Precedented Times: American Inaugurations Re-Discovered Part 1

Stirred by duty and endowed with humility, our nation’s first President stepped to the podium on April 30th, 1789 to deliver the first inaugural address. The timeless speech that followed reveals the nobility of George Washington’s character and motivations that stand in sharp contrast with much of what passes in the political realm today. The precedence he set was one of patriotism, not partisanship; constitutionality, not re-electability; dependence not arrogance. There is so much to learn from our nation’s 1st President and his 1st Inauguration on this, the inaugural episode of Faith and Liberty Rediscovered!

Can you imagine a Presidential inauguration devoid of any reference to a political party? Can you conceive of a day where an entire nation celebrated a first-term President who had no interest in a second? What about a Presidential cabinet that was intentionally inclusive of competing coalitions of thought? Can you fathom an inauguration day that ended with the entire executive branch together, in church? What may seem like dreams were realities in April of 1789. The incredibly divisive climate surrounding the 46th Presidential inauguration compels us to look back at our nation’s 1st and see what we might learn.

Stirred by duty and endowed with humility, our nation’s first President stepped to the podium on April 30th, 1789 to deliver the first inauguration address. The timeless speech that followed reveals the nobility of George Washington’s character and motivations that stand in sharp contrast with much of what passes in the political realm today. The precedence he set was one of patriotism, not partisanship; constitutionality, not re-electability; dependence not arrogance. There is so much to learn from our nation’s 1st President and his 1st Inauguration on this, the inaugural episode of Faith and Liberty Rediscovered! Let’s dive in!

  • The Context surrounding the inauguration of our nation’s 1st President (5:47)
  • The Unique and Unanimous Election of George Washington (10:04)
  • The Precedent-setting Events of Inauguration Day, 1789 (17:37)
  • The President’s Attire (20:10)
  • The use of the Bible in Taking the Oath of Office (23:00)
  • The Executive Branch goes to Church (28:09)
  • The Great General Trembled at the Gravity of the Moment and the Office (33:40)
  • Breaking down Washington’s Timeless Speech (44:30)
  • Robust Theological Moorings (45:00)
  • Constitutional Vision (1:01:29)
  • In light of the 1st Inaugural, what advice would you give President-Elect Biden ahead of his inaugural address? (1:10:50)

Special thanks to Dr. Morrison and Dr. Den Hartog for their incredible insights today. 

Faith and Liberty Rediscovered features conversations that investigate the people behind historically significant events in American history while also exploring the direct connection between faith and liberty in America from its founding to today. All from the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center which is located in the heart of our nation’s birthplace: On Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Together, We’ll bring history to life in a fun and accessible way by leveraging relevant segments, guests, and exploring topics that allow us to discover our Nation’s history in a fresh and new format.

Faith & Liberty Rediscovered Podcast

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