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Inaugural Address



Inaugural Address
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.07

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    malice, whomever, lasting, kennedy, widow, presented, noteworthy, oath, originally, possibility, thus, borne, broadcast, wounds, offering, entire
     content words:    Inauguration Day, George Washington, At Federal Hall, New York City, In Philadelphia, William Henry Harrison, Franklin D., United States, World War II


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Inaugural Address
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     An inaugural address has been part of a new president's Inauguration Day from the very beginning. The first inauguration took place on April 30, 1789. Of course, the day belonged to George Washington. At Federal Hall in New York City, Washington took his oath. Then he gave his speech, the first inaugural address, before Congress. He used his words to express the awe he felt regarding his new role in the country. In Philadelphia in 1793, Washington was inaugurated once again. His speech certainly made the history books the second time. Getting right to the point, he offered the shortest inaugural speech ever. He only included 135 words!
 
2     Thus, the inaugural address tradition began! Every president since has given one. The longest inaugural speech was given by William Henry Harrison. That was back in 1841. His speech included 8,445 words. Spectators listened to him talk for one hour and forty-five minutes. On a fair weather day that might have been fine, but it was snowing. After giving such a long speech in bitter weather, Harrison died weeks later of pneumonia.
 
3     Other inaugural addresses have been noteworthy for different reasons. John Adams's speech had quite a long sentence. It had 737 words in it! Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth inaugural address was known for being quite short. That was the way he wanted it to be, though, because the United States was involved in World War II. He wanted to keep it simple.

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