Eighteen presidents are featured
in this display--George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William
Harrison, James K. Polk, Zachary
Taylor, James Buchanan, Abraham
Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford
B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin
Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore
Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin
Coolidge, Franklin D.
Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
Washington's First Inauguration, April
George Washington passed through several cities--including Philadelphia
and Trenton--on the way from his home at Mount Vernon to his first
inauguration at Federal Hall in New York City, then the temporary
capital of the United States. Aware of the importance of this national
ritual, Washington set many precedents during his first inauguration:
the swearing-in took place outside; the oath was taken upon a Bible;
an inaugural address was given (to the assembled Congress inside
the Hall) the contents of which set the pattern for all subsequent
addresses; and festivities accompanied the inauguration, including
a church service, a parade, and fireworks.
Featured is a letter from Washington to Henry Knox addressing
the quality of the cloth and buttons that would be used for Washington's
suit of plain brown cloth. Also shown is a letter by the first
Inaugural Committee on Ceremony in the Senate that created the
first order of ceremony and formal reception. This Currier & Ives
image captures the public adulation that greeted the first president-elect
along his route to New York.
Jefferson's Draft of First Inaugural
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was
the first to be inaugurated in the capital city of Washington,
D.C. The ceremonies took place on March 4, 1801, in the Senate
wing of the not yet finished Capitol building. Chief Justice John
Marshall administered the oath of office to Jefferson, the first
of five presidents-elect he would induct. In his speech Jefferson
attempted to assuage the bitter rivalry between the Federalist
and Republicans that had culminated in the deadlock election broken
by Congress's election of Jefferson on the thirty-sixth ballot.
Jefferson remarked: "but every difference of opinion is not a difference
of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the
same principles. We are all Republicans. We are all Federalists." Jefferson's
sentiments notwithstanding, his predecessor, former president John
Adams, did not attend the ceremony--the first president to do so.
Also featured is a hymn called "Pieces" dedicated to Jefferson,
which includes an invocation, a hymn with chorus, and an oration,
for a large city-wide celebration in Philadelphia on the occasion
of Jefferson's inauguration.
Jackson's First Inauguration
The 1829 and 1833 inaugural speeches made by Andrew Jackson were
brief and to the point. They belie the tumultuous character of
his two administrations, in which the questions of nullification
(i.e. permitting states to nullify federal legislation), creation
of a national bank, the "spoils" system (when a conferral of office
is made on people based upon political concerns rather than fitness
for office), a democratic party representative of the "people," and "kitchen
cabinet" advisors (unofficial advisors to the president) came to
the fore. Jackson's 1829 inaugural was the first in which the people
played a significant role and which they attended en masse.
A White House Mob
This frontispiece illustrates the raucousness of the crowd in
front of the White House at Andrew Jackson's first inaugural reception
in 1829. During the inaugural festivities, the rowdy mob broke
windows, tore down curtains, and stood upon the furniture in their
muddy boots. Servants dragged tubs of punch onto the lawn to draw
the unruly mob out of the president's house in order to minimize
the destruction. Also shown is a letter from South Carolina Representative
James Hamilton (1786-1857) to Secretary of State-elect Martin Van
Buren (1782-1862) the day after the event that characterizes the
occasion as a "regular Saturnalia."
William Harrison's Inauguration
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), who served the shortest presidential
term, gave the longest inaugural address. Harrison was inaugurated
on March 4, 1841, on a cold, wet day and, refusing to wear a hat
or coat, caught cold. He then attended three inaugural balls in
the evening. Harrison's "Tippecanoe" ball was held at the District's
Carusi's Saloon with approximately 1,000 people paying ten dollars
each to attend. The president's cold lingered and then turned more
serious. On April 4, 1841, he succumbed to pneumonia, becoming
the first president to die in office.
The Tippecanoe or Log Cabin Quick Step
This lithograph shows an illustrated sheet music cover for a melody
composed by Henry Schmidt and dedicated to Whig presidential candidate
William Henry Harrison. A wreath of entwined branches, between
which appear the seals of the states, is surmounted by a bust portrait
of Harrison flanked by an arrangement of flags and cannon. The
wreath frames a rural scene, supposedly of the candidate's home
on the North Bend of the Ohio River. Harrison stands outside the
two-story log house, hailing a visitor who holds a sign saying, "Harrison
Our President." At the time, Harrison was know for winning the
1811 Battle of Tippecanoe against leaders of the Shawnee Nation
James K. Polk's Inauguration
Elected with a public mandate for the admission of Texas into
the Federal Union, James K. Polk underscored this mandate in his
inaugural speech and became the eleventh president of the United
States on March 4, 1845. With Polk's encouragement and support,
Congress approved a joint-resolution to offer Texas statehood on
February 28, 1845. The following July, the Texas legislature accepted.
