History and Facts About the Inauguration

Dylan N., Journalist

03 Jan. 2021

Every four years, the inauguration of the president happens and starts the 4-year journey for each president. The inauguration is a symbolic moment for democracy as it shows the peaceful transition of power from one leader to the next. It is a big moment for the US and exhibits the people’s choice for who should run the country. In this article, I will talk about the customs for the inauguration, its history, and some interesting things that have happened during them. 

The first inauguration happened back on March 4th, 1789, when George Washington was elected president at Federal Hall in New York City.  Since 1801, it has taken place at the  Capitol Building. The first inauguration started many familiar traditions, such as the oath of office and the inaugural speech. New customs have started more recently, such as an inaugural parade, congressional luncheon, and prayer service. 

There are lots of interesting and weird things that have happened during and around the inauguration. One of my favorites is that during Nixon’s inauguration, he requested that all the trees along his route be treated with a chemical called Roost No More, which would stop pigeons from flying around his route. The pigeons though, did not just sit on the branches but also started eating them, which led to Nixon’s inauguration being overrun by sick and dead pigeons. Another interesting fact is that William Henry Harrison spoke for over two hours in the longest inauguration speech. He then died a month later, and people speculated that standing out in the cold had led to some disease. 

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