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U.S. Presidential Inauguration Resources

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Social Studies +1 Age Level Elementary (9 to 12 years old)
This teaching collection includes resources, such as video interviews with expert historians, artworks, memorabilia and photographs of the American tradition of presidential inaugurations, including the Oath of Office, the Inaugural Address, the Inauguration Parade and the Inaugural Ball.

Discussion Questions:
-How does a U.S. presidential inauguration compare to a royal coronation?
-How are these events populist (for ordinary citizens)? How are they elitist (for the high class elite)?
-Where can inauguration traditions be traced?
-What is required by the Constitution to occur at a presidential inauguration?
-What events have become a tradition over time?
-What objects help tell the story of inaugurations over time?

Tour Through Inaugurations Past

Smithsonian Magazine

The Inaugural House Band

Smithsonian Magazine

Federal Hall, the Seat of Congress

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Swearing in George Washington

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Washington's Inauguration

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Constitutional Convention

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Jefferson Banner

National Museum of American History

National Inauguration Ball March 4th, 1865

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Inauguration Grand March

National Portrait Gallery

Caroline Harrison's 1889 Inaugural Gown

National Museum of American History

The Inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes

National Portrait Gallery

[Press Pass, 1957 Inaugural Ball]

Anacostia Community Museum

Nixon Inaugural Ball

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

President and Mrs. Reagan at the NMNH Inaugural Ball

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Clinton Inauguration 1993

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Clinton Inauguration 1993

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Clinton Inauguration 1993

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Barack Obama Presidential Inaugural Medal

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Inauguration

Smithsonian American Art Museum