April 07, 2004

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Some tidbits from William Taft's inaugurations.

Incidentally, WHT was not a Jew. (That comment is explained here.)

1. Taft's first inauguration was the first since 1833 to be held indoors. The weather was so bad that outgoing President Roosevelt suggested the move. Not until Senator Henry Cabot Lodge pointed out that Chief Justice Fuller was old and frail did Taft agree to move things inside.

2. At the end of the Oath of Office, the not particularly religious Taft kissed the Bible and yelled out, "So help me God!"

3. Roosevelt broke with tradition and declined to ride back to the White House with the new president. Instead, he joyously rushed off to Union Station to meet his wife and leave D.C.

4. This opened up a spot in the presidential carriage, and for the first time the First Lady accompanied the President back to the White House.

5. Helen Taft was also the first to donate her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian, which has a collection of First Ladies' gowns.

Posted by Jennifer at April 7, 2004 04:11 PM