Name: __________________________________________ Hour: _______________

Inauguration Style - Dresses of the First Ladies

Using the links provided, detail the history of the Inaugural style of the

“Mistresses of the White House”.

Part One:  Video (C-Span) -

  1. Where do you find the permanent exhibit on the fashion of the First Ladies?

2.    What does it mean when the curator says the dresses are “not chronological”?

3.   Which first lady set the tradition of donating her inaugural gown?

4.  Why did Edith Roosevelt decide against donating her gown?

5.  Who is considered the first “socially successful” First Lady”?

6.  Why did Eleanor Roosevelt have a less formal, more plain dress?

Part Two:  Interactive Exhibit, Smithsonian Museum

7.  Which First Lady allowed her husband to shop for her and popularized the color red?

8.  Which First Lady prefered the color black and shopped for most of her dresses in Paris?

9.  Why was Caroline Harrison considered a “sensible exemplar for American Women”?

10.  Which First Lady married her husband in the White House?

11.  Which First Lady (and Missouri native) wore a dress made of cloth that was gifted to her by the Emperor of China?  

Part Three - History of the Gown

12.  Why was Abraham Lincoln bothered by his wife’s choice in clothing?

13.  Why did Caroline Harrison want Burr Oaks embroidered in her dress?

14.  What item did Ida McKinley craft to hand out to Veterans, orphans and friends?

15.  Which First Lady (and Missouri native) was the first to hire an “Official Dress Designer of the White House”?

16.  Why was Rosalynn Carter’s dress much discussed?

17.  How many hours did it take for workers to hand bead the dress of Nancy Reagan?

18.  Why do you think Laura Bush chose a dress designer from Texas?

Review and Reflect:

19.  Which dress do you feel was the most appropriate for its time and why?

21.  Why is being First Lady an important job?

Name: ________________________________________                         Hour: ______________

Weather History of the Inauguration

Directions:  Answer the following questions using the data provided.  (Link from Washington Post)

  1. Which President had the warmest weather for his inauguration?

2.  Name three Presidents that had snowfall on their inauguration day.  

3.  Despite a temperature of about 28 degrees, which President walked in his inauguration parade?

4.  What is the average high temperature for Washington DC in January?

5.  In which two months did the coldest inaugurations take place?

6.  Which political party has typically seen warmer temperatures over the course of time?

7.  Which President had the most rainfall during an inauguration?

8.  In what month did the snowiest inauguration take place?

9.  Why is it difficult to find weather data prior to 1871?

10.  What happened after President Harrison delivered a one hour and 40 minute speech in 20 degree weather?

Using the data provided by the national weather service, create a bar graph plotting the temperatures of past inauguration days.  First, you will need to put them in chronological order.





















Draw your bar graph below (using the data above)

Name: _____________________________________________ Hour: ____________

Inauguration Trivia and Noteable Events

Directions:  Using the website provided by the Library of Congress, hunt down the answers to Inauguration Trivia.


  1. Who was the first president to be inaugurated on January 20?

  1. Who was the first president to be inaugurated at the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.?

  1. Who was the first president to take the Oath of Office in the White House?

  1. Who was the first president to ride in a car to and from his inaugural ceremony?

  1. Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on television?

  1. Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast live on the Internet?

  1. Who was the first president to wear long pants for his swearing-in ceremony?

  1. Which president's inauguration is believed to have been the first one photographed?

  1. Who was the first president to have his inauguration broadcast on radio?

  1. Who was the first president to take the Oath of Office outdoors in Washington, D.C.?

11.  Who had the largest audience?

12.  Who used no Bible at his inauguration?

13.  Who had the warmest inauguration day?

14.  Who was the first to walk to and from his inauguration?

15.  Who took the oath of office in August?

16.  What firsts did George HW Bush have?

17.  Who took the oath of office aboard Air Force One?

Name: ______________________________________________ Hour: ________________

Inauguration Speeches (the Good, the Bad and the Forgettable)

Directions:  Using the links provided, read or listen to the speeches and complete the questions to follow.  

Section One:  #bestspeechesever

  1. Why was the first inaugural address of George Washington so important?

2.   What did Franklin Roosevelt mean by, “the only thing you have to fear is fear yourself”?

3.  What was Abraham Lincoln trying to accomplish with his 1861 inaugural address?

4.  How could we relate the words of Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address to politics today?

Section Two: #worstspeechever

5.  Why was William Henry Harrison’s speech considered one of the worst of all time?

7.  What did James Buchanan discuss in his 1857 speech that makes it one of the worst and why is it a big deal as we look back?

Section Three:  #youpickem  Using this link, choose the inaugural address quote you feel is the best.  Explain your choice in at least two complete sentences.



Section Four:  #wordsmatter  This link will provide you with the most used words in each inaugural address.  Choose 3 Presidents.  Identify their top five words.  Explain why they mattered at that time in history.



Why They Mattered

Name: _________________________________________________ Hour: __________

Presidential Education and Ages

Part One:  Education  

Use the links provided to answer the following questions about the educational background.

  1. How many Presidents attended William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia?  

2.  Why do you think William and Mary was a popular school for early Presidents?

3.  Who is the most recent President without a post secondary degree (Masters, JD, Doctoral)?

4.  Who was the last President to not attend college?  What year was he President?

5.  How many Presidents have earned a law Degree?

6.  Why would a law degree be beneficial for a President?

7.  Do you think that a President should be required to attend college?  Why or why not? (three sentence requirement)

8.  Which two Presidents on Mount Rushmore did not graduate from a University?

9.  Who is the only President to have earned a doctorate?  What was a previous job?

Part Two:  Age  

Directions:  Using the link provided, answer the following questions about the ages of the Presidents.

10.  Who was the youngest President to ever assume the office?

11.  Who is the oldest President to ever assume office?  (hint - it’s not on the link.  Think about it)

12.  What is the most common age for someone to become President?

13.  How old was Barack Obama when he became President?  

15.  Do you think age matters when running for President?  Why or why not?  (minimum of 3 sentences)

In the space below, choose FIVE Presidents scattered throughout time and create a bar graph to display their ages.  

Name: ___________________________________________________ Date: __________

Presidential Poetry

Directions:  Using the links provided, answers the questions about Presidential Poetry.  At the end, you will create your own acrostic poem about the hope for the next administration.

Background article:

Earliest Poem:

Barack Obama Poem:

Bill Clinton Poem:

John Kennedy Poem:

  1. Who was the first President to invite a poet to the inauguration?

2.  Why did Kennedy say he was hesitant to invite a poet to the ceremony?

3.   What do you think is the message relayed in the poem, Praise Song By The Day by Elizabeth Alexander?  

4.  In looking at the 1865 Inauguration poem, what historical event is the 6th stanza talking about?  (begins with “for days, for months, for lingering years”).  How do you know what event it is referring to?

5.  What do you feel is the message in the Inauguration poem by Maya Angelou in 1993?

6.  What do you think is meant by the quote, “the land was ours before we were the lands” in the 1961 Inaugural poem  “The Gift Outright”?

In the space below, create an acrostic poem using the word, “Inauguration”.  Included within will be your hopes and dreams for the next administration.

I _________________________