On December 29, 1845, Polk signed the Texas Admissions Act, making
Texas the twenty-eighth state to enter the Union. After a stormy
term in office, including a successful war against Mexico to acquire
Texas, Polk declined to run for re-election. Also shown is a congratulatory
letter to the president-elect from Henry Ewing.
James K. Polk (1795-1849)
Zachary Taylor's Inauguration
President-elect Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was accompanied by
outgoing President James Polk to the inauguration ceremony on Monday,
March 5, 1849, because March 4 fell on a Sunday. The oath of office
was administered by Chief Justice Roger Taney on the east portico
of the Capitol. In Taylor's speech he stated that his administration
would be devoted to the welfare of the entire country and would
not support any particular section or local interest. That evening
Taylor attended several inaugural events, including a ball held
at Judiciary Square. President Taylor served a little more than
one year in office. He died in office July 9, 1850, of apparent
food contamination poisoning Also shown is a leaflet with arrangements
for the inauguration.
Whig Nominee Zachary Taylor
This color campaign poster for Whig nominee Zachary Taylor
(1784-1850) shows the victorious Mexican War general mounted on
a white charger. He holds a wide-brimmed straw hat. Above his head,
in a burst of light, a dove descends with an olive branch. A landscape
with mountains appears in the background. The scene is flanked
by two columns entwined with banners bearing the names of Taylor's
victories: Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma on the left, and Monterey
and Buena Vista on the right. On the base of the columns are the
words "Justice" (left) and "Peace" (right), with
corresponding female figures atop them. Both figures hold American
flags that are draped across the top of the surrounding framework
of the picture. On the ground below is a bundled fasces inscribed "Union."
Zachary Taylor's Popularity
Although Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was not formally nominated
by the Whigs until June 1848, he had already begun to attract a
following in 1846. This campaign banner, which later appeared as
a sheet music cover, shows a portrait of Taylor, in civilian dress,
head in profile and arms folded across his chest. Two oak branches
form a wreath. Below the portrait is a couplet reflecting the candidate's
still independent status: About party creeds let party zealots
fight/He cant [sic] be wrong whose life is in the right. Enlarged
on the back wall is a campaign banner for 1848 Whig party candidates
Taylor and Millard Fillmore, his vice presidential running mate.
James Buchanan's Inauguration
James Buchanan (1791-1868), the fifteenth president of the United
States and the first bachelor elected, was inaugurated on March
4, 1857. Although Buchanan won the election, defeating John C.
Fremont of the newly formed Republican Party, he did not gain a
majority of the popular vote. His early announcement that he would
not seek a second term and his ambivalence regarding secession
and union did not serve him well either in the North or the South.
However, a large number of people did attend the inaugural ball.
A special building for the event was constructed on Judiciary Square
to accommodate 6,000 people.
First-Known Photograph of an Inauguration
Montgomery C. Meigs (1816-1892), the supervisory engineer of the
Capitol expansion and the future quartermaster general of the Union
Army, pasted the first-known photograph of an inauguration beside
his journal entry for March 4, 1857. Photographer John Wood experimented
with the photographic process in anticipation of documenting James
Buchanan's (1791-1868) inauguration. Meigs wrote: "Wood has been
trying some photography process of great speed for the purpose
of taking a view of the inauguration. He made a view of the front
of the Capitol in which the figures are, many of them, quite distinct.
It took about 4 seconds."
Lincoln for President
During Lincoln's 1860 presidential campaign, brightly colored
banners, outrageous political cartoons, sentimental sheet music
covers, and patriotic portraits were printed to promote the vote.
The Library has a rich collection of graphic political ephemera.
