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Inaugural addresses of past presidents

On Friday, Donald Trump, elected the 45th president of the United States, will deliver the first speech of his presidency, the inaugural address. It’s expected to be brief, 20-25 minutes, but not the shortest ever delivered -- that record belongs to George Washington, whose second inaugural address was a mere 135 words. 

  • Scroll down for links to past inaugural addresses

It is in this address that a new president diagnoses the ills of the nation, identifies the challenges it faces, and tells the country how his presidency will meet the historical moment. Mr. Trump, in his speech plans to expand on how he’ll “make America great again,” outlining two broad goals: economic growth and security for the country. The language will be plain -- non-partisan, populist words of action -- not soaring rhetoric, CBS News’ Major Garrett says.  

It’s likely that Mr. Trump will be speaking in the rain -- another reason to refrain from speaking too long. Inclement weather did not stop William Henry Harrison from giving an extended speech. His address went on for 8,460 words, an hour and 45 minutes in a howling snowstorm, and delivered without a hat, coat or gloves. According to popular legend, this was no doubt a factor in the pneumonia he developed, which led to his death a month later (although a study in 175 years later later concluded that he died of typhoid from the tainted White House water supply, according to the New York Times). In either case, Harrison did break another record that stands today: the shortest presidency in history. 

Famous quotes from past inaugural addresses:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” -- Abraham Lincoln, Mar. 4, 1865

“[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” -- Franklin Roosevelt, Mar. 4, 1933

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” -- John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961

“In the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.” -- Ronald Reagan, Jan. 20, 1981

“Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither.” -- Teddy Roosevelt, Mar. 4, 1905

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” -- Bill Clinton, Jan. 20, 1993

Here are the televised inaugural addresses since Harry Truman’s 1949 address, beginning with the most recent:

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