Tomorrow is Inauguration Day in the USA, when Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States. This video from USA Today looks at the history and traditions behind Inauguration Day. See below for a LearnClick quiz.
1. You can use the transcript below to create other activities (gap-fill, comprehension questions, etc.)
2. Compare the American way of saying dates with the British way (see here and here for more on this).
3. Freeze the video and see if the students can identify the various presidents.
• Your Guide to Inauguration Day 2017 (New York Times)
• Everything you need to know about Trump's inauguration, weekend protests (CNN Politics)
The president-elect doesn't officially become the president until the clock strikes noon on January 20th, Inauguration Day, which officially kicks off the new four-year term of POTUS, and occurs even when the president is re-elected for a second term. It all started April 30th, 1789, with George Washington. He established the tradition of placing the right hand on the bible before swearing into office. Only three presidents have opted out: Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy, and Franklin Pierce. Adams, in particular, placed his hand on a book of U.S. laws to acknowledge the barrier between Church and State, along with his loyalty to the nation's laws above all else. Most inaugural ceremonies were held outside the Capitol building. Some exceptions were: in 1909, William Howard Taft was sworn in the day after a blizzard that dumped nearly ten inches of snow, and Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985 with wind chills colder than 20 degrees below zero. Before 1937, Inauguration Day was typically held on March 4th, but when the 20th Amendment was ratified, the date changed. So, what happens at the Inauguration? A Supreme Court justice traditionally swears in the vice president. He swears to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and to carry out the duties of the office. The band then plays the song "Hail Columbia", which was composed for George Washington's Inauguration. At noon, the new president takes his oath. He swears that he "will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States". The band plays "Hail to the Chief", followed by a 21-gun salute. The new president gives his inaugural address, which will set the tone for the next four years. There are two other big events that take place during Inauguration Day: the parade and the ball, which James Madison and his wife started. During the ball, the former president's belongings are removed and the new president's furnishings are officially moved in, bringing an end to the day's festivities.