Shown here are, The "Wigwam" Grand March dedicated to the Republican
presidential candidate, and the Republican party election ticket,
part of the outstanding collection of Lincolniana donated by Alfred
Lincoln's Acceptance of the Nomination
In a letter to the Republican National Convention president George
Ashmun of Massachusetts, Lincoln drafted this acceptance of the
party's nomination and closed with these words:
Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due
regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented
in the convention, to the rights of all the states, and territories,
and people of the nation; to the inviolability of the constitution,
and the perpetual union, harmony and prosperity for all, I am
most happy to cooperate for the practical success of the principles,
declared by the convention.
Lincoln's 1861 Inauguration
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the oath of office to
Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861, using the Bible shown here. The
ceremony was witnessed by Clerk of the Supreme Court William Thomas
Carroll, who recorded the occasion in the back of this Bible.
An Observation of Lincoln's Inaugural Ceremony
Montgomery C. Meigs, the Supervisory Engineer of the Capitol expansion
and the future Quartermaster General of the Union Army, witnessed
the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861. Shown here
is his diary, written in an archaic shorthand--called Pittman--
and a stereograph view of the Capitol. Meigs summarized the President's
Address in his diary, but nowhere is the effect of the speech better
depicted than in the account Captain Meigs wrote to his brother
It was a noble speech . . . delivered with a serious and solemn
emphasis . . . No time was wasted in generalities or platitudes.
. . and no one could doubt that he meant what he said. . . the
disease of the body politic was analysed [sic], its
character & its remedy pointed out, & each sentence fell
like a sledge hammer driving in the nails which maintain the
Lincoln's Second Inauguration, March 4, 1865
For a good part of his first term as president, Abraham Lincoln
doubted that he would be elected to a second term. In a letter
to his cabinet members, including Secretary of State William H.
Seward and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln dwells on
the forthcoming election and the long hiatus between election and
inauguration. Assuming that "this administration will not be reelected," Lincoln
wrote "it will be my duty to so cooperate with the president-elect
as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration,
as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot
possibly save afterwards."
Lincoln was reelected, carrying 54 percent of the popular vote
and all but three northern states--New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky.
The president delivered his second inaugural address from the east
portico of the Capitol with its newly completed iron dome on March
4, 1865. The power of the sentiment in his second inaugural address
is deepened by its conciseness and brevity, particularly when read
in counterpoint with Lincoln's first address. In his second address
he concludes in his customary eloquence (shown in the last
paragraph in red):
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness
in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive
on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds;
to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his
widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish
a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Also featured are a photograph of the inauguration on the East
Portico of the Capitol by photographer Alexander Gardner, and an
inaugural poem printed on a press in a wagon during Lincoln's inaugural
Ulysses S. Grant, elected as the eighteenth president of the United
States, wrote his first inaugural address entirely on his own.
The result was a surprise lecture on the urgent need for reduction
of the national debt. The issue of Reconstruction was scarcely
mentioned. Grant may have accepted the responsibilities of the
office of president "without fear," as he claimed, but also without
knowledge of the problems that confronted the nation in the aftermath
of the Civil War. Also shown is a Senate Gallery ticket to the
inaugural and a photograph of a crowd looking towards the inaugural
stand on the east portico of Capitol.
Ulysses S. Grant Campaign Banner
This campaign banner for the 1868 Republican presidential and
vice presidential ticket shows nominee Ulysses S. Grant and his
running mate, former Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, in bust
portraits. They are framed by two American flags joined at the
center by a shield with stars and stripes, on which perches an
eagle. The flags are affixed in the upper corners of the picture
by two stars. Grant won the general election in a landslide when
he received 214 electoral college votes to the 80 for the Democratic
nominee, Horatio Seymour, the Governor of New York.
Republican Nominee Rutherford B. Hayes
In this 1876 Republican campaign banner are portraits of Ohio
Governor Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) and his running mate,
William A. Wheeler, framed with laurel wreaths. Hayes's election
was one of the most controversial elections in U.S. history. The
Democratic nominee, Samuel Tilden, the governor of New York, won
the popular vote by more than 200,000 votes. In the electoral college,
Tilden appeared to have won 203 electoral votes to Hayes's 166.
Although all results showed that Tilden had won, the Republican
Party disputed the outcome of the election claiming that blacks
had been denied the right to vote in many parts of the South. In
the end, a commission handed the victory to Hayes.
