March 15, 2004

*Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Some tidbits from Lincoln's inaugurations:

1. Until Lincoln's first inauguration, the journeys of the president-elects were festive occasions. With the United States on the brink of Civil War, however, Lincoln's trip from Illinois to D.C. was decidedly somber.

2. The railroad company hired Allan Pinkerton (founder of the famous detective agency in Chicago) to investigate threats to Lincoln's journey by southern sympathizers. Pinkerton's agents found explosives on the train as well as track sabotage.

3. Death threats against Lincoln made security around the inauguration a top concern. His carriage was surrounded by cavalry as it road up Pennsylvania Avenue. Soldiers patrolled the side streets, and riflemen were positioned on rooftops along the parade route.

4. After the inauguration, the out-going president, Buchanan, remarked that Lincoln "was far from evincing the slightest apprehension of danger."

5. Lincoln's first inaugural address contained the last reference to Christianity in inaugural history.

6. For Lincoln's second inauguration, black soldiers were allowed to participate in the inaugural parade for the first time.

Posted by Jennifer at March 15, 2004 01:57 PM