Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Presidential Inauguration - Some Interesting Facts

 Why January 20th?  

                                                        George Washington's Inauguration

On January 20, 2021 at noon there will be a ceremony to swear in the President of the United States. The first Presidential inauguration that of George Washington, took place on April 30, 1789. All inaugurations from 1793 until 1933, were held on March 4, unless it was a Sunday. After a change to the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to have his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20 in 1937. New Presidents have also been sworn in at other times upon the death of a sitting president or when President Nixon resigned in 1974.

Why Does Inauguration Day Fall on January 20th?

This Presidential election cycle and transition has definitely been long, difficult and very eventful. Perhaps one the most eventful. Inauguration days have been eventful also. But a peaceful transition has always been a bulwark, a strong support or protection of American Democracy. May it always be so.

We do not yet know what forms the Inauguration ceremony, parade or balls will take this year given the current pandemic and climate of unrest.  But here is a look at some times past.


The bitter 1800 Presidential election destroyed a friendship which was not repaired until the former friends were old men.  Adams also angered Jefferson by filling the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court position just before leaving office.  In the middle of the night before Jefferson's inauguration, President John Adams took an early stagecoach out of Washington back to Quincy, Massachusetts and was not present during the ceremony.  The two men would not exchange another word for 12 years. But then they began a famous correspondence recreating their bond.  

Adams choose a new Chief Justice just before leaving office. Jefferson was furious.

Former Presidents who Attended Inaugurations and---- Didn’t

Inaugural Balls (And Parties)  

Was the White House Really Trashed at Andrew Jackson's First Inauguration?

An inauguration is associated with parties and dances called inaugural balls and parties.  But nothing tops the party on March 4, 1829 at the White House Open House when Andrew Jackson became President.  The crowd of admirers was huge and they backed Jackson against a wall.  The new President fled the scene back to the hotel he had stayed in before the ceremony.  White House furniture and china was destroyed in the crush.  To keep more people from entering the building staff passed the free food and drink out to the people outside.  There are varying accounts of rowdy the party was but all agreed it was memorable.

The Story of the Wildest party in White House History

What was the first inaugural ball is considered by some to be an event held by sponsors on May 7, 1789 in New York City, one week after the first inauguration of George Washington. The nation’s capital was New York City at that time.

James Madison's Inauguration

Others consider the first inaugural ball to be a gala held in Washington, D.C. after the first inauguration of James Madison. In 1809. The popular Dolley Madison hosted a gala for her husband at Long's Hotel in Washington D.C. 

The First Ladies: Dolley Madison

National Women's History Museum July 18, 2013

"For the occasion of James' inauguration in 1809, a Navy captain asked Dolley if a formal dinner and dance could be thrown in the couple's honor.  Upon saying yes, Dolley approved the tradition of the inaugural ball that continues to this day."

                       Inaugural Ball Gowns 

The Inaugural Ball Gowns (or another dress if there was no ball gown before inaugural balls became a regular occurrence) of the Presidential First Ladies are on display at the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

Another dress is selected if there was no ball gown. Inaugural balls have been a regular part of modern-day inaugurations but that wasn’t always the case.

 The First Ladies, National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian

The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonian’s almost 100-year-old First Ladies Collection.  To date the Presidents have been male so the presidential spouses have been First Ladies. When there was no spouse often another relative served as “hostess” at the White House. The role of the First Lady, an unpaid position, has grown considerably. There is money allotted for a staff for a First Lady’s office. 

The term "first lady" had been used for Martha Washington in a retrospective profile of her written by a Mrs. Sigourney in 1838. The term "first lady" started being commonly used in the late 1800s for Harriet Lane, the niece of bachelor President James Buchanan.

                          Inaugural Parades

Inaugural parades are now big events requiring tremendous planning including security precautions.  The first organized parade was for James Madison in 1809.  There had been informal processions before.

                                                      Freezing Weather 

William Henry Harrison had ridden up Pennsylvania Avenue on a white horse to take the oath of office on March 4, 1841. He wore no gloves or overcoat despite the freezing weather. He said he was as pleased with the presidency “as a young woman with a new bonnet.” In the cold drizzle he delivered an inaugural address that lasted almost two hours. He took to his bed afterwards. Harrison died of pneumonia just one month later. His tenure is the shortest of any U.S. President. His grandson Benjamin Harrison would become President in 1889.