Hayes's Inauguration, March 5, 1877
The outcome of the election of 1876 was not known until the week
before the inauguration itself. A fifteen-member Electoral Commission
was appointed by Congress to deliberate the outcome of the election,
which gave all of the disputed votes to the Republican candidate,
Hayes. The inauguration was held in secret because Republicans
feared for Hayes's life. He was elected president on March 2, 1877,
and took the oath of office in the Red Room at the White House
on March 3. On Monday, March 5, Hayes took the oath again on the
east portico of the Capitol because March 4 was a Sunday. Chief
Justice Morrison Waite administered both oaths.
Garfield's Diary Entry for Hayes's Inauguration
Ohio Representative James Garfield described President Hayes's
inauguration in his diary. He relates: "The President spoke clearly
and forcibly, the Chief Justice administered the oath, opening
a new Bible which Hayes kissed somewhere in the first eleven verses
of the 118th psalm. Drove back with the Presidential party to the
White House where a lunch had been prepared by Mrs. Grant." After
the luncheon at the White House prepared by Mrs. Grant for the
newly inaugurated President Hayes, General and Mrs. Grant left
the White House in their carriage. The White House staff and President
and Mrs. Hayes bade them farewell, prompting this comment from
Garfield: "No American has carried greater fame out of the White
House than this silent man who leaves it today."
Inauguration Grand March for Hayes
When Hayes was finally declared the winner by the Electoral Commission
on March 2, 1877, Carl Strandberg celebrated the event by composing
the Inauguration Grand March for the inauguration of Rutherford
B. Hayes. The march represents the tradition of songs and instrumental
pieces composed in honor of presidential inaugurations dating back
to the time of George Washington.
Garfield's Inaugural Address Draft
James A. Garfield began his inaugural address by acknowledging
the belief in some parts of the world that government could not
safely be entrusted to the people. Having quieted his vast audience
with that sobering thought, Garfield proceeded to extol the wonders
of popularly controlled government, which he thought greatly overshadowed
the risks, and to argue convincingly that the United States democratic
system of government expanded the boundaries of human freedom.
Garfield was the second president to be assassinated and served
only six months in office, four of them on his deathbed.
Garfield Describes his Inaugural Day
President-elect James Garfield documented in his diary events
on the eve of his inaugural. On March 3, 1881, he wrote: "Got but
three hours of sleep last night but made some progress in the new
draft of inaugural." Following dinner with President Hayes and
his old classmates, Garfield returned late to his hotel and continued
writing his inaugural address and he recorded that he "wrote last
sentence at 2 clock a.m. March 4."
On March 5, he stated: "The day opened with snow & sleet but
towards noon the sky began to clear . . . The crowd of people was
very great--Reached President's Chamber in the Senate . . . at
11:30. At 11:55 went to the Senate & witnessed the inauguration
of the Vice President--Thence to the East portico of the Rotunda--and
read my inaugural--slowly & fairly well--though I grew somewhat
hoarse toward the close--Returning to the Executive Mansion--lunched
with the family [then two] & a half hours on the reviewing
stand. Inauguration reception at Museum building in the evening--Home
Inaugural Ball of James Garfield
More than seven thousand people attended the inauguration of James
Garfield in 1881. The inaugural ball was a gala affair, held at
the Smithsonian Institutes's new National Museum Building, now
the Arts and Industries Building. Music was provided by the Marine
Corps Band, led by John Philip Sousa.
Harrison's Inauguration Day
Benjamin Harrison delivered his inaugural address and reviewed
the inaugural parade in the pouring rain. There were an estimated
20,000 spectators standing on the Capitol Plaza with their umbrellas
buffering the rain. In his inaugural address, Harrison informed
his listeners that the oath of office he had just taken as president
of the United States was not required by law. However, the oath
had been publicly administered from the beginning, and it had come
to be viewed as a covenant with the American people that the laws
of the land would be faithfully executed.
