A Code To Teach The Oath Of Office February 09 2010
George Washington was our nation's First President, inaugurated on April 30, 1789. On that day, he gave the United State's first ever inaugural address after taking the Oath of Office.
Washington and his fellow Founding Fathers had labored over not only the specific Presidential Oath of Office, but what a President would be and do for our country. It was an unusual job, since most rulers at the time held absolute power, being above the law of whatever land they ruled. The Founding Fathers, however, wanted the President of the United States to be a citizen of our country rather than an individual above it.
That's why the Oath of Office was carefully crafted and is quoted in Article II, Section I of the Constitution. The text of the Oath of Office is, Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The President takes the Oath of Office every year, even when re-elected, although traditionally the second inaugural address is shorter. Some other facts about the Oath of Office include:
- The shortest inaugural address was George Washington's second, at only 135 words.
- The longest inaugural address was made by William Henry Harrison, who took an hour and 45 minutes in a snow storm without a coat or hat. He came down with pneumonia and died only one month into his presidency.
- Our first two Presidents were inaugurated in New York and Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson, our third President, was the first President sworn into office in Washington D.C.
- Theodore Roosevelt was the only President to not use the Bible while saying the Oath of Office.
- During his inaugural ceremony, Dwight D. Eisenhower was lassoed by a cowboy!
In honor of President's Day, here is a special Code To The Oath Of Office, an activity that combines math and social studies to teach kids part of what the Oath of Office is all about!