This Day (My Fellow Citizens Edition)

Published:April 30, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe

First page of George Washington's first Inaugural Address, delivered April 30, 1789 (National Archives)

Also on this day in 1789, George Washington delivered his first Inaugural Address. A handwritten copy of page 1 can be seen above, courtesy of the National Archives.

George Washington took the Presidential oath on a second floor balcony of Federal Hall. Below, an enthusiastic crowd assembled in the streets. The President and members of Congress then retired to the Senate Chamber, where Washington delivered his first inaugural address.

Keenly aware of the momentousness of the occasion, Washington accepted the Presidency and spoke of his determination to make the American experiment a success. He humbly noted the power of the nation’s call for him to serve as President and the shared responsibility of the President and Congress to preserve “the sacred fire of liberty” and a republican form of government. You can read the transcript of this speech.

That’s really nice handwriting, by the way!