Benjamin Harrison's Inaugural Ball
Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) was the second president to have
his inaugural ball at the Pension Building, now the National Building
Museum, which provided the architectural backdrop needed for elaborate
decorations. Harrison's inaugural committee decorated the Great
Hall ceiling with long strips of colorful bunting and fresh garland
that gathered at the center of each court and fell gracefully to
the surrounding walls. Among the 12,000 celebrants were notable
figures Frederick Douglass, General William T. Sherman, and William
F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). Shown here is a souvenir program for the
A Congratulatory Letter to President Harrison
Mrs. Elizabeth Hutter wrote to congratulate President Benjamin
Harrison on his inaugural address, calling it a "magnificent production." She
also mentioned the personal friendship her husband shared with
President William Henry Harrison: "When your grandfather was inaugurated
in 1840, Mr. Hutter, my husband, was present, and stood by his
side on the platform. They were warm friends, and when death came
and took him away so soon, Mr. Hutter predicted that some day,
our Heavenly Father would so ordain it that one of his grandsons
would be elected President."
McKinley's First Inauguration
William McKinley (1843-1901), twenty-fifth president of the United
States, was elected to two terms in office. He saw the rise of
the agrarian Populist Party and the fierce battle between free
silver and the gold standard, the latter favored by McKinley. He
advocated high tariffs to protect American industry and was caught
up with the American expansionist impulse associated with the Spanish-American
War. Shown here is the new President delivering his 1897 inaugural
speech, while Grover Cleveland listens. Also shown is an admission
ticket issued to Library of Congress employees to watch the inauguration.
McKinley was the third president to be assassinated while in office.
He was shot while visiting the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo,
New York, and died on September 14, 1901.
1897 Inaugural Program and Ball Booklet
President William McKinley's two inaugurations took place on the
east portico of the Capitol, followed by lavish balls held in the
sumptuous hall of the Pension Building, now the National Building
Museum. The design and contents of McKinley's 1897 inaugural ball
booklet (shown here) is similar to those used throughout
the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They include names
of various ball committee members, musical selections for the evening,
and spaces for listing dance partners. Also featured is a program
and souvenir of the inauguration.
Roosevelt's Inauguration, 1905
Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural procession was notably festive.
The president-elect waved to the thousands of well wishers lining
the route, as a contingent of Rough Riders (shown in photograph),
who had charged San Juan Hill with Roosevelt eight years earlier,
escorted him. In contrast to the jubilant festivities, Roosevelt
delivered a short, dignified inaugural speech for which the Library
has his random notes. Roosevelt stepped aside after serving one
term. Four years later, Roosevelt made an unsuccessful bid for
the presidency--losing to Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Also shown is
an invitation to the 1905 inauguration.
Reading Copy of Roosevelt's Inaugural Address
This version of Roosevelt's inaugural address is in blue typescript
on twelve narrow slips of beige paper, with emendations in Roosevelt's
hand in black ink. Each page is cut into a narrow horizontal strip,
about seven inches long, ranging from about one to five inches
deep. Excepting the title page, the pages are numbered one to eleven,
and have holes punched at the upper left. There is also evidence
that the twelve slips were once held together with a pin at the
upper left corner. The text of this copy of the inaugural address
is very close to that of the final version and this may have been
President Roosevelt's reading copy.
"I would prefer to have Taft succeed me"
President Theodore Roosevelt confided to his eldest daughter,
Alice Roosevelt Longworth, that "I would prefer to have [William
Howard] Taft succeed me rather than anyone else, yet that I certainly
could not undertake to dictate his nomination." William Howard
Taft went on to secure the Republican presidential nomination and
win election in 1908. Roosevelt trusted Alice's political acumen
and often consulted her on political issues.
Woodrow Wilson's Campaign and Inaugural
In the 1912 presidential election, divisions in Republican ranks
allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win a large majority, 435 of
531 electoral college votes although he carried only 42 percent
of the popular vote. (Incumbent President William H. Taft led the
Republican ticket but dissenting Republicans ran former President
Theodore Roosevelt for the presidency under the banner of a hastily
organized "Progressive Party.") Wilson, who learned shorthand as
a teenager, habitually drafted his own speeches, including this
first draft of his March 4, 1913, inaugural address, in that script.
Pass, Invitation, and Program
Presented here are samples of printed inaugural material issued
during Woodrow Wilson's inauguration: the Carriage Police Pass
used for access during the formation or movement of parades, an
invitation on heavy cream paper with black engravings with the
presidential seal engraved on the cover, and the official program
sold to the general public for fifteen cents.
"Coolidge Seems to be Gathering in the
Former President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) predicted in
this letter to his only daughter, Helen Taft Manning, that Calvin
Coolidge (1872-1933) would go "on to certain victory in the convention" to
secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1924. Coolidge
easily won the election over the Democrats, who "are in a bad way
for a candidate," Taft informed his daughter Taft served one term
(1909-1913) in the White House before his appointment as Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921.
