Mighty Red Pen

January 20, 2009

Obamauguration: Forty-four Americans?

Filed under: Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 8:34 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, so I don’t really want to be too fussy because I generally thought Barack Obama’s inaugural speech was quite stirring, but this line kind of jumped out at me:

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

This seemed odd to me so I did a little research (and got by with a little help from my friends). It seems that although Obama is president #44, presidents #22 and #24 were, in fact, the same person (Grover Cleveland, whose terms are counted as two separate presidencies because they were divided by the presidency of Benjamin Harrison) and that, therefore, now only forty-three Americans have taken the presidential oath.

Now, MRP is many things to many people, but I am not a historian or a presidential scholar, so if there is anyone out there who can actually shed some light on this, please do.

In the meantime, I leave you with these words from President Obama’s speech:

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. 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.


Update 1/21: Check out commentaries on the “forty-four Americans” flub here, here, and here.


1 Comment »

  1. Maybe this is a good thing. It’s like having a new car; you dread the first ding, but it’s a relief when it happens because the waiting is over. The scrapes that follow just don’t upset you as much.

    Comment by Pamela Villars — January 21, 2009 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

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