Presidential Inauguration History: From Grand to Fatal to Downright AwkwardBreaking News
tags: inauguration, election 2016, Trump
HNN Editor This news story from 2008 seems more relevant than ever.
When George Washington journeyed from Mount Vernon to New York, the U.S. capital at the time, he had two advantages over his successors. First, his 280-mile trip may have been on horseback, but it was punctuated with lavish celebrations: Philadelphians crowned him with a laurel, women in Trenton, N.J., scattered flowers and sang sonatas, and New Yorkers fired a 13-gun salute.
Second, he didn't have to worry about riding with his predecessor, a tradition that would begin with close allies Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren in 1837.
Some pairs executed the custom well. A gracious Millard Fillmore took his successor, Franklin Pierce, on a trip along the Potomac River. (Of course, he may have simply felt bad for Pierce, who had witnessed his 11-year-old son being crushed to death in a train wreck just two months earlier.)
Others, though, couldn't bear to abide by the precedent. Mutual dislike between President Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant caused Johnson to stay home from the 1869 inauguration. He was following in the footsteps of two pre-Jacksonian presidents, John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, who shared a lack of grace along with genes: Neither attended his successor's inauguration.
comments powered by Disqus
- Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair Stolen from Alabama Cemetery Found in New Orleans, 2 Arrested
- It’s Time to Reframe Voting Rights in the Courts
- Who are 'White Lies Matter’? Meet the Group that Says it Turned a Stolen Confederate Memorial into a Toilet
- San Francisco Schools Will Keep Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington Names
- The Man Who Waited 50 Years for This Moment
- Washington History Seminar – Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction
- Washington History Seminar – Stalin: Passage to Revolution, Monday, April 12
- 2021 Winners of the Guggenheim Fellowship are Announced
- Devoted to the Deaf, Did Alexander Graham Bell Do More Harm Than Good?
- Retro Report Presents: How an Abstinence Pledge in the ’90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals