Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States
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Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States

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Dig deeper into American history with the inaugural addresses of U.S. presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama—explore the texts carefully designed to set the tone for each subsequent administration. Compiling each of these historical documents, this volume presents a compelling picture of the goals outlined at the beginning of each presidency. Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States allows you to study a president’s initial objectives in context of the events that followed and preceded, and gain insight into the rhetorical style and values of each president, as well as the challenges facing him. These critical pieces of presidential history not only provide a unique window into specific administrations, but also into the political, historical, and social climate of the United States throughout the years. Each address includes a photo of the president and most offer a brief introduction with historical information to provide context for the speech.

Note: Five of the 44 U.S. presidents did not give inauguration speeches, but only took the Executive Oath of Office.

Key Features

  • Presents inaugural addresses of U.S. presidents since George Washington
  • Provides a unique window into the political, historical, and social climate of the United States throughout the years
  • Includes a brief introduction with context for many of the inaugurations

Famous Quotations from Inaugural Addresses

. . . the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

—George Washington, 1789

We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans, we are all federalists.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1801

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

—Abraham Lincoln, 1865

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933

The United States and other like-minded nations find themselves directly opposed by a regime with contrary aims and a totally different concept of life.

—Harry Truman, 1949

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

—John F. Kennedy, 1961