"I Do Not Choose to Run for President. . . "
President Calvin Coolidge presided over a period of remarkable
economic growth at a time when America faced no serious foreign
threats. In 1927 America was the most prosperous nation on the
globe, and Coolidge was a very popular president. However, on August
2, 1927, he made the decision not to run for re-election. Coolidge
drove from his vacation lodge in the Black Hills of South Dakota
to Rapid City High School where he had a summer office. Without
any notice to anyone, he called his secretary into his office and
handed over a one-sentence, handwritten statement with orders that
copies be made on slips of paper. At noon the President, seated
at a desk with a stack of two-by-nine inch slips of paper, met
with the press. He announced to them, "the line forms on the left," and
as they passed by he handed each one a slip of paper. Shown is
Coolidge's original handwritten note. It reads: "I do not choose
to run for President in nineteen twenty-eight." Coolidge made no
follow-up statement and left without answering any questions.
"Choosin' To Run Isn't as Restful as This"
In 1928, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Clifford Berryman (1869-1949)
portrays the famously laconic President Calvin Coolidge relaxing
and fishing during what would have been a busy re-election season.
During his retirement in Northampton, Massachusetts, Coolidge wrote
his autobiography, a syndicated newspaper column, and magazine
"New Deal" Candidate Eclipses Tammany
New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, a leading contender for
the Democratic presidential nomination in 1932, faced strong challenges
at the convention, which then required a two-thirds majority vote
to win the top slot. Four-time New York governor Al Smith withheld
his support from Roosevelt, whose rivals also included Speaker
of the House of Representatives John Nance Garner of Texas. On
the third ballot, Garner released his delegates to Roosevelt, who
thereby gained the two-thirds majority on the fourth ballot. Cartoonist
Clifford Berryman shows a weary Tammany tiger (a symbol of political
corruption), alluding to Al Smith's opposition and the delegates'
Roosevelt's 1932 Election
In 1928, during the astounding economic boom of the 1920s, Republican
Herbert Hoover won the presidential election with a massive electoral
college vote, 444 to 87. By the presidential election of 1932,
after the stock market crash of 1929, the nation was in a serious
economic depression and wanted a change. Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt
won 472 electoral votes and 57.3 percent of the popular vote to
President Hoover's 59 electoral votes and 39.6 percent of the popular
vote. Roosevelt would go on to be re-elected to three additional
terms, serving from 1933 until his death in office in 1945, a tenure
unequaled by any other president. Featured on the back wall is
an image of President Hoover riding with President-elect Roosevelt
on the way to his March 1933 inauguration.
Invitation to White House Buffet and Official Program
This is an invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Ickes for a luncheon
buffet following the1933 inauguration ceremonies of President Roosevelt.
Harold Ickes (1874-1952) was appointed Secretary of the Interior
under President Roosevelt and was a lifelong supporter of the president's "New
Deal" programs. From 1933 to 1939, he headed the Public Works Administration,
which generated jobs and public building programs nationwide. Also
shown is Ickes's personal inaugural program, open to an essay on
previous inaugural balls.
Campaign and Inauguration of John F. Kennedy
Democrat John F. Kennedy won a close race for the presidency in
1960. Although he carried the electoral college by a comfortable
margin, 303 out of 537 electoral votes, the balloting in several
states was extremely close, and Kennedy's popular vote margin was
a narrow 49.72 percent to 49.55 percent for Republican Richard
Nixon. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic elected to the presidency,
is shown here with Father Richard J. Casey, pastor of Holy Trinity
Church, where J.F.K. attended Mass just prior to his inauguration
on January 20, 1961.
The Poetry of Robert Frost
Robert Frost wrote a poem entitled Dedication that he
intended to read at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
Frost never read it because the sun's glare upon the snow blinded
him from seeing the text. Instead, the poet recited The Gift
Outright from memory. This first version of Dedication was
donated to the Library in 1969 by Stewart L. Udall (b.1920 ), Kennedy's
Secretary of the Interior. Udall explained that no one had expected
Frost to write a new poem for the inauguration as "he had steadfastly
refused to compose commemorative verses during his entire lifetime."