US president’s inauguration speech not a legal requirement

January 21st, 2009 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 20 (Xinhua) Since George Washington’s first inauguration in 1789, every president has delivered an inauguration speech, although it is not a legal requirement.Washington’s second inaugural address is the shortest on record, with 135 words.

The longest inauguration speech was delivered by William Henry Harrison. It was 8,445 words long.

Harrison gave this speech outdoors in the bitter cold March 4, 1841.

One month later, he died of pneumonia, which was believed to have been brought on by his exposure to the severe cold.

The president’s inaugural message has been made available to Americans and the world via different modes of communication over time.

Warren G. Harding was the first president to deliver his speech through loudspeakers.

Calvin Coolidge’s speech was the first delivered nationally on the radio and Harry S. Truman’s the first broadcast on television.

Bill Clinton’s second inaugural address was the first one broadcast on the Internet.

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