Everyone loves a parade, especially an inaugural parade. And everyone loves quizzes, so...
Test your trivia, like which outgoing-incoming Presidents had the most hostile car ride from the White House to the Capitol? You'll have to vote on that one (see below).
Here're Q&A's, compiled from Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Library's online exhibit of inaugural materials, "I Do Solemly Swear", and many books.
Who had the first inaugural procession, and where?
When George Washington journeyed from his home Mount Vernon in Virginia to New York City to be inaugurated on April 30, 1789, local militias along the way joined his procession. In NYC, members of the Continental Army, Congress, government officials, and prominent citizens escorted Washington to Federal Hall for his swearing-in ceremony.
Who was the first President to have his inauguration and parade in Washington?
Thomas Jefferson's first inauguration, in 1801, was the first in Washington. When he walked from his boardinghouse to the Capitol nearby, he was accompanied by an Alexandria, Virginia company of riflemen, friends, and fellow citizens.
Was Pennsylvania Avenue always the parade route in Washington?
Nope. Jefferson used New Jersey Avenue instead of Pennsylvania Avenue because Penn. Ave. was still too much of a "Serbonian bog" in 1801, according to "American Places: Encounters with History" (Oxford University Press) by William E. Leuchtenberg.
But Jefferson had that bog paved, and predicted "The Grand Avenue connecting both the palace (later known as the White House) and the federal House (the Capitol building) will be most significant and most convenient." He rode in a carriage along Pennsylvania Avenue for his second swearing-in in 1805. And Jefferson changed the name "President's Palace" to the "President's House."
Which was the first to have music?
Jefferson's second inaugural procession from the Capitol to the newly renamed "President's House" was the first. The Marine Band performed military music, and has played at every Presidential Inauguration since 1805.
When was the first organized parade?
For James Madison's 1809 inauguration, a troop of cavalry from Georgetown escorted him to the Capitol. After taking the oath of office, Madison sat in review of nine companies of militia.
First big, colorful parade?
President William Henry Harrison's inauguration in 1841. Log cabin floats represented his "log cabin and hard cider" campaign. One such float was drawn by six white horses, plus Harrison’s horse "Old Whitey", according to "Presidential Inaugurations" (Harcourt) by Paul F. Boller, Jr.
(Lincoln's first inaugural parade in 1861 had a float with 34 young women representing each of the states -- even the states that had seceded.)
First with security?
Lincoln's first. Security included double files of cavalry, a company of sappers and miners in front of Lincoln’s carriage and infantry and riflemen following behind carriage. Riflemen at roofs and windows of buildings along the parade route, and soldiers along nearby streets...
A first-hand account of Lincoln's second inauguration in 1865 tells of stopping John Wilkes Booth from rushing the President during the procession. The account, in a letter by Benjamin Brown French, is at the Library of Congress. One month and ten days later, Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, just steps away from the parade route.
First with African Americans participating?
Lincoln's second, in 1865. Four companies of African-American troops, a lodge of African-American Odd Fellows, and African-American Masons joined the processions to and from the Capitol.
First with Native Americans participating?
Six Indian chiefs, including Geronimo, rode horseback in Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 inauguration parade. A photo exhibit, "A Century Ago: They Came as Sovereign Leaders", at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, continues through Feb. 25.
First First Lady to accompany her husband from the Capitol to the White House?
Helen Taft accompanied President William H. Taft in 1909. She wrote in her memoirs, "I had my way, and in spite of protests took my place at my husband's side...Perhaps I had a little secret elation in thinking I was doing something no woman had ever done before."
First with women marching?
Women first participated in the inaugural parade in 1917, at Woodrow Wilson's second inauguration. Three and a half years later, women could finally march into polling booths to cast ballots. The 19th amendment giving women the vote was ratified in 1920.
Most acrimonious outgoing-incoming Presidential ride?
Hot competition for that. Among the many, "American Places" chooses the Hoover-FDR ride in 1933, and the Truman-Eisenhower ride in 1953:
A "ponderously glum Hoover" refused all of FDR's efforts to make small talk. "FDR later told his secretary Grace Tully, 'Spinach! Protocol or no protocol, someone had to do something. The two of us simply couldn’t sit there on our hands, ignoring each other and everybody else.' So I began to wave my own response with my top hat and kept waving it until I got to the inauguration stand and was sworn in."
Before the 1953 Ike-Truman ride share, Ike had told aides he wondered "'if I can stand sitting next to the guy.' He refused to meet Truman in the White House, as protocol dictated, forcing the president to go out front to join him in the car."
What was the largest parade?
"The largest parade, with 73 bands, 59 floats, horses, elephants, and civilian and military vehicles, and lasting 4 hours and 32 minutes, occurred in 1953 at President Eisenhower's first inauguration. Today, the limit is set at 15,000 participants," the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies noted.
Unlike Harrison's horse "Old Whitey", Eisenhower's horse Doodle De Doo did not participate in the inaugural parade. Doodle De Doo stayed back on Eisenhower's farm in Gettysburg, Penn.
First in which a President was lassoed?
Ike again. A cowboy Montie Montana -- with permission from the Secret Service -- lassoed Eisenhower in the reviewing stand. Ike smiled but was not pleased, according to "Mandate for Change, 1953-1956: The White House Years" by Dwight D. Eisenhower (Doubleday).
First and only first pet to sit in reviewing stand?
Lyndon Johnson put his beagle "Him" in a chair in the reviewing stand in 1965. But he (Him) was whisked away quickly. No Bo, or any other Presidential pet, has had that honor.
First President and First Lady to walk?
"In 1977, Jimmy Carter started a tradition that has now become one of the most anticipated events on Inauguration Day," the National Archives says.
"Only the Secret Service had been notified of Carter’s decision to break with tradition, and at first, parade viewers thought the car had broken down," the Archives adds. "Nine-year-old Amy Carter joined her parents for part of the parade route, jumping and skipping along Pennsylvania Avenue in her excitement."
The first in decades without protests?
Obama's 2009 inaugural was the first in decades to be free of protests, security officials said afterward. Protests had lined the inaugural route for both of President George W. Bush's inaugurations. In 2005, most demonstrators focused on the Iraq War. In 2001, the majority focused on the controversy over the 2000 election, in which Vice President Al Gore had won the popular vote.
First(s) or not, President Obama's second inaugural parade was an enormous hit. And nobody, no, nobody rained on the parade.
For more info: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Library's online exhibit of inaugural materials, "I Do Solemly Swear", and books including "Presidential Campaign Posters: Two Hundred Years of Election Art" (Library of Congress/Quirk Books). "Presidential Inaugurations" (Harcourt), "Presidential Anecdotes" (Oxford University Press), and "Essays on the Presidents: Principles and Politics" (TCU Press) by Paul F. Boller, Jr., former Texas Christian University history professor. "The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia" (Pelican Publishing Co.) by J. Stephen Lang.