Every four years, the United States elects a President. And every four years, that President makes a speech, outlining his goals and plans for the coming term. Presidential inaugurations are Constitutionally mandated. Inaugural speeches, however, are just a tradition, but an enduring tradition.
The tradition of inaugural speeches began with George Washington speaking to a joint session of Congress in the Senate Chamber of Federal Hall in New York City. It has continued all the way up to Barack Obama's speech on the West Front of the Capitol to a crowd that overflowed the National Mall.
Presidential historian Ian Randal Strock has compiled every one of the Presidential inaugural addresses into this volume. Also included are descriptions of the elections that brought those Presidents to office, as well as information on the various inaugural ceremonies.
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