February 24, 2004

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Some tidbits about James Madison's inaugurals:

1. Madison was the first president to have an official escort of militiamen. Afterwards, it became customary for the President to have a procession to the Capitol.

2. Madison asked Jefferson to accompany him to the inauguration, but Jefferson declined. "Today I return to the people, and I wish to join them in doing you honor."

3. Madison held grand inaugural balls for both of his terms. Toward the end of the first, the room was so stuffy that some guests fainted. The windows were painted shut and could not be opened, so some of them were smashed open. The dancing continued. After Madison's terms, the inaugural ball became tradition.

4. Another first during the Madison presidency was the White House reception. After taking the Oath, he greeted well-wishers and provided refreshments.

5. A witness claimed Madison spoke so softly at his second inauguration that "scarcely a word could be distinguished".

Posted by Jennifer at February 24, 2004 08:33 AM