Today, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the nation's 44th president in a ceremony filled with tradition. Test your knowledge of ceremonies past.
1. Of whose inaugural speech did wordsmith H.L. Mencken say: "It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it."
b. Warren G. Harding
c. Calvin Coolidge
d. Franklin D. Roosevelt
2. Which of the following bird-related inauguration incidents did not happen?
a. In 1873 at Ulysses S. Grant's second inaugural ball, temperatures were so cold that 100 canaries brought in as decoration froze to death.
b. In an effort to keep pigeons away from his open-top limousine, Richard Nixon had the inaugural committee spend $13,000 to spray Roost No More, a chemical bird repellent, along the parade route in 1973. The poison left dozens of birds dead in the streets.
c. During the traditional 21-gun howitzer salute from the Presidential Salute Battery for Ronald Reagan's second inaugural in 1985, two of the numerous white doves released moments before were accidentally shot and fell into the crowd.
3. William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural speech, at 8,445 words. A month later, he was dead of pneumonia, an illness many attributed to the bitter cold in Washington when he delivered his address at an outdoor podium. About what percentage of his time in office did Harrison spend giving his speech?
4. Match the president to the passage of the Bible on which he placed his hand while being sworn in.
__ Bill Clinton