Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inauguration/January 20th

Inauguation Ticket from LOC.GOV

We all will witness a very historic inauguration on January 20th. While pondering our future, it is a good time to reflect on the history of Presidential inaugurations. This event occurs at the start of my spring semester, but it is of such great importance that it will at least be a discussion topic. Not only is there a peaceful change in party, which frankly does not happen everywhere, but we are also seeing the inauguration that broke the race barrier. What a great way to bring relevancy to our learners!

First, to understand the significance of the 44th President, we should first reflect on the lives of the men who preceded Obama. Who were the Presidents of the United States? The median age of our Presidents is fifty-four. Thirty-one served in a military post, this includes state militias and the National Guard. Six of our Presidents came from Ohio, and six others came from New York making those states tied for the most Presidents. Twenty-six, including Obama, list lawyer on their resume as a former occupation before becoming President. Grouped together these men have been identified as Christian, using a broad definition including diesm, and some did not publicly identify with any church. Eight have died in office. Also, take a moment to reflect on who were the Vice-Presidents as they too take office on inauguration day, and even though these men often take a back seat in history, they are potentially one fatal day away from being President.

From protest marches to inauguration balls, what happens on inauguration day? Most importantly what messages have new President’s delivered in their inauguration speeches?

Want to do more research? Check out some of these sites.
Presidential facts

President Biographical facts

President quiz

Smithsonian Inauguration information

Interesting Inauguration summary

Library of Congress Collection

Teacher Resources

George Washington’s Address

Top 100 Speeches

Audio of FDR’s speech

Inauguration Trivia

When all the celebrations are over, Obama will enter the Oval Office and start his new job. What will Obama’s first hundred days bring? Next week we will consider the significance of the first hundred days.

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