The Inaugural Story by the Editors of American Heritage Magazine is a 175-page hardcover published by the American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1969. The dust jacket has some small creases and tears along the edges and general surface wear. The book has some foxing to the bottom edges of the pages. Otherwise, the pages are clean and bright.
The inauguration of a President is the high point in the four-year cycle of the American government. It is a solemn occasion; it is a gala occasion; it is a time of pomp and circumstance and the pageantry and gaiety of parades, balls, and receptions.
Yet none of this celebration and only one small bit of the ceremony is necessary to install a President. The Constitution has only one simple requirement of the President-elect: it prescribed the simple oath that he must take, in which he promises to execute faithfully the office of the President and to defend the Constitution. That is all there is to it. All else that happens on an Inauguration Day is custom and tradition, accumulated over the almost two centuries since George Washington became the first President.
Because so much of the venerable past is present at an inauguration, it is difficult to tell the story of today without often looking backward to see when and how a custom arose. For that reason, the Inaugural Book and Program Committee elected to tell the story of the events of Inauguration Day, 1969, against the backdrop of inauguration days long faded into dim memory.Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74-81000