Blog Part 10: William McKinley was the first President to review the Inaugural Parade from a glass-enclosed stand. It was also the first inaugural in which Congress hosted a luncheon for the President and Vice-President.

Blog Part 10: William McKinley was the first President to review the Inaugural Parade from a glass-enclosed stand. It was also the first inaugural in which Congress hosted a luncheon for the President and Vice-President.

While James Garfield was the first President to review the inaugural parade from a specially built platform in front of the White House, William McKinley was the first to review the parade from a glass-enclosed stand in front of the White House.[1] He did this for his 1897 inaugural. The glass stand provided protection from the weather during the March 4 parade. It is known that previous Presidents were exposed to the weather. Such was the case with William Henry Harrison, whose inaugural address came in at nearly 8,500 words. As the oldest president at the time, Harrison tried to prove that age was no factor. He refused to wear his hat, scarf, or gloves despite the bitterly cold weather. After a nearly two-hour long ceremony, Harrison contracted pneumonia and died one month later, on April 4, 1841.[2] The glass-enclosure may have been erected so that Ida McKinley could also review the parade without danger to her health. Presidents since McKinley have watched the parade while protected from the elements.

220px-Inaugural_parade_2005

The Inaugural Parade held for George W. Bush passes the Presidential review stand on January 20, 2005. Retrieved 8.24.2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_inauguration#List_of_inaugural_ceremonies

Once the swearing-in portion of the inauguration occurs, the President, Vice-President, their families, and guests are then treated to a luncheon hosted by Congress. Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has planned and executed the swearing-in and luncheon for the Presidential Inauguration. The Luncheon program includes speeches, gift presentations from the JCCIC and toasts to the new administration. While this tradition dates as far back as 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first gave a luncheon for President McKinley and several other guests at the U.S. Capitol, it did not begin in its current form until 1953.[3]

McKinley 1897 Inaugdinner

McKinley Inaugural Supper Table in the Pension building Washington, DC. Owing to his wife’s health, the President and First Lady would have been seated next to each other. Photo retrieved 8.24.2016 from  http://

[1] White House Historical Society, “What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies?”Retrieved 8.23.2016 from https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/what-are-some-interesting-facts-about-presidents-first-ladies
[2] Watson, Robert. “Everything you wanted to know about presidential inaugurals.” The Sun Sentinel. January 19, 2009. Retrieved 8.24.2016 fromhttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sfl-opedonline0119-story.html
 [3]Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, “The 28th Presidential Inauguration William McKinley March 04, 1897.” Retrieved 8.24.2016 from http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/about/past-inaugural-ceremonies/28th-inaugural-ceremonies

 

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