Inaugurations Past and Present

The Smithsonian Institution has a long tradition with inaugural events, with its museums serving as the sites for many of the inaugural balls, festivities, and exhibitions. A few years ago, the Smithsonian Photography Initiative wanted your contributions to click! photography changes everything: History in the Making.

You could submit your photographs and stories of recent US elections and inaugurations that explore how photography influences our understanding of the world. It’s exciting too that the Smithsonian is on the forefront of encouraging a populist inclusion of modern times in their storied archives. People were encouraged, if they had any images and stories, take a trip to their website and submit them!

One of the activities we hold in our Flickr group, Flickr Commons, is a Tag/Research/Explore (TRE) campaign, where we focus on a sub curated collection and ask our members to add descriptive tags to the images, as well as notes and independent research. We also encourage members to present their findings in the group. This weekend, we started a TRE campaign for the Smithsonian’s Inauguration set, which we invited into our group’s photo pool for our member’s ease of access.

On this photo of President Clinton’s inauguration, an astute visitor noted that the photo, listed as taken in 1993, was actually taken in 1997, discovered by cross-referencing images on an archived version of the Clinton presidency’s website.

People have also uncovered some trivia. Did you know that Jackie Kennedy designed her own inauguration gown?