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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in History (2)


    State of the Union: 1962-2012 Word Cloud

    In anticipation of President Obama's February 12th State of the Union Address, I've compiled every speech since 1962 -- that's 50 years of SOTU addresses -- in one word cloud:

    No surprise that when combined, "America" and "American" are mentioned most, but the word "more" is almost tied for first. Also interesting is that "federal" and "government" appear above the word "freedom" and "united". "Program" and "programs," when combined, rank equal to the word "government" at the top.

    Here are the rankings,  most used words first:

    more all people new America year world years Congress American now government make one work help Americans every time nation Federal tonight country security last States peace tax other know budget first health children need most over because great many economy economic national only future United together jobs let about own some programs support just care program freedom nations here energy ask good system war Act billion continue million way percent give better hope today take free next state through come President well growth right families home want education reform made life spending any Union meet two plan policy say nuclear still working Administration progress again America's before increase history without past Social believe provide even both defense strong long against power trade like ago citizens best never century go high military opportunity


    A Brief History of Inauguration "Firsts" with Chris Matthews

    Graphic by Andrew Gooss

    Brush up on your history of US Inaugurations with this montage of "firsts" from the last 57 inaugurations.


    The 2013 inauguration marks the fifty-seventh time a President has been sworn into office -- and like any national tradition, the ceremony, from oath to parade, has evolved over the last two and a quarter centuries.

    Washington’s Inauguration was not only a first for our country, but also the first and only to be rescheduled because Congress delayed the election.  Andrew Jackson was the first sworn in on the east side of the Capitol Building and Reagan was the first sworn in on the west. The shortest Inaugural address was George Washington’s second while the longest was William Henry Harrison’s, who talked for almost two hours in the winter rain. He caught pneumonia and died a month later.Six Presidents have taken the oath outside Washington, George Washington, first in New York City and then Philadelphia, John Adams, in Philadelphia, Chester Arthur, in New York, Teddy Roosevelt, in Buffalo, Calvin Coolidge, in Plymouth Vermont and LBJ, in Dallas.

    James Polk’s Inauguration was the first to be covered using the telegraph, and Warren Harding’s parade was the first to use cars. James Buchanan’s Inaugural was the first one photographed and William McKinley’s was the first filmed.  Calvin Coolidge’s was the first on radio and Hoover’s was first in a movie newsreel. The first inauguration to be televised was Harry Truman’s and the first streamed on the internet was Bill Clinton’s second. Lincoln’s parade was the first to include African Americans and Wilson’s was the first to include women.

    While bad weather moved the ceremony indoors for William Howard Taft and Ronald Reagan, Grant toughed it out in 16 degrees, and Jack Kennedy in 20 degrees, without an overcoat.

    FDR’s inauguration was the first held in January, after a constitutional amendment moved the date up from March.  And finally, more people witnessed Barack Obama’s first than any other event ever held in Washington.