Facts and figures about Presidential Inauguration Day
President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term in office Monday by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Two bibles were used in the ceremony: one belonging to President Abraham Lincoln, the other from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is commemorated on this day.
John F. Kennedy was the last president to attend his inauguration ceremony in a stovepipe hat.
More on hats: As a U.S. Representative, Abraham Lincoln attended the inauguration of President Zachary Taylor -- where he lost his hat in the crowd and never recovered it.
John Quincy Adams was the first president to wear long trousers to his inauguration ceremony (breaking a tradition of colonial breeches).
President Adams also famously refused to attend the swearing-in of his successor--Andrew Jackson-- after an especially brutal campaign.
During his Inaugural Parade, President Eisenhower was lassoed by a cowboy.
From the Palo Alto Patch and the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013.
133—Words in George Washington’s inaugural address, still considered the shortest inaugural address ever made by a president.
8,578—Words in William Henry Harrison’s (#9) inaugural address, the longest ever made by a president.
Normal highs for Inauguration Day in the District are 43 degrees with a normal low of about 28 and noon temperatures right around 37, but conditions have varied dramatically over the years.
Since 1871, when official records were kept, Ronald Reagan had both the warmest and coldest January inaugurations. Noontime temperatures for his first swearing in, in 1981, at 55 degrees. Four years later, the noon temperature was 7 degrees after a morning low of minus 4 degrees. The afternoon’s wind chills approached minus 20 degrees.
Weather Service officials say the worst weather day for an inauguration was in 1909, when a snowfall that began the day before tapered off just after noon, leaving 10 inches of snow on the ground and brutal winds that moved the swearing in of William H. Taft indoors. That ceremony was held March 4, the days inaugurations were held before the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1933, changing the date to Jan. 20.
Of course, the most famous inaugural weather tale involved the death of President William Henry Harrison, who in 1841 gave a 1 hour and 40 minute speech on a cold day after riding a horse to the Capitol without a hat or coat. He is said to have caught a cold that day, which developed into pneumonia, and he died a month later.
Read more in the Washington Times.
69—Age of Ronald Reagan (#40), the oldest president inaugurated
42—Age of Theodore Roosevelt (#26), the youngest to become president when he succeeded McKinley after his assassination