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Inauguration Uh-Ohs: Food Fights, Drunk VPs, and Fire

President Obama has gone out of his way to echo Lincoln throughout the presidential transition, right down to his inauguration lunch where food the 16th president "would have enjoyed" was served. But not even Abe Lincoln's inauguration went smoothly. What could possibly go wrong? Let's look at what has at inaugurations past.

  • Andrew Jackson, the president of the people, was followed back to the White House by 20,000 well-wishers looking for ice cream, cake, and lemonade. It turned into a mob that nearly destroyed the White House and forced Jackson to exit through a back door.
  • A food fight broke out during Lincoln's inaugural supper.
  • Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's vice president, had come down with a bug on inauguration day, so he drank some whiskey to perk himself up. And then he drank some more! People held their heads in embarrassment while he rambled, drunk, through his speech.

To see the rest,


  • Someone forgot to turn on the heat at Ulysses S. Grant's inaugural ball. People tripped over one another while dancing in their overcoats, and canaries — brought in to chirp for song — froze to death.
  • At JFK's inauguration, a lectern caught on fire during the invocation. Then Vice President Lyndon Johnson tripped on the words of his oath, saying "without any mental reservation whatever."
  • Poet Robert Frost mistakenly dedicated his poem not to John F. Kennedy but to John Findlay. Who? He was a Harvard professor.

So far so good today, but a long night — 10 inaugural balls — awaits the Obamas tonight.


amybdk amybdk 8 years
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Hey, Andrew Johnson and I have the same remedy for colds and other viruses!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Food fight! That would've been fantastic!
hope2be hope2be 8 years
I like the white ball gown on Michelle. Much better than the 'lemon-grass yellow' dress she wore in the morning. :p My fiancee and I were disagreeing on that too. He just doesn't like anything she chose. As for the blunders, dude, that's awesome. Hee, a little goofs are fine. Food fight!!! :D
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Can you imagine if any of these examples happened today? A food fight?! Lemonade and cake mobs ruining the White House? No way!
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
From what I understand tax payers fund about 9 million dollars for the inauguration activities and the rest is either donated by corporations, PACs, and lobbyists (like for Bush, who got 47 million from these folks last time) or from other funding sources. Obama did not take corporate funds and used his fundraising network from the election to raise the necessary money. As for other monies needed for security etc. that comes from Washington D.C and our tax dollars. The District of Columbia and the federal governments spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, clean up and on a holiday for federal workers, according to The New York Times.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
First DaddyDarlin' this post is about previous administrations bloopers at their inaugurations - like Andrew Jackson , Lincoln, JFK. There's nothing here that says Joe Biden was drunk at the inauguration. Furthermore I've never heard of him having a drinking problem even after his first wife and child were killed in the auto accident. He did however have a very large brain aneurysm. And the brain aneurysm did cause some damage to his brain that he will never recover from, thus his behavior will always seem a little off. Much like Arlene Spector (whom I greatly respect) since his battle with a brain tumor and brain cancer he's behavior has been reported as being "off" his demeanor is not as serious as it once was. And your right the money spent on these elaborate inaugurations could be far be spent on helping the nation out of its predicament. But why would a politician/political party/machine want to do that? As stated in the piece - even Lincoln had a inauguration celebration during the Civil War and Andrew Jackson's time in office was just as critical to the nation as South Carolina was trying to secede even back then. Johnson and Nixon had inaugural galas while Vietnam was in progress as did FDR. Nothing gets between politicians and a party. Politicos throw shindigs because they think "we" Americans love a parade and a party even if we aren't all invited. Also, I believe (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) but the bill for the majority of the inauguration shindig is footed by the winning political party which uses their war-chest and donations from happy party members to fund the extravagance. The balls are funded by PACs and any entity that has enough money to fork over to rent a space with the exceptional of the official President's ball.
DaddysDarlin DaddysDarlin 8 years
I believe it is common knowledge that VP Biden has a drinking problem which causes him to say and do very inappropriate things. I think that is why he's been MIA this past while. As far as MO and what she wears and doesnt wear, I couldn't care less, there shouldn't be a 160 million dollar party financed by the American people while we are at a war, unemployment is at an all time high and people are going to bed hungry. I think it's a disgrace. During times of war the inaugurations were always downplayed, in light of the current war and economic situation, I think the money would be better spent on the American people, 160 million dollars included as a tax stimulus would be a great idea. This is how I feel about the great and powerful in our country never taking control of their spending and sticking us with the bill. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
Stella-Stylist Stella-Stylist 8 years
WOW! A drunk VP delivering a speech? Hey I guess yah gotta do what yah gotta do!! LOL!! I'm not mad at him (even though that was kind of tacky). WHATEVER!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Strapless would have looked nice but I don't think she's comfortable showing her arms. I'm sure Mr. Jason Wu is hella excited though.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
OK, so no buying outfits by Jason Wu. Thanks for the info. ;)
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Dave - I don't know about the rest of her outfits, but tonight's cream dress was, according to CNN, specially designed for her by Jason Wu.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm wondering who her fashion consultant is, because I haven't liked any of the dresses she's worn on any of the gala occasions. The election night red and black made her look pregnant, the gold dress this morning with green gloves and shoes were ok, but didn't compliment her, and the dress tonight should've been either strapless, or over both shoulders. As frilly as it was, I thought it should've had a higher neck.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Dave - I'm at my parents house tonight, and my mom and I are disagreeing on the dress, My father and I are with you, but my mom is a fan. The one shoulder style doesn't look very good on her.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Dave, Michelle body isn't really proportional. There are a lot of dresses that won't look as good on her as someone else.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Go Andrew Jackson GO! Whiskey Shooters for all Jacksonians! Jackson, "Hey South Carolina where do you think you're going? You're gonna stay in this Union you asses."
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Maybe I'm just not that into fashion, but I don't like how the dress looks on Michelle.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I just tracked down pictures of the dress, and I really like it. So much better than the yellow one. No little girl ball gowns, though :(
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I'm excited to see the dress, too. Do we get any more first-daughter fashion or are the girls in bed already?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
It is kind of a creamy color I think.
c-a-t-h c-a-t-h 8 years
I think a few goofball missteps make it all the more human :)
janneth janneth 8 years
I guess purple. Or green.
Angelica Angelica 8 years
I can't wait!
janneth janneth 8 years
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