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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Inauguration Day Fun Facts (Possible Interactive Notebook Activity)

Inauguration Day Facts!

Possible Interactive Notebook Activity by

Gail Skroback Hennessey

Click here for the free download.


  1. The First Inauguration Ceremony to be on television was in 1949, for President Harry S. Truman.
  2. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was actually lassoed by a cowboy who came up to him on a horse during the 1953 Inaugural Parade Ceremony.
  3. The first President to get out of his limo and walk down the parade route was President Jimmy Carter.
  4. Did you know that President George Washington carried a sword to his Inaugural Day ceremonies?
  5. The Constitution doesn’t require the president to hold his hand on a Bible but all presidents have done so except for Theodore Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams.
  6. President Gerald Ford was the first unelected president. He assumed the office of president when President Richard Nixon resigned.
  7. President Barack Obama had to take the Oath of Office twice. Because of a mix-up of the 35-word oath by the Chief Supreme Court Justice, it was done again the next day to make sure everything was legal.
  8. The first president to wear long pants to his Inauguration Ceremony was President John Quincy Adams. Prior to this, men worn knee breeches.
  9. Tradition has been that the president-elect rides to the Inaugural Ceremony with the current President of the United States. The custom is for the current president to sit on the right and the president-elect to sit on the left side of the limo.
  10. The first Inauguration to be streamed on the internet was President Bill Clinton's.
  11. The new president is elected at exactly 12 noon on January 20th.
  12. The longest Inauguration speech (8,445 words) was given by President Harrison. It was 100 minutes long and it was a very cold day. President Harrison got pneumonia and died after only about one month in office!
  13. The shortest Inauguration Speech was given by President George Washington. It was only 135 words!
  14. The first time the Marine Corps Band performed at an Inaugural Day Ceremony was for President James Monroe.
  15. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had four Inaugural Day Ceremonies. After his presidency, a two term-limit was placed into the Constitution.
  16. During the Inaugural Ball of President Madison, the ballroom was so hot that people broke windows to get some cold air into the room!
  17. President Woodrow Wilson’s second Inaugural Parade included women participating in the parade for the very first time!
  18. Barron Trump, age 10, will be the first son to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy’s son (1963).
  19. It was during President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address where he said, “... ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what, together, we can do for the freedom of man" (1961).
  20. Lady Bird Johnson was the first First Lady to participate in the Inaugural Ceremony. She held the Bible for her husband, Lyndon B. Johnson (1965). This has now become a tradition.

Your Turn:

  1. Illustrate one of these factoids about Inaugurations.
  2. Pretend you are the president-elect. Write a diary entry about your Inauguration Day.
  3. How would you feel if your parent became president of the United States? List three positives and three negatives being the child of the president.

Check out my webquest on Inauguration Day. It contains information about taking the oath of office, the big parade and evening balls. There are 10 web questions, a Did You Know? section, comprehension questions and extension activities.

Feedback is always appreciated!

Additional Resource of Interest:

  1. Learn about the WhiteHouse with this webquest.
  2. Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs to the King of England? Did you know that President Garfield could write with both his right and left hand at the same time? Those facts and much more can be found in this webquest on U.S. presidents.
  3. Did you know that Florence Harding was the first woman to be able to vote for her husband in a presidential election? Here's a fun and informative webquest on First Ladies of the U.S.A.
  4. Check out "Do You Know Your Presidents" which is a series of three challenges.