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Congratulations to President Barak Obama on his second inauguration to the presidency of the United States. After a lively election process, he was reelected to serve as our nation’s president.

President Obama used two bibles for his 2013 swearing-in ceremony – the one used by President Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “traveling” bible.

As the technology has evolved, so has the publication of each inauguration. President Obama’s inauguration’s was transmitted via multiple forms of media; James Polk’s reported by telegraph in 1845; James Buchannan’s photographed in 1857; William McKinley’s documented via motion picture in 1897; Harry Truman’s coverage was televised to the few households that had televisions in 1949; and Bill Clinton’s streamed live across the Internet in 1997.

Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president to be sworn in after the death of William McKinley. He was 42. John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected president to be formally inaugurated at the age of 43. Ronald Reagan was the oldest at 69 and the oldest to leave office at the age of 77.

Abraham Lincoln was the tallest and James Madison the shortest. Madison weighed only 100 pounds. William Howard Taft was the heaviest weighing in over 300 pounds.

Blood lines ran in several pairs of presidents. John Adams and John Quincy Adams were father and son as well as George H. Bush and George W. Bush. William H. Harrison and Benjamin Harrison were grandfather and grandson. James Madison and Zachary Taylor were second cousins. And Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt were fifth cousins.

Many of our recent presidents are/were left-handed including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan (who was ambidextrous), Gerald Ford, and Harry S. Truman.

President Obama is the 44th president of the United States. However, known to few Americans, there were other presidents before George Washington who held office in a limited way. They led the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation as Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled. The Articles of Confederation was an agreement among the thirteen founding states that established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states.

God bless our president and our country.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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