Culture and Trends ›

Remembering Presidential Inaugurations (video)

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

A video tribute to great inaugural addresses through U.S. history.

Presidential inaugurations are a time to remember and celebrate the American tradition of a peaceful transition of power. The new President’s address can be a historic moment, when they capture in words how they view current challenges and how they plan to govern. Roosevelt encouraged people to overcome overwhelming fear. Reagan expounded upon his view that government should be limited. Lincoln made a plea for renewed friendship at the most divisive time in the country’s history. Kennedy asked the people to come together and serve their country, and Johnson stood firmly behind the movement for racial equality. We remember the past and draw upon its wisdom as we face the uncertainties of the future.