So there you have Harvard alums marching side by side with Indians, marching side by side with cowboys, with Rough Riders. ... And Chief Geronimo was there. There was a sense in which TR had so many interests.
There were different sides of him, and the parade symbolized that. It just seemed like this incredibly eclectic parade.
1865: Lincoln strives to unite North and South
What's so extraordinary about Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural is that here the North is finally on the eve of winning this long Civil War, but no triumphal message does he deliver. ... He talks about the fact that the sin of slavery was shared by both sides. Both sides read the same Bible. Both prayed to same God.
Of course the words we remember -- with malice toward none and charity for all. Lincoln knew that inaugural spoke words that would be remembered. He wasn't as sure about some of his other speeches, but he knew that.
When he went into the party after the inaugural, the one person who he wanted to know and get his approval from was Frederick Douglas, the abolitionist. And Douglas came over to him and said, 'Mr. President, it's a sacred effort.'
1841: The tragedy of William Henry Harrison
It's so sad that what we remember William Henry Harrison for is not (his) military service before the presidency, but the fact that he gave the longest inaugural (speech) and had the shortest presidency.
He insisted on not wearing a coat (during the ceremony). It was freezing out, he developed pneumonia, and he died. That is the memory of William Henry Harrison. I'm sure it's not the way he would hope to be remembered.
They finally learned from Harrison's inaugural. ... When it was freezing weather during Ronald Reagan's (second) inaugural they moved it inside and canceled the parade. It's one of the dangers of having these inaugurations in January or even in March in the old days.
1789: Washington sets the tone
The thing that's so interesting (about) Washington's inaugural is that it set so many precedents. Even in that week before his inaugural, they were debating what to call him.
Some people like John Adams wanted the president to be called his Mightiness or his Highness. Thomas Jefferson said, 'No, it must simply be "Mr. President." ' Adams said, 'That's nothing. He could be president of a garden club. It won't be dignified for the world at large.' But of course (Washington) becomes Mr. President.
Everything was setting a pattern. It was an extraordinary moment.