William Harrison: Death of a President

When Ronald Reagan was sworn in at his inaugural ceremony the temperature was a dangerous 7 degrees Fahrenheit.  The ceremony could not be held outside as it usually has been.  The parade had to be cancelled.

Inaugural Weather - National Weather Service

              Man of the People: The Walk  

Jimmy Carter started the tradition of getting out of his vehicle during his inauguration parade in 1977 He and his wife Rosalyn walked more than a mile to the White House.

CSPAN Video (Daughter Amy appears in the video of the walk as well)

                          Terrible Times

Inaugurations can take place in terrible times.

Between the time of Abraham Lincoln won his first Presidential election on Nov. 6, 1860 and his inauguration on March 4,1861 seven Deep South cotton states—South CarolinaMississippiGeorgiaFloridaAlabamaLouisiana and Texas—would secede from the Union, beginning the Civil War years. Lincoln was taking the reins of a nation that been in turmoil for years.

Because of an alleged assassination conspiracy, President Lincoln traveled to his first term inaugural in 1861 through to Baltimore, Maryland in the middle of the night on a special train in the middle of the night. He transferred from the President Street Station to the Camden Station at 3:30 a.m., before finally completing his journey in Washington. 

The First Secret Plot to Kill Lincoln

                          The Drunken Veep

Andrew Johnson intoxicated

At Lincoln’s second inaugural on March 4, 1865 the Vice President-elect Andrew Johnson was recovering from a nasty bout of typhoid fever but was thought also to be intoxicated.           

Johnson spoke in a slurred and incoherent fashion. Hannibal Hamlin had been Vice President in Lincoln’s first term.  For his second Presidential election contest Lincoln had tried to balance his ticket (list of candidates) with a Southerner and a Democrat, even though Lincoln was a Republican. The nation was still in the turbulent time of the Civil War.  

Andrew Johnson became President following President Lincoln’s assassination. Lincoln was shot by actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Booth had attended the swearing-in weeks earlier. President Lincoln died one day after the shooting. A mere forty-one days after his second inauguration. 

John Wilkes Booth at Lincoln's Inauguration

     What is the Oath the New President Takes?

The Oath of Office

"So Help Me God" and the Presidential Oath

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History of presidential inaugurations

Everything You Need to Know About Presidential Inaugurations

5 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidential Inaugurations 

Presidential Inaugurations throughout the years

Books in Logue Library based on this blog's topic..

Presidential Inauguration  - 37 eBooks  and 21 Print Books

EBSCO Database - 5,646 results for articles 

Feel free to comment on this blog.

Thank you to the following Logue Librarians with helping me with this blog:

Mary Jo Larkin, SSJ Dean of Library & Information Resources and Gail Cathey, Print Resources/ Access Services Librarian with editing and research for this blog.

Posted by J. Presley, Systems Management Librarian.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

The 25th Amendment - What you should know?


How the 25th Amendment Works

From the Constitution Center

The actual text of the Constitutional Amendment


 The 25th Amendment was ratified, Feb. 10, 1967      


Logue Library has pages dedicated to each major at CHC.  

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     Magazines (122)
     Academic Journals (119)
     News (71)
     Books (42)
     Reports (15)

Videos on this topic:

The 25th Amendment Explained: American Government Review

David Hawkings' Whiteboard: What is the 25th Amendment?

Grey Reads The 25th Amendment

What is the 25th Amendment? How Does it Work? An Animated Motion Comics Constitution Tutorial

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Thank you to the following Logue Librarians with helping me with this blog:
Mary Jo Larkin, SSJ Dean of Library & Information Resources and Gail Cathey, Print Resources / Access Services Librarian with editing and research for this blog
Posted by J. Presley, Systems Management Librarian


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Who Won ? : Messy and Mixed Up Presidential Elections and Selections of the Past


What is the Electoral College?


The Electoral College is a group of electors established by the United States Constitution. It forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the President and Vice President of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. An absolute majority of electoral votes, 270 or more is required to win the election. Voters are actually choosing which of their states electors represents them in the electoral college voting.

The Electoral College system is a matter of ongoing debate and efforts to eliminate it. Supporters argue that it is fundamental to American federalism, that increases the political influence of small states. This is because the number of electors from each state is the number of senators (two) plus the number of state Representatives. Candidates will also need to appeal to voters outside large cities. Critics say that the Electoral College is less democratic than a national direct popular vote.

