The presidential inauguration is a hallmark event for students, but this year most of GW – let alone the entire country – won’t witness the event firsthand.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased military presence after a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated in front of a limited crowd. The University also closed all offices and COVID-19 testing sites this week as the threat of violence from rioters remains, and the Foggy Bottom Campus is marked as a “green zone” restricted to residential students and businesses.
In lieu of a typical inauguration ceremony, The Hatchet dug through nearly a century of archives documenting past events. The earliest front page coverage of a presidential inauguration from The Hatchet was in 1929, when a former Board of Trustees member appeared on radio to discuss then-President Herbert Hoover’s ceremony. Some front pages, like ones for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957, aren’t available in The Hatchet’s online database.
GW started to incorporate its own celebratory activities over the years – in 1949, GW held a parade honoring the day, and in 1993, the University hosted 1,300 people for its first-ever Inaugural Ball. Other issues presented more tense days, like antiwar protests at then-President Richard Nixon’s second inauguration and demonstrations over Trump’s elect.
Click on a front page to read more about each inauguration ceremony.
This article appeared in the January 19, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.