he recited his own prayer.
12. Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated on November 22, 1963 by the first woman to perform this ceremony. They were on Air Force One.
13. Richard Nixon was the only president to take his oath of office with two Bibles.
14. Ronald Reagan’s Inauguration took place inside due to the coldest weather in Inauguration history. It was only seven degrees at noon.
15. Former President Clinton was the first president to have his inauguration live on the web. He also had the most number of inaugural balls, totaling 14. The number of Inaugural balls has been so high in recent years to accommodate the demand to attend.
See our recent blog posting for helpful Presidential Inuaguration Travel Tips while visiting Washington DC