“…with charity for all”?
What’s your most memorable moment from past presidential inauguration speeches?
The tradition of giving such an address began in 1789 with George Washington, who delivered his speech not in Washington but on Wall Street — on the steps of Federal Hall in downtown New York City.
The longest address was delivered in 1841 by William Henry Harrison, clocking in at almost two hours. Lesson learned: Harrison caught pneumonia from being outside speaking in the cold for so long and died a month later.
One of the shortest addresses was given by Abraham Lincoln in 1865, speaking somberly to a nation recovering from civil war: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,” he orated, “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” Lincoln was assassinated just weeks later.
In 1925, Calvin Coolidge was the first president whose address was broadcast nationally on the radio. Harry Truman’s inauguration was the first to be televised — and John F. Kennedy’s was the first to be broadcast in color.
It was that Camelot coronation, of course, that wrought, perhaps, one of the most colorful — and memorable — lines in inauguration speech history.
“And so, my fellow Americans,” Kennedy famously bellowed before the nation. “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
Watch full live coverage of the inauguration of Donald J. Trump on Jan. 20, 2017, led by Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric on Yahoo.com.