Inaugural address

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The Inaugural Address is the speech by an elected American President just after he is sworn into office on January 20th by the Chief Justice. The Twentieth Amendment advanced the date for the new president to take office from March 4th to January 20th, in order to reduce the lame duck period.

Here are some notable quotes from past Inaugural Addresses:

President Abraham Lincoln (1865): “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

President Theodore Roosevelt (1905): "Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with other nations of the earth, and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities."

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933): "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

President Harry S Truman (1949): "The American people stand firm in the faith which has inspired this Nation from the beginning. We believe that all men have a right to equal justice under law and equal opportunity to share in the common good."

President Dwight Eisenhower (1953): "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

President John F. Kennedy (1961): "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."

President Lyndon B. Johnson (1965): "The judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored."

President Richard M. Nixon (1973): "A person can be expected to act responsibly only if he has responsibility. This is human nature. So let us encourage individuals at home and nations abroad to do more for themselves, to decide more for themselves. Let us locate responsibility in more places.”

President Ronald Reagan (1981): "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

President George H.W. Bush (1989): "I have just repeated word for word the oath taken by George Washington 200 years ago, and the Bible on which I place my hand is the Bible on which he placed his."

President Bill Clinton (1993): "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America."

President George W. Bush (2001): "America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens."

President Barack Obama (2009): "Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

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