Deep Fried Diaries

The insider's scoop on food, travel & southern culture

SIMONE SEZ: Inaugural Blast from the Past

Yet again, another inauguration is here. There’s a unique energy about this place as outsiders join the ranks of Washingtonians, here to witness the historical event.

082841I came across a little gem yesterday, which I found quite interesting in light of all the Inauguration buzz. It’s the official souvenir program for the 1901 Presidential Inauguration. Remember that one? Well, probably not.

On that day in March, 112 years ago, William McKinley was being sworn in for his second presidential term with Vice President Teddy Roosevelt at his side. If you flip through the pages (electronically), you’ll see black-and-white prints of DC’s most dignified buildings and monuments. Pages of cheesy advertisements separate excessive amounts of copy, extolling the city’s modern facilities. This was an all-in-one guide for visitors, complete with suggestions for accommodations and a schedule of inaugural events. Nowadays, well… there’s an app for that.

On Monday, the official Inaugural 2013 app became available for the iPhone and Android. This is the first ever ‘inaugural app,’ which will have live-streaming of ceremony footage, as well as maps of the National Mall showing restricted and unrestricted areas. Pretty incredible. Now back to the 1900’s.

About a two-thirds of the way through the program, I came across what it is I want to share. It was a section titled “The Inauguration in the Year 2001,” where the inaugural committee of 1901 had predicted what the presidential inauguration would be like 100 years from then. It was written as if they had just attended the 2001 festivities:

“The inaugural parade was thirty-six miles in length, and…those participating were carried in aeroplanes.”

“Nearly a half million people had been packed into the great glass-covered arena which fronts the east facade of the new Capitol building.”

“Four great automatic bands were placed in the corners of the space and, operated by buttons, simultaneously rendered a programme of popular music.”

(I encourage you to keep reading)

Quite interesting, and a respectable projection! Much imagination was used to expand upon cutting-edge advancements of their time. And it was perhaps just as good a guess as I could hazard for the Presidential Inauguration of 2101 (which, by the way, I think everyone will be watching in 3-D from their own portable electronic devices. Complete with olfactory features.) Feel free to quote me on that.

I like to imagine the 1901 inaugural committee attending Monday’s inauguration: No airplanes? What’s a smart phone? What’s a Beyonce?
I think they’re in for a treat.

Think your future predictions are better than mine? I’d love to hear them.

I’m Simone. And this is what simone sez…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Twitter

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: