1. Answer: John F. Kennedy. Weather has often been a problem at inaugurations, even when they were held in March instead of January.
2. Answer: Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration was the warmest on record; his second inauguration was the coldest. On Jan. 20, 1985, wind chills sent the temperature down to 20 below, and Reagan agreed to take the oath indoors. 3. Answer: William Henry Harrison, the hero of Tippecanoe. Harrison either already had a cold when he made the speech in March 1841, or caught one that day. Then, perhaps because he shook scores of not particularly clean hands, he contracted pneumonia and died. Harrison served exactly one month in office —- the briefest service by any president —- from March 4 to April 4.
4. Answer: You got it —- Abraham Lincoln. Presidents often use their inaugural parades to showcase their beliefs and accomplishments. (Except for Reagan in 1985; the extreme cold forced him to cancel his parade, which was to feature 12,000 people, 66 floats and 57 marching bands.) Interestingly, for his first inaugural, with the country on the brink of Civil War, Lincoln’s parade consisted of a single float that symbolized the Constitution and the Union. For his second inaugural, four companies of African-American troops joined the procession to the Capitol. 5. Answer: William Howard Taft, weighing in at more than 350 pounds.
6. Answer: Easy one. George H.W. Bush, No. 41, whose son George W. Bush became No. 43. And John Adams, president No. 2, whose son John Quincy Adams became No. 6. The elder Bush got to see his son inaugurated twice; the elder Adams only got to see his son inaugurated once. That was because both Adamses served only one term (unusual in those times); in addition, both Adamses are the only presidents who didn’t attend their successors’ inaugurations. By the way, Bush 41 and Adams 6 both lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. 7. Answer: Franklin Pierce (inset). Pierce’s 11-year-old son, Benjamin, died in a train accident shortly before Pierce was to take the oath. Some sources report that Pierce believed his son’s death was punishment for his own sins, and he would not swear on a Bible while taking the oath of office. Note: Herbert Hoover has been reported as saying “affirm” rather than “swear,” but other reports say Hoover did “swear” but declined to use a Bible.
8. Kennedy. Every president since has gone lidless at his inaugural. The Huffington Post recently called for the return of the top hat at the inauguration and asked huffpo users what they thought. 9. Ulysses S. Grant. His inauguration was in March (they didn’t start inaugurating in January until FDR), and, at 4 degrees, it turned out to be one of Washington’s coldest March days ever. Cadets and midshipmen who took part in the parade collapsed after standing outside without overcoats for more than 90 minutes. The food froze at the unheated inaugural ball, and canaries that had been intended to fly gracefully among the dancing guests died in their cages.
What Makes People Listen? Better Yet, What Doesn’t?
Keep It Concise or “Short and Sweet” Abe Lincoln, 1865 With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the fight 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.
Really Long Speech Dilutes Your Point Too Long, Coach!
Inspire Your Audience with Hope JFK, 1961 All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again-not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"--a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? 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. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Use Anaphora and Epiphora , a gift from the Romans Obama uses epiphora
I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day. I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago. I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children. I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions. I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. It is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope--because the Nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out . FDR Used Anaphora We Rise and Fall as One, 1937 Inauguration
But sometimes, anaphora and epiphora can go too far... Allen Iverson on “Practice”
Be Clear and Coherent Ronald Reagan, 1980 and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom. Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone." The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us. And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.God bless you, and thank you."
Avoid Sounding Confused and Muddled Miss Teen South Carolina
Tap Some Eloquent Historical Examples Use What People Know Obama, 1/18/09 MLK, 1963
But Don’t Mangle It If You’re Going for the Familiar, Get It Right! FMR Vice President Dan Quayle
A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one. 2004 DNC Obama 2008 DNC Clip MLK Clip