American Presidential Inauguration photos

I’m a bit too excited (such a Eufemia) about our current Trump administration to make smart remarks. Here’s a look through time of American Presidential Inauguration photos in The Commons — mostly from The Smithsonian! All of these images — including recent ones — are available with “no known copyright restrictions“. I guess later inaugurations, after Bill Clinton, are still fresh in your memory so no pictures.

We began eight years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He’ll be the arc to our story.

1873
The gown was worn by Julia Dent Grant (First Lady to Ulysses S. Grant).

Grant was a General under Lincoln during the American Civil War.

Smithsonian Institution
1881
The Arts and Industries building is ready for James Garfield’s bash. Within the year, Garfield would be assassinated, as was Lincoln.

1913
The inauguration of Woodrow Wilson at the Capitol Building.

Construction on the Lincoln Memorial began the following year on the opposite end of The Mall from the Capitol. As a symbol of presidential excellence, it would become the site of “kick-off” events leading to the inaugural oath.

1961
The gown Jacqueline Kennedy wore to the inauguration party. Of course, we all know what happened to John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

Smithsonian Institution
1973
Nixon and family at his inaugural party at the National Museum of American History.

Like Lincoln, Nixon would not serve the duration of his second term, although for very different reasons.

1981
Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the inaugural ball at the National Museum of Natural History. Two months later he would survive an attempt on his life, unlike Lincoln.

1985
Ronald and Nancy Reagan at their inaugural party at the National Air and Space Museum.

The NASM contains images of the Civil War Balloon Intrepid, which operated in Lincoln’s Union Army.

1989
George H. W. Bush with the Lincoln Memorial during his inaugural address.

1993
Bill Clinton delivers his inaugural address at the Lincoln Memorial. Also in 1993, The Smithsonian Institution’s Castle and the domed National Museum of Natural History frame the tents of Bill Clinton’s inaugural concert and party “Call for Reunion” — I hope the librarians, archivists, and other staff are able to participate in the fun every four years!

1997
Finally, Bill and Hillary Clinton at the “An American Dream” inaugural party.

No Lincoln connection on this one, which must mean this is the end of our arc.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *