Presidential Inauguration Fun Facts

Six historical tidbits to share with your child about the big event.
By Jill Feigelman
Jan 19, 2017
The inauguration of President Barack Obama, January 20th 2009. Unrecognizable crowds in the Washington Mall.

Jan 19, 2017

Location, Location Philadelphia and New York hosted the presidential inauguration until 1801. It then moved to Washington, D.C.

Word Count Presidential inaugural addresses have ranged from a lengthy 8,445 words (William Henry Harrison), to just 135 (Washington's second address).

Harrison Who? President Harrison's speech clocked in at close to two hours long. As a result of standing in cold and rainy weather (without a hat or coat), he caught pneumonia and died two months later, becoming the shortest serving president in history. 

Up In the Air Lyndon B. Johnson is the only president who has been sworn in by a woman. U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Huges administered the oath aboard Air Force One following JFK's assassination.

Very Big Fan Theodore Roosevelt was a huge admirer of President Lincoln from an early age. Roosevelt ended up choosing John Hay for his Secretary of State, who had once been Lincoln's private secretary and assistant. After Lincoln's assassination, John Hay paid for strands of Lincoln's hair cut off during the autopsy to keep as a momento. One of these hairs was mounted into a ring which John Hay gave to Roosevelt to wear during his second inauguration in 1905.

Quite the Crowd Around two million showed up to Obama’s first inauguration, setting a record for the most people attending an inauguration.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/carterdayne

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