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The Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC - Jan. 20, 2017 (Save The Date)

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  • "Richmond History & Culture" is an independent, non-partisan organization. 

    Regardless of your political affiliation, we hope you can join us on Friday, January 20, 2017 as we celebrate the inauguration of our next President of the United States.  

    The Washington, DC History & Culture Meetup group will be hosting a variety of events in the days before and after the inauguration, many of which are still in the planning stages, so for now this is a "save-the-date" type announcement. If you are interested in traveling to Washington, DC we recommend seeing the events posted on the "Washington, DC History & Culture" Meetup site for any updates:

    While we would love for you to join us, please note that you will be responsible for your own transportation to and from Washington, DC, as well as your lodging/accommodations.  We will take care of the details for the actual inauguration events.  Additional details below.  Thanks!

    Please Read Carefully!

    We plan on viewing the inauguration from the public areas on the National Mall (which are open to everyone and don't require a ticket), and not in any of the other ticketed areas, such as near the U.S Capitol.  Tickets can be challenging to obtain and usually need to do be obtained well in advance through a Congressman, Senator, or similar means - so we'll skip that. 

    Our exact inauguration day itinerary will not be finalized until approximately January 10, so we can determine what the weather outlook will be - i.e. warmer weather will allow for more ambitious plans with more time outdoors.

    At a later date, we will also announce a variety of additional activities before and after the actual inauguration, including museum exhibits, lectures, films, and an inaugural ball. or two (which is like getting dressed up to go to the prom, and you don't even need a date).

    It will be a very festive time in Washington, DC, with many events taking place throughout the area, and you are welcome to join us for any or all of them.

    Full details on our events will be provided at a later date - once our plans are finalized.   Please hold off any specific questions until then.

    The United States Presidential Inauguration

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The inauguration of the president of the United States is a ceremonial event marking the commencement of a new four-year term of a president of the United States. The day a presidential inauguration occurs is known as "Inauguration Day" and occurs on January 20 (or 21st if the 20th is a Sunday). Prior to the Twentieth Amendment, the date was March 4, the day of the year on which the Constitution of the United States first took effect in 1789; the last inauguration to take place on the older date was Franklin D. Roosevelt's first one on March 4, 1933. The most recent public presidential inauguration ceremony, the swearing in of President Barack Obama to begin his second four-year term in office, took place on Monday, January 21, 2013.

    The only inauguration element mandated by the United States Constitution is that the president make an oath or affirmation before that person can "enter on the Execution" of the office of the presidency. However, over the years, various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long event, including parades, speeches, and balls.

    From the presidency of Andrew Jackson through that of Jimmy Carter, the primary Inauguration Day ceremony took place on the Capitol's East Portico. Since the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, the ceremony has been held at the Capitol's West Front. The inaugurations of William Howard Taft in 1909 and Reagan in 1985 were moved indoors at the Capitol because of cold weather. The War of 1812 and World War II caused two inaugurations to be held at other locations in Washington, D.C.

    When George Washington was inaugurated, the oath was administered by Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York State, in 1789, and by William Cushing, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in 1793. Since Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth swore in President John Adams, no chief justice has missed an Inauguration Day. When Inauguration Day has fallen on a Sunday, the chief justice has administered the oath to the president on the Sunday privately and then again the next day publicly.

    When a new president takes over mid-term due to the death or resignation of a president, the oath of office is administered, but public inauguration events have not been held.

    Why Attend the Inauguration


    There are few events that you can plan on attending that are guaranteed to go down in history. The President’s swearing-in ceremony is one of them. Come to Washington, DC and witness something for the ages as the nation swears in the 45th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017. Soak up the atmosphere throughout the city and celebrate this special day that’s all about American tradition and celebration.

    Where to Take in the Action 


    The official proceedings of Inauguration Day commence around noon on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with the vice president-elect and president-elect taking the Oaths of Office, followed by the inaugural address. You must have a ticket to attend the swearing-in-ceremony. Tickets are free, but they’re in high demand and must be applied for through your local representative or senator's office. Giant video screens and audio systems will also stream the proceedings to the thousands of spectators on the National Mall.

