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Inauguration

January 16, 2009

Historical snippets: From FDR's inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Franklin Roosevelt swept into Washington in the threadbare depths of the Depression, told the nation it would revive, and got to work.

The capital put on a fine show for him on March 4, 1933 — a "riot of romance," as a headline put it. Late in the day, with the throngs gone, his Cabinet already confirmed and a banking crisis in the new president's face, Eleanor Roosevelt summed up the occasion.

"It was very, very solemn, a little terrifying" she told The Associated Press, peeling off her gloves and speaking softly as she gazed outside a window from the White House. "The crowds were so tremendous. And you felt that they would do anything — if only someone would tell them what to do."

AP has been going back through history to find some of its inauguration stories as they appeared in the nation's newspapers at the time. Here are excerpts of three AP stories from the front page of the Sunday Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, March 5, 1933:

ÔÇæÔÇæÔÇæ

Roosevelt, Inaugurated, Immediately Begins Labors

By EDWARD J. DUFFY

Associated Press Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, March 4 — Franklin D. Roosevelt ascended to the Presidency today with the stringent banking situation foremost in his planning, forthwith declared "this nation asks for action and action now," and proceeded to act accordingly.

To the gala inaugural ceremonies he gave himself with the usual smiling facility. But the while, too, he was making ready for the stupendous trials impending.

Right away, he won quick confirmation for his cabinet from specially convened mid-afternoon session of the Senate, and called the members together to be sworn in by an old friend, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, after he had stood from 2:30 to 6:05 p.m. reviewing the resplendent inaugural parade.

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