According to the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, if there is a tie in the Electoral College, the new president would be decided by the House of Representatives. Each state is only given one vote, no matter how many representatives it has. The winner will be the one who wins 26 states. The House has until March 4th to rule on the results of the electoral college's vote. 

Additional Sources:

Government101 :  Electoral College          


Electoral College Fast Facts

5 Presidents Who Lost the Popular Vote But Won the Election

What Happens if There Is a Tie in the Electoral College?

Voting and Elections Click Here.

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       Thomas Jefferson                              Aaron Burr

     A constitutional flaw at that time led to the electoral crisis of 1800. During that period, there was no way the electoral college could distinguish between candidates for president and candidates for vice president. The candidate with the most votes would become President, the runner up would become Vice President. In this election there was a tie between  Jefferson and Burr. The decision was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.

     This 1800 presidential election provided Alexander Hamilton, former Secretary of the Treasury, with a dilemma: There was a tie between Thomas Jefferson whose principles were in direct opposition to Hamilton's own, and Aaron Burr who Hamilton believed to have no principles at all. Hamilton asked Jefferson for some policy promises. He then urged the Federalists in the House to vote for Jefferson. Jefferson became President and Burr Vice President. 

      Burr learned what Hamilton had done and the already existing tensions between them escalated ending in the duel that killed Hamilton in July 1804.

More about Alexander Hamilton’s Role in Aaron Burr’s Contentious Presidential Defeat

  Alexander Hamilton

In 1824 Andrew JacksonJohn Quincy AdamsHenry Clay and William Crawford were the primary contenders for the presidency. The result of the election was inconclusive. No candidate won a majority of the electoral vote. The election was sent into the U.S. House of Representatives.

Adams was elected on the first ballot. This shocked Jackson who had been the winner of a plurality of both the popular and electoral votes and expected the House to choose him. There were accusations in the newspapers that Clay had “sold” his support to Adams in exchange for a promise to name him Secretary of State.

Jackson did become President in the next election of 1828. He defeated Adams in a landslide.

Andrew Jackson: Winner and Loser in 1824

By midnight Election Day 1876, the Democratic candidate Tilden had 184 of the 185 electoral votes he needed to win, and was leading the popular vote by 250,000.

The Republicans refused to accept defeat. They accused Democratic supporters of intimidating and bribing African-American voters to prevent them from voting in three southern states, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina

To resolve the dispute, Congress set up a special electoral commission in January 1877.

The so-called Compromise of 1877 they reached put Republican Rutherford Hayes into office as President. The Democrats agreed to accept a Hayes victory and said they would respect the rights of African Americans, on the condition that Republicans withdraw all federal troops from South which had been stationed there since the end of the Civil War. 

Outraged northern Democrats referred to the new President Hayes as "His Fraudulency."

Benjamin Harrison challenged President Grover Cleveland in his reelection bid in 1888. Cleveland won more popular votes, but Harrison won in the Electoral College. When the time came to leave the White House, First LadyFrances Cleveland told the servants that they would be back in four years. Her prediction came true. Cleveland won another term in 1892 defeating Benjamin Harrison this time. Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. President to date elected for two non-consecutive terms. 

                      The U.S. Presidential Succession

History and Current Order of US Presidential Succession

U.S. Presidential Succession addresses who takes over if the President dies, is removed from office or resigns. It also covers the event, should it occur, where the President is permanently disabled and unable to serve. Also, guidelines are in place in cases where the President is temporarily disabled. There can be a temporary transfer of power to the Vice President.

Our current method of presidential succession takes its authority from: The 20th Amendment (Article II, Section 1, Clause 6) and 25th Amendment of the Constitution and The Presidential Succession Law of 1947.


Brief History and Current System of US Presidential Succession                                      

AP Explains: Transfer of Power under 25th Amendment

Here are some videos on this blog's topic..


                “My Fellow Americans Our Long National Nightmare is Over”

                                           President Gerald R. Ford  

The Watergate scandal was a political scandal in the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974 that led to Nixon's resignation.
Prior to that Vice President Spiro Agnew had resigned after pleading nolo contendere (no contest) to one count of tax evasion after being investigated for criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud during his time in office as a Baltimore County, MD. Executive, Maryland Governor and Vice President.
In December 1973, two months after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, U.S. Congressman Gerald R. Ford was appointed to the vice presidency by President Nixon. After the subsequent resignation of President Nixon in August 1974, Ford immediately assumed the presidency.