    Don’t worry if you don’t get tickets to the official ceremony, you can still catch a glimpse of the new commander in chief. Position yourself along Pennsylvania Avenue to cheer on the presidential procession and inaugural parade as it makes its way from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. A limited number of bleacher seats can be reserved through the Presidential Inauguration Committee, though viewing from the sidewalk is free and unreserved.

    More Inauguration info from

    United States Presidential Inaugural Balls

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

    United States presidential inaugural balls are large social gatherings, both white tie and black tie, held to celebrate the commencement of a new term of the President of the United States. Planned and sanctioned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the official inaugural balls occur throughout the evening of Inauguration Day in the Washington D.C. area and are invitation-only, attended by guests who are issued pre-paid tickets. The President, First LadyVice-President and his spouse, all make personal appearances at each of the inaugural balls held in their honor. Catered food, beverages, and live entertainment performed by national and globally acclaimed musicians are provided at the inaugural balls. 

    Other inaugural balls, unofficial and often less formal that occur before and on Inauguration Day, are given by state societies, businesses, and private organizations. 


    Toast to the New President at an Inaugural Ball

    Revelers may want to don a tuxedo or evening dress and dance the night away, and they’ll have plenty of options. Inauguration Day brings glitz and glamour to DC with the big names in politics, business and entertainment descending on the city. Many of the top caterers are booked a year in advance and some luxury stores have pop-ups in high-end hotels for any last minute wardrobe changes.

    There are official and unofficial balls, the difference being that the newly named president and vice president attend many of the official balls. Members of the public can apply for tickets to these, including The inaugural ball, via the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for one of the many unofficial balls directly from the host venues or organizations.

    More Inauguration info from

    The Presidential Oath 

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." 

    Past Presidential Inaugurations

    Test Your Knowledge

    George Washington - 1789 (first inauguration)

    The first presidential inauguration, at Federal Hall in New York City - Washington, DC wasn't the Capitol yet.

    George Washington - 1793 (second inauguration)

    Shortest inaugural address: 135 words.

    William Henry Harrison - 1841

    Longest inaugural address: 1 hour and 45 minutes (8,445 words).

    Abraham Lincoln - 1861 & 1865

    President Lincoln was first inaugurated with the country on the brink of civil war.  Then four years' later, with the war coming to a close, a second inaugural speech included his famous line "with malice towards none."  

    Woodrow Wilson - 1913

    The Women's Suffrage movement organizes a march down Pennsylvania Avenue to raise awareness.  It worked - the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920. 

    Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1933

    Taking over during the great depression, one of FDR's most famous quotes: "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

    John F. Kennedy - 1961

    JFK lead a new generation of Americans with his famous quote: "and so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." 

    Jimmy Cater - 1977

    Begins the tradition of walking down Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

    Ronald Reagan - 1981

    The inauguration moved from the east front of the U.S. Capitol to the west front, so President Reagan could face his home state of California.

    George Bush - Inaugurated 2001 & Photo Above from 2009

    After the inauguration ceremonies, and years' of service to our country, the former President is flown from Washington, DC, often with a request to circle the city "one last time." 

    Barack Obama - 2009

    Our current President & First Lady

    The Washington Post's Top Ten Inaugural Addresses 

    Politico's 12 Great Inaugural Quotes 

    Other Great Presidential Sites in Washington, DC

    Robert's Recommendations

    How Many Have You Been To?

    White House Visitor Center

    The American Presidency exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

    The First Ladies exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

    The American Presidents exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

    Numerous presidential related exhibits at the Newseum - and a great view of the Pennsylvania Avenue inauguration parade route

    The Woodrow Wilson House

    The William Howard Taft burial site and the John F. Kennedy burial site at Arlington National Cemetery 

    Various Presidential Memorials & Monuments 

    The "Watergate Scandal / All The President's Men" guided walking tour from Washington, DC History & Culture.

    As mentioned, for now this is a "save the date" type announcement. 

    We will provide more specific details as we get closer to Friday, January 20, 2017. 

    Stay tuned for details!

    We hope you can join us.  Thank You!

    Robert Kelleman & Michele Ballard



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  • Eppie G Simmons F.

    Sorry, but I will not be able to attend.

    November 16

  • Vicki R.

    I am so sorry. I accepted without looking at my calendar. I have a big conflict that weekend. I will be looking out for other meet ups in the future and plan for them.

    November 15

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