Democracy's Big Day: The Inauguration of our President 1789-2009

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9780595889488: Democracy's Big Day: The Inauguration of our President 1789-2009
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Few events in the world symbolize the essence of democracy like the inauguration of a United States president. In Democracy’s Big Day, Jim Bendat paints a vivid picture of the process, traditions, quirks, and unusual events connected with this centuries-old institution.

Bendat details various parts of the inauguration day, beginning with the morning when the outgoing president has coffee with his successor, proceeding to the U.S. Capitol for the ceremony, and continuing with the afternoon parade and the Inaugural Ball in the evening. He shares historic and amusing vignettes about past presidents that illustrate how inauguration day has evolved from 1789 to the present. Finally, Bendat recounts the quiet inaugurations of nine presidents after the unexpected demise of their predecessors.

Complete with a map of the parade route and an inauguration chart from George Washington to George H.W. Bush, this concise and lively book is a remarkably comprehensive history of our nation’s fascinating inauguration festivities.

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About the Author:

Jim Bendat, a lawyer with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office since 1978, has written articles for the New Republic, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Baltimore Sun. He has been featured as an inaugural historian on major networks in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and worked as a correspondent at the last two inaugurations. A father of three, Bendat lives with his wife Marilyn.

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