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Inauguration speeches tell US history

Text by Mary MAC CARTHY

Latest update : 2009-01-20

Here's a look back at some of the most famous inauguration ceremonies and speeches in US history.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933:

It was a day of celebration in Washington, even though the country had been in a deep depression for the past three years. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," said the new president, announcing his determination to pull the country out of the crisis.

John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961:

Snow had fallen all night, making many people late to the inauguration ceremony. JFK was, at 43, the youngest president ever elected to lead the United States.

His speech was short, but quickly entered the annals of history.

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993

Clinton's election brought an end to a 12-year reign of Republican presidents. Speaking without notes, he promised to usher in an era of renewal and a return to the American dream for citizens from all walks of life.

George W. Bush, 2001:

Freezing rain and small crowds came out for George Walker Bush's inauguration in 2001.

After a 36-day battle over a vote recount in Florida, amid allegations of a stolen election, the 43rd president of the United States made a call for unity.

Barack Obama, 2009:

Given the historic nature of Obama's election, this year's inauguration celebrations have already drawn bigger crowds to Washington than any in recent history.

Date created : 2009-01-20