GW and the inauguration: Did you know?

Correction appended

In 2005, President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush did not walk the majority of the inaugural parade route, choosing only to go on foot in the final steps to the White House, for fear of being injured by protesters staked out near the Willard Intercontinental hotel. The Metropolitan Police Department used tear gas to break up protesters after they burned American flags, threw shrubs and broke through a security fence.

The Bushes experienced similar animosity after he was elected to his first term, as an estimated 200,000 protestors came to express their opposition, including the Gore Majority, which denounced the results of the election, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Black Panthers and the Green Party.

D.C. was in lockdown mode during the 2005 inauguration, the first to take place after the Sept. 11 attacks. There were 12 security checkpoints on GW’s campus, and numerous items such as fruit and strollers were prohibited for fear that they could be used as weapons in protests.

Alumnus George Y. Coffin may have predicted Abraham Lincoln’s death before it happened. While attending the Columbian College, Coffin went to the inauguration of President Lincoln on March 4, 1865, and wrote in a journal that inauguration day, “Opened with floods of rain but about noon the clouds cleared away. Perhaps this is ominous.”

About a month after Coffin wrote the entry, Lincoln was assassinated.

Coffin’s journal can be found in Gelman Library.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

The Hatchet originally reported that George Coffin wrote a journal entry after attending Lincoln’s first inauguration in 1861. He had attended the second inauguration.

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