A Time to Heal: Gerald Ford’s America   

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

In this election the Supreme Court reached a controversial legal decision on Dec. 12, 2000 effecting what the election’s electoral final vote count would be.
Vice President Al Gore Jr. won the popular vote in the 2000 election against Texas Gov. George W. Bush in a very close election.  Al Gore, the Democrat, received 50,988,442 votes and George Bush, the Republican, received 50,449,494. 
However, Bush was ultimately awarded the Electoral College result and became President.

In the end bush received 271 electoral votes, one more than required 270 to win the Electoral College, and the defeat of Al Gore, who received 266 electoral votes (one elector from the District of Columbia abstained).

It had all come down to the pivotal state of Florida. This state was faced with a variety of ballot and election machine difficulties. There were old machines which used an antiquated punch card method. Pieces of paper became the infamous “hanging chads” when a hole had not been punched fully, leaving bits of paper or "chad" hanging from the poorly punched hole.
There was also “under voting” where no holes seemed to have been punched for a selection.

The "butterflyballot" used in the Palm Beach County, Florida was a ballot that had names down both sides, with a single column of punch holes in the center. This was compared to a confusing maze and named “butterfly” because of its appearance. It led to widespread allegations of mismarked ballots in that locality. Recounting and additional recounting of the recounts of the ballots continued as law suits wound their way through the courts until they reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

                                       "Hanging Chads"

"Butterfly Ballot"

Bush v. Gore was a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on December 11, 2000, and decided on December 12, 2000. The case concerned a complaint from both parties contesting certification of state results in presidential elections. The Supreme Court granted the application, treating it as a petition for writ of certiorari, and granted certiorari.( Latin for "to be more fully informed." It is an "order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case it will hear on appeal.")

In a per curiam (the court as a whole) decision, the court reversed (The action of an appellate court overturning a lower court's decision) and remanded (To return a case or claim to a lower court for additional proceeding) The judgment of the Florida Supreme Court, ruling 7-2 that the Florida Supreme Court's method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, and ruling 5-4 that no constitutional recount could be conducted in the time legally remaining to do so. The ruling allowed the previous certification of votes in Florida to stand, granting the state's 25 electoral votes and victory in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. (R)”


In brief the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, ruled five to four that the recounting in Florida must stop and the previous certification of election results awarding Florida’s electors to Republican Bush.

U.S. Reports: Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000) U.S. SupremeCourt


Argued December 11, 2000-Decided December 12, 2000

2016 was an election campaign marred by divisive rhetoric and foreign cybersecurity interference.

Businessman, reality tv personality and former casino owner Donald J. Trump defeated former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Again, the winner declared won only in the Electoral College count. Trump got 304 electoral votes and Clinton received 227 electoral votes. But this time the popular vote was not even close and Clinton won it. The popular vote was Clinton 65,853,514 and Trump 62,984,828.


"Does Your Vote Count?"

"writ of certiorari "

"How The Electoral College Works"

"How The Electoral College Works in 6 Minutes"

"History of Voter Fraud in the United States"

"Voter Fraud, Suppression and Partisanship: A look at the 1876 election"

"Election Basics"

"How Voters Decide"

"Political Campaigns"

"Presidents who lost the Popular Vote "

"The last time a losing candidate had more popular votes than Clinton was in 1876"

"The 12th Amendment Explained"


Here is a the results on the following topics in Logue Library...

Voter Fraud   

      16  results   13 eBooks  3 Print Books   
      EBSCO Database        around 12,200 results
Election Fraud                            

     32  results   26 eBooks  6 Print Books
     EBSCO Database         around 213,000 results

Presidential Elections               

       661   results  465 eBooks and 196 Print books
       EBSCO Database       around 369,000 results


       1,907  results  1,440 eBooks and 467 Print books
       EBSCO Database       around 406,000 results

Feel free to comment on this blog.

Thank you to the following Logue Librarians with helping me with this blog:
Mary Jo Larkin, SSJ Dean of Library & Information Resources and Gail Cathey, 
Print Resources / Access Services Librarian with editing and research for this blog
Posted by J. Presley, Systems Management Librarian