Tags: obama | holds | inaugural | balls

Obama Holding 2 Inaugural Balls, Least in 60 Years

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 05:21 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

With his nation under financial strain, President Barack Obama is restricting the inaugural balls to the lowest number in 60 years, with just two official parties plus a concert honoring military families.

The subdued celebration revealed Thursday is a big cut in reveling from the 10 balls Obama attended four years ago. Planners say the austerity in festivities is a reflection of tough economic times and an effort to minimize the burden on law enforcement, other security personnel and Washington residents.

Both balls are being planned at the Washington Convention Center on Monday, Jan. 21, the evening of Obama's public inauguration at the Capitol on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Under the Constitution, the president's second term begins Jan. 20 at noon, but he'll be sworn in privately at the White House — with limited media coverage — since inaugural celebrations traditionally aren't held on Sundays.

Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

One party will be the Commander In Chief's Ball, a tradition started by President George W. Bush for members of the Armed Forces. Tickets will be free for invited guests, including active duty and reserve service members, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors, among others, with troops overseas participating via video. The other ball is simply being called the Inaugural Ball, and some tickets will be available to the public.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is putting on the parties with donated funds, has yet to announce ticket information or details on talent that will perform at the celebrations. The president and first lady plan to attend both official balls, per tradition. Several other unofficial balls are being planned across Washington during inaugural weekend, giving Obama's supporters plenty of opportunity to celebrate albeit without their president in attendance.

The inaugural committee also is planning a children's concert on Sunday, Jan. 19, hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, as part of their ongoing effort to support military families. The concert, also being held at the convention center, will honor children and spouses of those serving in the Armed Forces and feature popular young artists to be announced.

Inaugural organizers are expecting a drop in attendance for the whole inaugural affair this year compared with 2009, when a record 1.8 million packed the National Mall to see the first black president sworn into office.

But in recent times, presidents have tended to increase the celebration to kick off a second term. Bush went from eight balls in 2001 to nine in 2005, although he openly loathed the public display of dancing that is traditional for the first couple and sped through the parties in drop-by fashion.

President Bill Clinton went from 11 balls in 1993 to a record 14 in 1997.

The tradition has its roots with the country's first inauguration in 1789, when sponsors held a ball in George Washington's honor a week after he was sworn into office in New York City. The first official inaugural ball was 20 years later, when James Madison's wife, Dolley, hosted a $4-per-ticket hotel gala for 400 guests.

President Jimmy Carter attempted to strip the balls of their glitz and glamour post-Watergate in 1977, calling his seven "parties" and charging no more than $25 each. And there is earlier precedent for avoiding an elaborate celebration, with Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Pierce and Warren Harding requesting no balls at all.

Editor's Note: 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

President Harry Truman revived the official ball in 1949, and organizers for President Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration in 1953 added a second event due to great demand for tickets. Eisenhower doubled the celebration to four balls in 1957.

According to the Senate historian, no president since Eisenhower has had as few as two official inaugural parties.

Until now.

 


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

School Cancels 'Nutcracker' Trip, Quickly Reverses

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 23:14 PM

A Massachusetts school has reversed its plan to cancel its annual trip to see The Nutcracker over parental concerns th . . .

Texas Army Base on Lockdown After Suspicious Vehicle Found

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 21:58 PM

A lockdown was ordered at a U.S. Army base in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday evening in what a military spokesman describ . . .

Man Who Ambushed Cops Had Anti-Government Beliefs

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 18:36 PM

A Florida man who set his house on fire and ambushed responding police officers held anti-government, anti-establishmen . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved