Thursday, June 20, 2013

Presidential Inaugurations -Through the Years

Here is a remarkable photograph I ran into on line at Denver The particular post I landed upon   contains photographs of every Presidential Inauguration sine Abe Lincoln’s; which was the first one to be photographed. This shot shows Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administering the oath of office to Benjamin Harrison on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1889.

The date of Presidential Inaugurations changed from March to January during FDR’s Presidency. Originally the weather was deemed too cold for the ceremony to take place before March, but with the advent of good roads, coupled with more efficient modes of transportation, made waiting for March unnecessary. And, as you will see in some of these remarkable photographs, for many of the March Inaugurations, it snowed anyway! President Taft’s Inauguration was held in almost blizzard like conditions in March.

The old black and white photographs are my favorite, of course; since I tend to live in the past; but even the newer, color photos are dazzling in their clarity and all mark the peaceful transfer of power from one duly elected administration to another. Together these photographs form an unbroken record of our success in managing to keep our nation intact over so many trying times.

Some of these Inaugurations took place in the middle of a war; a remarkable achievement when juxtaposed against the experiences in other nations, where one “strongman” reigns supreme for the duration of a conflict. Even Roosevelt had to win re-election during his unprecedented 4 terms during the Second World War. 

There’s a lot “wrong” with America at the present time. We are both economically and socially ill. But looking at these photographs assures me that we will get well again. We always have…

To see the entire collection of photographs at Denver Post use this link;

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