The history of presidential inaugurations
Megyn Kelly examines the great American tradition
- Duration 5:45
- Date Jan 20, 2013
Megyn Kelly examines the great American tradition
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When the United States was formed our founders took great pains to distinguish our government from those of their European ancestors.
That -- representation.
Not tyranny a president not a king.
And the first step for president -- oath of office.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- That was probably why -- George Walker Bush -- these movies where do solemnly swear I've Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear.
It is a note that's been taken by each of our presidents usually over revival with the eyes of the world watching the joke is really the the honor and the responsibility.
That is big -- bestowed upon one and to control.
The United States protect the citizens of the United States.
To honor the ideals.
Of the constitution.
George Washington first added so help me god to the -- A tradition President Obama will continue as he takes that pledge once more on Abraham Lincoln's Bible.
Our first president made -- 280 mile journey on horseback from Mount Vernon to New York for the inaugural ceremony in 1789.
And the nation celebrated a new dawn.
This was the passing of power to a man who could've been -- But refused it.
And then each successive inauguration was a celebration.
-- -- today to Obama's inauguration it's a celebration of that fact.
We didn't make our chief executive -- he wouldn't be a king he would pass -- -- -- We traded oil -- for representation we said goodbye to god -- sixteen to embrace me that people.
The inauguration is the most changeable visible picture.
Up are represented governments since -- Jefferson's inauguration we've seen the three branches of government come together in Washington DC for the event.
But he path -- the executive previously president of the United States holding up his hands.
Taking an oath and given by the Supreme Court justice.
Of the judicial experience in this is all turn on the steps of the US capitol the legislative -- Much has changed over the years including the site of the inauguration house Ronald Reagan -- ceremony from the east side of the capitol to the west front to face his beloved California.
The -- the inauguration has also changed from march 4 to January 20.
To shorten the lame duck session of congress.
This year the twentieth rolls on a Sunday so the public event is on the 21 democracy is the binding thread -- the -- something we celebrate even in the wake of bitter elections.
It is an uplifting moment whether we supported that particular.
Or not it's like of rebirth every single time.
That we are able to witness.
That peaceful moment.
When and this incredible responsibility.
Is bestowed upon one person and I think.
The country come together in the inauguration period because.
We have this -- and pride.
In the fact that.
We're a democracy that is survived.
And that's very rare for a president it's a moment to be safer.
It's his greatest moment the brief moment where he kids celebrated and -- The fact that he got elected.
Many inaugurations have marked important events in history Abraham weekend after -- anticipation.
Proclamation he had.
African Americans participate in the in young girl parade this was a first this is a symbol.
That we you know have abolish slavery and -- we have moved on I also think about Bill Clinton he's a beautiful language to say.
This ceremony takes place and -- turn that we are whispering.
And that was really hopeful way to prepare America for some globalization and -- change is coming and sometimes there has been tragedy to.
The inauguration of the ninth president William Henry Harrison he marched around the streets of Washington in the snow rehearsing his speech.
He got pneumonia after delivering a speech he died he was a great figure in history and might have been a great president.
And then there are the more unusual moments of one of my favorite moments was Alice Roosevelt she was the daughter of Teddy Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt and he's an extremely popular president.
And she was an even more popular daughter of the precedent so when they had the inaugural parade all these people were cheering and screaming when the roosevelts came by.
-- started waving to the crap out and it may upset her father who they had to pull her aside and say Alice this is my inauguration not -- -- You know -- duration is traditionally a time for great celebration -- pageantry.
Complete with a parade and the famous inaugural balls it's an opportunity for.
Those who have supported.
And supported the election to come together and to celebrate.
Dolly Madison was the first one to.
Preside over a -- she wore a -- velvet dress.
Which was very beautiful but it was also very American because she didn't Wear diamonds like the queen she made a statement I'm wearing pearls that's more appropriate for a First Lady as the crowds -- this week it will be a testament not to one man.
But to the greatness of America.
This is the one time.
That our country really does truly come together we have an amazing government.
Ronald Reagan said that this every four years ceremony did he except as normal as nothing less than in your poll.
And -- cents in afternoon -- and celebrates.
-- macedon thank you very very much in Olsen here in the DC bureau did a great job -- -- that.