By Debra Worley - email
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Over the years, technology has advanced enhancing monumental events in the United States, including the Presidential Inauguration. Centuries ago only people in attendance could witness the event, but now the whole world can be part of the celebration.
On April 30, 1789, the first Presidential Inauguration took place in New York City. George Washington established many precedents as he was the first to be sworn into office. It was Washington who added the words, "So help me God" at the end of his oath, who kissed the Bible, and who delivered an Inaugural address, all traditions that have been followed by future Presidents.
Up until 1845, you had to physically be at the event to witness or take part in an Inauguration ceremony. When President James Knox Polk took the oath March 4, 1845 technology slowly crept in. Polk's Inaugural ceremony was the first to be reported by telegraph. It was also the first to appear in a newspaper illustration.
It wasn't until 1857 that photographs were taken of this historical event. James Buchanan's Inauguration was the first known photographed ceremony. Forty years later, a movie camera captured President William McKinley's Inaugural address.
As the years passed by, technology evolved taking the nation by storm. March 4, 1925 the entire nation was able to hear Calvin Coolidge take the oath administered by former President William Taft. When Herbert Clark Hoover took office four years later, his Inaugural ceremony was the first to be recorded by a talking newsreel.
Harry S. Truman was fortunate enough to be a part of the first nationally televised Inauguration January 20, 1949. And 11 years ago, in 1997, politics caught up with the cyber world and Bill Clinton's ceremony could be seen anywhere in the world live via the Internet.
As January 20, 2009 approaches and Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President o f the United States, there is no telling what technology will bring. Between live streaming, mobile alerts, and twitters, everyone in the world will be able to take part of the events happening in Washington, D.C. wherever they may be.