Yesterday for the first time I actually got the chance (or remember) to see a lot of the activities prior to the actual presidential inauguration. As someone that absolutely loves history – yesterday was so magical for so many reasons.
First of all – to see over 2 million people peacefully (no arrests) come together to share this moment was amazing. It really shows you that we are an incredible and good hearted people. There were so many stories of strangers becoming friends and enjoying the company of the person to the left or right of them.
Second of all – I got to witness a lot of the traditions that I never saw before because of school, work, etc. After seeing them – I did some research so I could provide a few interesting facts that even my sister might appreciate.
- George Washington was sworn in on April 30, 1789 in New York City. He understood the importance of it all, but decided to wear very plain clothes to show he was a man of the people.
- Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be sworn in as president in Washington, DC.
- When Adams got sworn in – many of the people there paid more attention on the Washingtons leaving – so now it is custom that the ex-president leave quietly after the ceremony so all attention is on the president-elect.
- Any book can be used to administer the oath. What would I use? One of my LBJ biographies of course.
- In 1949, Harry Truman was the first president to have his inauguration on nationwide TV
- In 2009, Jennifer Zelazny watched the ceremonies for the first time ever streamed on cbs.com
Best of all – there is such a sense of hope from so many individuals that never felt it. To see them so happy, so excited, and looking into the future with such promise…it is really inspiring. Let’s hope that Obama can turn things around!