Lengths of Inaugural Addresses William Henry Harrison delivered the longest inauguration address, at 8,460 words, in one hour and 45 minutes. This was 3,000 words longer than Taft's, who came in second. At 135 words, George Washington's second inaugural address was the shortest. It was over in less than two minutes.
He delivered his speech on March 5, 1841, just three days after being inaugurated as president. He had been elected to a single six-year term but decided to run for another before he completed his first term. He died before he could be re-elected.
During World War II, when energy resources were limited, the length of inaugural addresses was reduced. The longest today is by Barack Obama at 1,788 words. The shortest is by Donald Trump at 1,047 words.
In addition to the length of their speeches, inaugural speakers have also tended to be more formal or less formal depending on the occasion. William Henry Harrison used no fewer than seven different language styles in his single inaugural address, proving yet again that one man can contain many different voices. Today, most inaugural speakers use only one language style throughout their speeches.
The first official inauguration ball was held following Harrison's death. It was organized by his daughter-in-law Mary Ann Harrison (née Scott) to celebrate the end of what she called "this dreadful mourning period."
Inaugural Address Lengths Rank # President Year Length in Words 1 9 William Henry Harrison 1841 - 8,460 2 27 William H. Taft in 1909, 5,434; 3; James K. Polk in 1845, 4,809; 4; James Monroe in 1821, 4,472; 5; James Monroe in 1821, 4,472;
It was the shortest presidential tenure in history. In 1793, George Washington delivered the shortest Inaugural Address, with only 135 words.
Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address in history, clocking in at 8,445 words. It took him just over an hour to deliver it.
He began by thanking members of the United States Congress for their service and warned that "the world is looking on" as America enters a new era. Then he turned his attention to other nations, urging them to seek peace and prosperity through cooperation rather than conflict.
Harrison also said that America was not prepared for global leadership and asked those present at Inauguration Day ceremonies around the country to pray for the president-elect.
In conclusion, Harrison praised American values including freedom, equality before law, and religious liberty. He called on Americans to hold these values dear and said that they should be "the beacon lights that guide us through darkness and into light."
This speech has been considered a great success because it made Harrison's message heard by both citizens and leaders abroad. His warning about America's isolationism also proved to be accurate, as subsequent events would prove.
After Harrison's death in 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt delivered another Inaugural Address, this time for Harrison's successor, William Howard Taft.
The longest sentence of John Adams' inaugural address, which totaled 2,308 words, was 727 words long, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. The second longest sentence was 596 words by William Henry Harrison when he became president after Benjamin Harrison had been elected but died before taking office.
The shortest sentence in an inaugural address was 446 words by Martin Van Buren. He is also known for having introduced the concept of executive privilege during his presidency.
Including the inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln's total speech time was two hours and 52 minutes. The most recent president to deliver an inaugural address was Barack Obama who delivered his first address on January 20, 2009. He finished it off with a strong message of hope and change for our country.
Obama chose to focus on the need for Americans to come together and find common ground while avoiding specific policies or programs. He encouraged people to get involved in their communities through service projects and public meetings, arguing that only then will we be able to make real progress toward solving our nation's problems.
Lincoln's speech set the tone for how presidents should act while in office. It is important that leaders inspire people to work together towards a common goal.
On March 4, 1793, he was sworn in for the second time in the Senate chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Washington delivered the shortest inaugural address in history, only 135 words long, before reciting the oath of office. Since Washington, every president has given an inauguration address. They are required by law to be delivered on the first Monday after January 20 during the First Day session of their term.
In addition to being short, Washington's speech included many examples that today are considered standard language for an inaugural address: about the nation, the role of government, freedom and liberty. It also included this memorable line: "And therefore, one and all, let us cherish those qualities which distinguish a man among men - courage, virtue, honor, truth, justice - lest we lose site of that great principle for which they fought."
After Washington, each subsequent president has increased his or her remarks to about 200 words. The longest ever was that of Lyndon B. Johnson, who delivered his address in January 1969. He discussed issues such as war and peace, civil rights, poverty, immigration and environmental protection. Johnson is also remembered for saying, "I am here to tell you that I do not plan to run for reelection in 1972." He then dropped out of the race before it began.
The average length of inauguration addresses has decreased over time. Washington's address was published in full in newspapers across America.
Today, we Americans, together with our friends, are in the midst of a tremendous test. It is a test of our bravery, our commitment, our wisdom, and our fundamental democracy.
The second-shortest inaugural address in American history ended after only 558 words. Only George Washington's 135-word second inauguration address was shorter. The entire ceremony lasted about 15 minutes. "Dog catchers have accepted office with greater pomp and ceremony," said Mike Reilly, Roosevelt's Secret Service head.