With the inauguration right around the corner I thought it'd be appropriate to look down Pennsylvania Avenue at presidents and inaugurations past. The internet is full of fun presidential facts and after reading every last one, I've come up with a list of Inaugural Superlatives. Please add your own in the comments section below!
All facts are taken from the Joint Congressional Committee On Inaugural Ceremonies website.
Most Likely to be Attacked by PETA: U.S. Grant. His caged, decorative canaries froze to death during Grant's second inauguration ball because the room wasn't heated.
Most Tongue Action: James Buchanan. Food bought for Buchanan's ball included $3,000 worth of wine, 400 gallons of oysters, 500 quarts of chicken salad, 1,200 quarts of ice cream, 60 saddles of mutton, 8 rounds of beef, 75 hams, and 125 tongues.
Most Charitable: Jimmy Carter. He didn't want to seem audacious or over the top and insisted that the Inauguration balls be called "parties." He also lowered ticket prices to $25 so they were more affordable to Regular Joes. Regular Joes with connections, that is...
Best Looking: Ronald Reagan. Honorable Mention: John F. Kennedy
Biggest Party Pooper: Woodrow Wilson. As the city prepared for Wilson's inauguration in 1913, he asked that the balls be left off of the event calendar, claiming a celebration would've been too expensive and unnecessary considering the times. Washington had not missed an inaugural ball since 1853 when a mourning President Franklin Pierce asked that the ball be canceled as he grieved the loss of his son.
Biggest Trend-Setter: Warren G. Harding. Like Wilson, Harding requested that the Inaugural ball be cancelled--he wanted to set a trend of thrift and simplicity in 1921. The ball was in fact cancelled, but the chairman of the Inaugural committee instead held a massive private party at his home. Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt followed Harding's lead as charitable balls at private households became fashionable.
Best Body: George W. Bush. Say what you will about Dubbya, but he's in great shape. He has at least six vigorous work-outs a week and keeps the Secret Service running after him.
Talks Least, Says Most: George Washington. He delivered his inauguration speech in Philadelphia and kept it to a cool 135 words. It is the shortest speech on record.
Longest Winded: William Henry Harrison. His inaugural address is the longest on record at 8,445 words. Poor man died a month later of pneumonia which is believed to have been brought on by his exposure to the harsh elements; it was bitterly cold and wet on his inauguration day.
Biggest Partier: Bill Clinton. He celebrated his second inauguration with 14 balls--the all-time high.
Most Conceited: Bill Clinton. Like I said, he celebrated his second inauguration with 14 balls.
Most Unforgettable: Abraham Lincoln. As the Civil War was winding down in 1865, Lincoln stated: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." Honorable Mention: In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Who would you add to the list? Comment below.