Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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FOX FACTS: Inauguration 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A look behind the scenes of Tuesday's inauguration

Friday, January 16, 2009

FOX News takes a look behind the scenes of the inauguration Tuesday of Barack Obama as president.
Inauguration Theme
  • The theme "A New Birth of Freedom" commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
  • The theme was chosen by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies in consultation with the Senate Historian's Office.
  • Inaugural themes are incorporated into the official Inaugural program, Inaugural Luncheon menu and decor.
  • Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2009 at noon on the west front of the U.S. Capitol overlooking the National monuments.
  • Obama will attend a private prayer service on the morning of his inauguration at the historic St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square.
  • Pew 54 is the President's Pew, reserved for the nation's leader.
  • After prayer service, it's traditional for the incoming and outgoing presidents to have coffee in the Blue Room in the White House.
  • After a brief meeting, the President-elect and the outgoing President will then proceed together to the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremonies.
  • The inauguration platform is located in the West Front of the Capitol.
  • The inaugural platform is constructed entirely from scratch for each inaugural ceremony.
  • The 2009 platform will be more than 10,000 square feet.
  • The platform is built entirely of lumber, to protect the surfaces of the Capitol.
  • The platform is fully ADA compliant.
  • Planning and design of the platform began more than a year ago.
Vice President's Swearing-in
  • Just before the President-elect takes the oath of office the Vice President-elect will step forward on the Inaugural platform and repeat his oath of office.
  • The present oath repeated by the Vice President of the United States, Senators, Representatives, and other government officers has been in use since 1884.
  • While tradition dictates that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court administers the oath of office to the President-elect, a variety of officials have administered the oath to Vice Presidents.
  • In 2009, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court The Honorable John Paul Stevens will administer the oath to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President's Swearing-in
  • The Constitution requires every President-elect to swear an oath before he can become President.
  • Traditionally the chief justice administers the oath to the President.
  • Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will administer the oath to President-elect Obama.
  • Chief Justice Rehnquist participated in every inauguration since becoming chief justice in 1986 through Bush's second inaugural in 2005.
  • The practice of taking oaths upon Bibles stemmed from English and American colonial history.
  • President-elect Obama plans to take the oath of office with his right hand on the same Bible used to swear in Abraham Lincoln.
  • Obama would be the first president sworn in using it since Lincoln in 1861.
  • The use of Lincoln's Bible fits the inaugural theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," a phrase Lincoln used in his Gettysburg Address that the inaugural committee selected to mark the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.
Inaugural Address
  • Obama said in an interview broadcast on Jan. 11 that he had been reading Lincoln in preparation for his inaugural address.
  • In December, the Washington Post reported that Obama told his chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, to make the inaugural address no longer than 15 or 20 minutes.
Inaugural Luncheon
  • Following the swearing-in ceremony, the President will sign his cabinet nominations and join invited guests in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the Congressional luncheon.
  • The 2009 luncheon in Statuary Hall will be attended by approximately 200 guests including the new President, Vice President, members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership.
  • The menu draws on historic ties to the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Lincoln enjoyed a far less grand meal after his inauguration in 1861. He dined at the Willard Hotel on corned-beef and cabbage and blackberry pie, according to the hotel.
Inaugural Luncheon Menu
First Course
  • Seafood Stew
  • Duckhorn Vineyards, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Second Course
  • A Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck), served with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes
  • Goldeneye, 2005 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Third Course
  • Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake and Sweet Cream Glacé
  • Korbel Natural "Special Inaugural Cuvée," California Champagne
Inaugural Parade
  • After the Inaugural Luncheon, the newly sworn President and Vice President will make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, leading a procession of ceremonial military regiments, citizens' groups, marching bands, and floats.
  • After they reach the White House, the President and First Lady, Vice President and his wife, and special guests will review the parade as it passes.
  • Security officials will count the number of spectators arriving for the inaugural parade, and when the crowd reaches capacity, they will turn people away.
  • According to the Secret Service, about 300,000 to 350,000 spectators will be allowed in the area.
  • The Presidential Inaugural Committee put 5,000 tickets, priced at $25 apiece for bleacher seats, on sale on Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. and they sold out in less than a minute.
  • The tradition of an Inaugural parade dates back to the very first Inauguration, when George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789, in New York City.
  • The early Inaugural parades primarily consisted of escorts for the President-elect to the Capitol.
  • In 1865, for Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration, blacks marched for the first time.
The Crowd
  • The city's police chief, Cathy Lanier, said Jan. 8 that authorities were anticipating 1 million to 2 million people.
  • The largest turnout the Park Service has on record is 1.2 million for Lyndon B. Johnson's inauguration.
  • 10 large screens will be broadcasting swearing-in on the National Mall.
  • There will be a minimum of 4,100 portable toilets available to the public.
  • Officials said foreign leaders are traditionally discouraged from attending inaugurations due to enormous crowds and security concerns.
  • $40 million to $45 million is the estimated cost of the 2009 inaugural parade, balls, opening ceremonies, and other expenses for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
  • The inauguration will also cost the District, Virginia, and Maryland a fair amount for security, cleanup, etc.
  • Obama will be sworn in under the tightest security ever, shielded by a new, heavily armored Cadillac limousine, bullet-resistant glass, fighter planes overhead and Secret Service SWAT teams toting automatic weapons.
  • Obama will wear bullet-resistant clothing, speak behind a protective glass shield and ride in the parade in the armored Cadillac limousine, with doors and windows so thick that he probably would survive a bomb blast, law enforcement officials said.
  • Nondescript boxes that can detect the airborne releases of chemical or biological weapons such as lethal anthrax spores will be scattered among the crowds.
  • Snipers will be positioned on rooftops and balconies along Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • 58 law-enforcement and other agencies are working on security.
  • Every one of the 240,000 people attending the actual swearing-in ceremony will be screened by walk-through or hand-held metal detectors.
"Cadillac One"
  • A new limousine, dubbed the 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine, makes its debut on Inauguration Day.
  • It has been nicknamed "the Beast."
  • Obama's new drive is a hulking, snazzed-up upgrade from previous presidential limousines, and will give him a better view of his inaugural parade than his predecessor.
  • The auto is reportedly tough enough to withstand a rocket-propelled grenade.
  • GM has exclusively built the presidential limousine since 1983.
  • Obama will use the limousine during the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue after his swearing in on the west side of the Capitol.
Inaugural Balls
  • President Obama and Vice President Biden will appear at each of this year's ten inaugural balls.
  • Tickets cost $150 to all but the Youth Ball.
  • Typically there is a cash bar and food offerings are usually minimal.
Compiled by the FOX News Brainroom.


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