Inauguration Day: Noteworthy Quotes and Facts

Inauguration Watch Party

SF Civic Engagement and Service will host a virtual Inauguration Watch Party on Wednesday, January 20th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m via Zoom. All SF students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate. The watch party will include a livestream of the Inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C., a lively discussion in the chat, and Inauguration history trivia at the end of the ceremony. The trivia winner will receive one of Student Life’s new long-sleeved t-shirts. Click here to join via Zoom.


 Inaugural Speech Quotes

 After taking the presidential oath of office, the new President of the United States delivers an inaugural address. Here are some poignant quotes from past inaugural addresses:

“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 a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, 1865

 

“Toward all other nations, large and small, our attitude must be one of cordial and sincere friendship. We must show not only in our words, but in our deeds, that we are earnestly desirous of securing their good will by acting toward them in a spirit of just and generous recognition of all their rights. But justice and generosity in a nation, as in an individual, count most when shown not by the weak but by the strong.”

Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address, 1905

 

“This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address, 1933

 

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, 1961

 

Now that you’re familiar with these Inauguration Day quotes, test your knowledge by playing our matching game and try to bank the highest score!


Farewell Speech Quotes

It is a traditional rite of passage for outgoing presidents to deliver a farewell address at the end of their term. Here are some memorable farewell addresses from past presidents:

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

 

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, 1961

 

“Let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.”

Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address, 1989

 

“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen.”

Barack Obama’s Farewell Address, 2016

 

Now that you’re familiar with these Farewell Address quotes, test your knowledge by playing our matching game and try to bank the highest score!


Inauguration Traditions

Via Wikipedia

Second inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt, 1905

  • The first inauguration, that of George Washington, took place on April 30, 1789. All subsequent (regular) inaugurations from 1793 until 1933, were held on March 4, the day of the year on which the federal government began operations under the U.S. Constitution in 1789.
  • Inauguration Day moved to January 20, beginning in 1937, following ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, where it has remained since. Since 1937, the inauguration of the President of the United States has taken place at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, except for three occasions when January 20 fell on a Sunday. In those years, the presidential oath of office was administered on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21.
  • The 1857 inauguration of James Buchanan was the first inauguration known to have been photographed. The 1897 first inauguration of William McKinley was the first inauguration to be recorded on film. The 1925 second inauguration of Calvin Coolidge was the first inauguration to be broadcast nationally by radio. The 1949 second inauguration of Harry S. Truman was the first inauguration to be televised. The 1997 second inauguration of Bill Clinton was the first time that the ceremony was broadcast live on the Internet.
  • Irregular inaugurations occurred on nine occasions intra-term, after the death or resignation of a president. When a president has assumed office intra-term the inauguration ceremony has been conducted without pomp or fanfare.
  • While most outgoing presidents have appeared on the inaugural platform with their successor, five did not: John Adams (1801), John Quincy Adams (1829), Martin Van Buren (1841), Andrew Johnson (1869), and Woodrow Wilson (1921). Additionally, on January 8, 2021, Donald Trump announced that he would not be attending the inauguration of Joe Biden.
  • Recitation of the presidential oath of office is the only component in this ceremony mandated by the United States Constitution (in Article II, Section One, Clause 8). Though it is not a constitutional requirement, the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court typically administers the presidential oath of office. The oath in its current form is as follows:

“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.”


Inauguration of the 46th President of the United States

 The inauguration of the 46th President of the United States Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will take place at noon on January 20th, 2020. The ceremony will be live-streamed by all major news outlets and there will also be a schedule of activities, including a Day of Service and a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those killed by the coronavirus.