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The First Inaugural Address

Home - by - January 12, 2013 - 09:00 America/New_York - 13 Comments

via The National Archives

George Washington’s first Inaugural Address now on display

Today’s post comes to us from Michael Hussey, education and exhibition specialist at the National Archives. In  honor of the 2013 Inauguration, the first and last page of Washington’s first Inauguration Address are on display at the National Archives until January 31.

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“My station is new; and, if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground.”
–George Washington in a letter, January 9, 1790

Unseasonably cold and snowy weather delayed the first Presidential inauguration, which had been scheduled for the first Wednesday in March 1789. Many members of the First Federal Congress were unable to arrive promptly in New York City, then the seat of government.

On April 6, 1789—over a month late—enough members had reached New York to tally the electoral ballots. George Washington won unanimously with 69 electoral votes. When notified of his victory, he traveled to New York City from his home in Virginia.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the Presidential oath on a second floor balcony of Federal Hall. Below, an enthusiastic crowd assembled in the streets. The President and members of Congress then retired to the Senate Chamber, where Washington delivered his first inaugural address.

Keenly aware of the momentousness of the occasion, Washington accepted the Presidency and spoke of his determination to make the American experiment a success. He humbly noted the power of the nation’s call for him to serve as President and the shared responsibility of the President and Congress to preserve “the sacred fire of liberty” and a republican form of government. (You can read the transcript of this speech.)

[ See the rest of the pages of his speech HERE ]

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I’m undecided at this point if I will watch O’s 2nd Inaugural. It’s history-but it’s history repeated. Once was plenty enough I think.

» 13 Comments

  1. Adrienne

    January 12th, 2013

    I’m a penmanship geek. His penmanship is enough to make a grown girl cry. Absolutely beautiful! Over at the site you can click on the pages and embiggun. Dazzling…

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  2. Spartan

    January 12th, 2013

    I can guarantee I will NOT watch. I didn’t watch the first one.

    In fact there’s a whole mess of things I don’t watch anymore. I seemed to have either aged rather quickly and can’t put up with the nonsense as one grows older, or most everything is just too damn stupid anymore?

    So I’ve decided to cut the lawn using nail clippers to wither away the day ‘we crown the the king’ by the media.

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  3. thelittlebrother

    January 12th, 2013

    Penmanship is no longer being taught in the public school system where I am…is how far we have fallen. the ART of the human experience has been gutted.

    Holy Patriots & Martyrs
    Founding Fathers of this Country
    PRAY FOR US
    amen

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  4. Anti-tyrant Weapons

    January 12th, 2013

    I agree. Gone are the days of good penmanship. Grammar, math, history, everything but perversion is down the educational shitter.

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  5. Necrophidius

    January 12th, 2013

    Don’t witness it. Its like watching a loved one getting raped.

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  6. Corky

    January 12th, 2013

    I am not watching it, barely watched the first one and that was only because clips were played later. I honestly don’t know why we have to go through the pomp and circumstance the 2nd time for any President. Have the swearing in and be done with it.

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  7. RosalindJ

    January 12th, 2013

    No desire to watch this term’s inauguration.

    I love seeing his penmanship. It gives me hope that his is not much better than mine when I’ve attempted the same (not Spencerian, not Copperplate – what is the style, illustr8r?)

    Thanks for including a link to the full address. I offer that “ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies” is a phrase obama is completely unfamiliar with.

    The more I’ve read about him, the more I’ve come to appreciate how Washington apprehended how important it was to get right as much as he could.

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  8. Anti-tyrant Weapons

    January 12th, 2013

    Like going to your executioners birthday party just before the hanging.

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  9. Dan Ryan Galt

    January 12th, 2013

    I’d love to watch it but I have to clean up the poop in the yard left by Tyler Galt our yellow Lab.

    I’ll try to watch it on January 20, 2017, if I haven’t been rounded up by then.

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  10. Metprof

    January 12th, 2013

    Our children are no longer taught penmanship in school but CAN put a rubber on a cucumber.

    Now THATS progress!

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  11. Claudia

    January 12th, 2013

    Spartan and Necrophidius, your comments are spot on.

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  12. John Cooper

    January 12th, 2013

    Spartan LOL! and right on! To plagiarize Wierd Al, I’d rather jump naked into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades than watch “that man’s” Inaugural.

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  13. ? everything

    January 12th, 2013

    speaking of penmanship, hows about that nominated sect of treasury penmanship?

    Thumb up +2