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Presidential Inauguration


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President's Inaugural Address - Presidential Inauguration
William McKinley Giving His Inaugural Address in 1901.

William McKinley Giving His Inaugural Address in 1901.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-22730 DLC.
After taking the oath of office, the president delivers an inaugural address. The shortest inaugural address was delivered by George Washington in 1793. The longest was given by William Henry Harrison. One month later he died of pneumonia and many believe this was brought on by his time outside on inauguration day. In 1925, Calvin Coolidge became the first to deliver his inaugural address over the radio. By 1949, Harry Truman's address was televised.

The inaugural address is a time for the president to set forth his vision for the United States. Many great inaugural addresses have been delivered throughout the years. One of the most stirring was delivered by Abraham Lincoln in 1865, shortly before Lincoln's assassination. In it he said, “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.”

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