Following the Inauguration Ceremony on Monday, January 21, 2013, in which President Barack Obama was sworn into office for the second time, he embarked on a tradition more than two centuries old: the Inauguration Day Parade.
Obama took the same route charted by Thomas Jefferson in the first Inaugural Parade; it is the route that was bookended by the unfinished dome of the Capitol and the still-rising Washington Monument when Abraham Lincoln took office; the route millions of Americans watched John F. Kennedy travel in the new-fallen snow after he asked them to think anew with regard to serving their fellow man. This year’s parade features participants, floats and vehicles representing 60 groups (out of 2800 who applied), and 5000 people.
"These talented groups and organizations represent the best values and traditions of our great nation – service to others, commitment to community, and faith that every American, no matter their background, can help build our nation’s future," said announcer Charlie Brotman. "They embody the theme of this year’s Inauguration - 'Our People. Our Future'.”
The crowd was five deep lining Pennsylvania Avenue, from the start of the parade at 4th Street, until the end at 17th Street, with people waiting patiently for hours.
There is great pageantry and excitement, especially as the cars carrying President Obama and the First Lady, then the Vice President and Dr. Biden, pass. There is a specific point where the President and First Lady get out of the car and walk the route, then take their places in a viewing stand to see the rest of the parade.
2013 Inauguration by the Numbers
2,800 (est.): Applications submitted to the Joint Task Force– National Capital Region by groups requesting to march in the Inaugural Parade.
1,500: Number of portable toilets that will be on the National Mall for Monday’s ceremonial swearing-in.
54: Number of inauguration ceremonies, including this year’s celebration, held in Washington.
21: Height, in feet, of each of the five jumbotrons that will be on the National Mall for Monday’s ceremonial swearing-in.
15: Number of consecutive Inaugurals for which Charlie Brotman has announced the parade, including this year’s event.
7: Number of times the official Inauguration Day has fallen on a Sunday, including this year’s ceremony.
2: Number of times the public Inauguration date has fallen on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including this year’s celebration.
Parade Fun Facts
In 1837, President Martin Van Buren was the first president to include the equivalent of parade floats in the Inaugural procession.
In 1865, African Americans marched in the Inaugural Parade for the first time after President Lincoln’s second Inauguration.
In 1909, Helen “Nellie” Herron Taft established the precedent of riding with her husband in the Inaugural Parade.
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson was the first president to include women in his Inaugural Parade.
In 1921, President Warren Harding was the first president to take a car to his Inauguration.
In 1953, President Eisenhower’s Inaugural Parade was the largest and longest ever, although he was said to be irritated after being lassoed by a cowboy while watching from the reviewing stand.
In 1961, the Army Corps of Engineers and D.C. employees used equipment including dump trucks, plows and flamethrowers to help clear the Inaugural Parade route for President John F. Kennedy following heavy snow.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter walked the entire route from the Capitol to the White House for the Inaugural Parade.
In 1985, President Reagan’s parade was cancelled following the coldest Inauguration weather on record.
2013 PRESIDENTIAL ESCORT
Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Escort
Chief, Metropolitan Police: Cathy L. Lanier
Presidential Inauguration Committee Co-Chairs
Presidential Inauguration Committee Executive Director:
David J. Cusack
Presidential Inauguration Committee President and CEO:
Steve J. Kerrigan
Joint Task Force National Capital Region Component:
Major General Michael S. Linnington, U.S. Army (Commander of Troops); Brigadier General Gary J. Volesky, U.S. Army; Major General James A. Kessler, U.S. Marine Corps; Rear Admiral Earl L. Gay, U.S. Navy; Major General Sharon K.G. Dunbar, U.S. Air Force; Rear Admiral Sandra L. Stosz, U.S. Coast Guard; Brigadier General James P. Scanlan, U.S. Air Force
Joint Military Staff; Commander of Troops:
Captain Nicholas Stout (Army)
Captain Gregory Frankenfield (Marine Corps)
Lieutenant Andrew Jahier (Navy)
Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Marentette (Air Force)
Lieutenant Jason Himsey (Coast Guard)
Army Band “Pershing’s Own”
Army Platoon: First Lieutenant Sam Sotolongo, 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard)
Marine Corps Platoon: Captain Cory Mazza, Alpha Company, Marine Barracks
U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard
Navy Platoon: Lieutenant Antwan Jefferson, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard
Air Force Flight: Lieutenant Michael Lemorie, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard
Coast Guard Platoon: Lieutenant Junior Grade Patrick Fernandez, U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard
Fife and Drum Corps: Chief Warrant Officer Four Fredrick
Ellwein, 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard)
Commander in Chief’s Guard: Captain Gordon Barfield, 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard)
U.S. Capitol Police Escort
U.S. Capitol Police Color Guard
Chief, U.S. Capitol Police: Kim Dine
Metropolitan D.C. Police/U.S. Park Police/U.S. Secret Service
President and Mrs. Obama
Vice President and Dr. Biden
U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division
Chief, U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division: Kevin S. Simpson
Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies:
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman
Senator Harry M. Reid, Senate Majority Leader
Senator A. Lamar Alexander
Representative John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House
Representative Eric I. Cantor, House Majority Leader
Representative Nancy P. Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
U.S. Supreme Court
Mayor of the District of Columbia: Vincent C. Gray
U.S. Park Police Escort
Chief, U.S. Park Police: Teresa C. Chambers
5000 march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Inaugural Parade for President Obama and slideshow
Karen Rubin, Long Island Populist Examiner
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