Thursday, January 15

Just the Facts: Inauguration Firsts

We all know that Barack Obama will be the first African-American to be sworn in as POTUS, but here are some other inaugural firsts that you may not know about:

Presidential Inauguration “firsts” (from InfoPlease and the Senate web-site):

- George Washington’s first inaugural address was 135 words in length.
- John Adams was first to receive the oath of office from the Chief Justice of the United States
- Thomas Jefferson's inauguration was the first held in Washington, D.C.
- James Monroe was the first President to take the oath of office and deliver the Inaugural address outdoors; ceremony took place on platform in front of the temporary Brick Capitol (where Supreme Court now stands).
- John Tyler was the first Vice President to assume Presidency upon the death of the President.
- Abraham Lincoln was the first to include African-Americans in his parade.
- William Taft's wife was the first one to accompany her husband in the procession from the Capitol to the White House.
- Women were included for the first time in Woodrow Wilson's second inaugural parade.
- Calvin Coolidge's was the first inaugural address broadcast on the radio.
- Warren G. Harding was the first President to ride to and from his inauguration in an automobile.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President Inaugurated on January 20th, a change made by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution; first time the Vice President was Inaugurated outdoors on the same platform with the President.
- Harry Truman's inauguration was the first to be televised.
- Lyndon Johnson was the first (and so far) only president to be sworn in by a woman, U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes.
- Gerald R. Ford was the first unelected Vice President to become President
- Jimmy Carter's inaugural parade featured solar heat for the reviewing stand and handicap-accessible viewing.
- The first ceremony broadcast on the Internet was Bill Clinton's second inauguration.

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