7 Interesting Presidential Inauguration Facts

Elmira | 01 - 28 - 2021

The presidential inaugural address is a notable speech that may talk about the new president’s hopes, an all-important oath of office, a plan for a new course, and how to protect the nation. This speech is a tradition that should be followed by every new president. You might have watched and listened to some of the presidents’ speeches, but you should also know these interesting presidential inauguration facts through the years and take our fun Presidential inauguration trivia now!

Interesting Presidential Inauguration Facts

Did you know who has given the longest inaugural speech? We have rounded up some interesting facts about inauguration day and why the inauguration day tradition plays an important role.

George Washington Was Inaugurated in Two Separate Cities

George Washington was the first president who was inaugurated in two different cities. He took the presidential pledge in New York City’s Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. And the second ceremony happened at Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, 1793. 

Who Delivered the Longest Inaugural Speech?
  • A. William Howard Taft
  • B. William Henry Harrison
  • C. Ronald Reagan
  • D. John F. Kennedy

Inaugurations Were First Observed on March 4

Following Washington’s first inauguration, March 4 was declared as the official inauguration day. As per the 20th Amendment, the inauguration ceremony was changed from March 4 to January 20.

Longest Inaugural Speech

The longest inaugural speech was delivered by president William Henry Harrison. The ninth president denied wearing a hat and coat during the cold weather. He had given the speech for 1 hour 45 minutes with 8,445 words. Harrison took part in the different inaugural balls without changing his outfits. Later, he caught a cold and suffered from pneumonia. He died after 30 days. He was the first president who died in office.

Shortest Inauguration Speech

The shortened inauguration belongs to George Washinton. He delivered the speech in 1793 and his speech contained only 135 words. The second shortest presidential address was delivered by Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 20, 1945, with 559 words.

The Funniest Line

In the presidential speech, words matter. As reported by the presidential historian Paul Boller, the funniest line hasn’t been found in an inaugural address. But Britannica scribbled that in 1837, Martin Van Buren’s speech made the audience laugh when he accidentally said, “Unlike all who have preceded me, the Revolution that gave us existence as one people was achieved at the period of my birth; and whilst I contemplate with grateful reverence that memorable event, I feel that I belong to a later age and that I may not expect my countrymen to weigh my actions with the same kind and partial hand.” He actually referred to the American Revolution, despite the juxtaposition of words uttered like the 8th president was honoring his own birth.

William Henry Harrison Wasn’t Seemingly Killed by His Inauguration. 

President Harrison held the biggest story behind his death that was associated with his inaugural address. He died in 1841 after he presented his speech in cold weather that led to severe illness. He died after 30 days of his long inaugural address. Now it is believed that possibly typhoid fever could be the reason for his death.

The President Has to Recite a Precise Oath under the Constitution

According to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution the presidential oath should add, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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