Pop Quiz: Fun Facts from Inauguration Days Gone By
by Bruce Watson Jan 18th 2013 12:30PM
On Monday, Jan. 21, President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for the second time, and an estimated 800,000 people will descend on Washington, D.C., to take in the inaugural ceremony, inaugural parade and swirl of inaugural balls. To commemorate the festivities, we put together this little quiz that features some of the high points -- and low points -- of America's 57 inaugurations. Enjoy!
1. Obama's first inauguration drew the largest crowd ever to Washington, D.C. Who had the second-largest inauguration?
A. Ronald Reagan
B. Lyndon Johnson
C. John F. Kennedy
D. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Answer: B. Lyndon Johnson
An estimated 1.2 million people came to Washington to see LBJ take the oath of office in 1965. By comparison, President Obama drew an estimated 1.8 million.
2. Who had the most expensive inauguration in history?
A. George W. Bush
B. Ronald Reagan
C. Bill Clinton
D. Barack Obama
Answer: D. Barack Obama
3. Most presidents ride to and from their inaugurations, but Thomas Jefferson walked. Which other president chose to hoof it?
A. Richard Nixon
B. Millard Fillmore
C. Jimmy Carter
D. Theodore Roosevelt
Answer: C. Jimmy Carter.
Following in the footsteps of Jefferson, Carter chose to walk with his family from the Capitol to the White House in the post-inauguration ceremony parade.
4. Who had the longest inaugural address in history?
A. John F. Kennedy
B. Zachary Taylor
C. James K. Polk
D. William Henry Harrison
Answer: D. William Henry Harrison
Until Ronald Reagan came along, Harrison was the oldest man ever elected president. Worried that he didn't seem sufficiently energetic for the job, he tried to demonstrate his vitality by riding on horseback to and from the inauguration, and reciting a 100-minute inaugural speech on a cold and windy day -- all without the benefit of a hat or coat. He caught pneumonia and died 32 days later. In the process, he set four records: He was the oldest president, had the longest inaugural speech, had the shortest administration, and was the first to die in office.
5. Richard Blanco will be the first Latino inaugural poet. How many other presidents have had poets speak at their inaugurations
Answer: A. 2
Robert Frost became the first inaugural poet when he spoke at John F. Kennedy's swearing-in. Maya Angelou spoke at Bill Clinton's first inaugural and Miller Williams spoke at his second.
6. How were tickets to this year's inaugural events distributed?
A. They were auctioned off by Sotheby's auction house
B. They were sold on Craigslist
C. They were sold through Ticketmaster
D. They were sold through Obama's online store
Answer: C. They were sold through Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster is the biggest player in the ticket sales game, but it managed to make a mess of this sale. After announcing that tickets to the inaugural events would go on sale on Monday, January 7, Ticketmaster accidentally opened the sales link a day early. Tickets to the inaugural ball and parade sold out quickly -- leaving a lot of Obama supporters ticketless, and furious.
7. Which president's inauguration featured the first Inaugural Ball?
A. George Washington
B. James Madison
C. James Monroe
D. John Tyler
Answer: B. James Madison
In 1809, famed hostess Dolley Madison hosted the first Inaugural Ball at Long's Hotel. The 400 tickets to the event were sold at a cost of $4 apiece. By comparison, some tickets for this year's inauguration ceremony are being scalped for as much as $12,500 apiece -- and Team Obama is selling inauguration packages for as much as $1 million a pop.
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Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.