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10 strangest Inaugural moments

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Though Inaugural events are already underway, we have yet to see if the hoopla surrounding President Barack Obama’s second swearing-in will make history as the ten others LiveScience’s Tia Ghose discovered while paging through the history books.

Darned shame we missed out on Andrew Jackson’s party; he seems like our kind of guy (party-wise if not in all his actions as president) and would have undoubtedly been a darling of the twenty-four hour media cycle, for better or for worse.

Dead birds

Ulysses S. Grant thought that canaries would add a festive touch to his inaugural ball in 1873, the beginning of his second term. Unfortunately, the 18th president failed to anticipate the cold temperatures — the morning low was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 degrees Celsius), the coldest March day on record. With wind chill, the day felt like a blustery minus 15 F to minus 30 F (minus 26 C to minus 34 C). All told, about 100 birds froze to death during Grant’s inauguration.

House party from hell

After Andrew Jackson’s inauguration in 1829, the seventh president threw an epic party at the White House straight out of an ’80s movie. Jackson was notorious for his frontier-style, “man of the people” mystique and he attracted a similarly rough crowd. The louts crashed the party, sloshed through the house in muddy shoes, broke china and ripped the curtains down. To get them to leave, the staff used a time-tested trick: Leaving a tub of whiskey on the front lawn.

Full story at LiveScience.

Humbling presidential moments.

Photo credit: Library of Congress

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