US Presidential Inaugural Addresses

By D. A. Sharpe


United States Presidential Inaugural Speeches are an interesting and important set of addresses about which we should know. 


There have been 45 Presidents in the history of the United States.  We have the 58 Inaugural addresses of them captured here for study and review.  Many Presidents served two terms, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times.  There have been 21 Presidents elected only once, including our current President Trump for whom it remains to be seen whether he is elected a second time.  Grover Cleveland served twice, but lost the election to Benjamin Harrison after his first term.  Then he won again following HarrisonÕs one term.  


The average Presidential Inaugural address was 2,365 words.  The shortest was 154 words in George WashingtonÕs second Inaugural address (his first was 1,422).  The longest was by William Henry Harrison with 8,469 words.


Only four Inaugural addresses ever were less than 1,000 words:  Besides George WashingtonÕs 2nd address of 154 words, Franklin D. RooseveltÕs 4th Inaugural was 573 words (his other three addresses were less than 2,000 words each), Abraham LincolnÕs most spiritually impassioned address of 701 words in his second Inaugural address, and Theodore RooseveltÕs address of 986 words.  


Abraham LincolnÕs 2nd Inaugural was just as the War Between the States was about to conclude.   It was all but won finally by the United StatesÕ forces.  The nation was torn with grief, as it proved to be the wartime total of wounded and deaths of Americans on both sides of that conflict that exceeded any other military engagements this nation ever would have.  This Inauguration on March 4, 1865 proved to be a time only 41 days prior to LincolnÕs assassination on Good Friday, 1865.  The 19 previous Inaugural addresses had cited the Bible only once.  That was by John Quincy Adams.  Lincoln cited Scripture four times, invoked prayer three times and mentioned God fourteen times within those 701 words of this address.  It can be surmised as the most spiritual Presidential Inaugural address among all that we have had.


Here is the schedule of all the Presidents and links are provided to each of their addresses.  You may click on the colored address or name to see the entire address. 


George Washington

First Inaugural Address           1,422 words

Second Inaugural Address          134 words


John Adams                                         2,332 words


Thomas Jefferson

First Inaugural Address           1,724 words

Second Inaugural Address       2,172 words

James Madison

First Inaugural Address            1,182 words

Second Inaugural Address        1,220 words


James Monroe

First Inaugural Address             3,391 words

Second Inaugural Address        4,487 words


John Quincy Adams                              2,921 words


Andrew Jackson

First Inaugural Address             1,137 words

Second Inaugural Address         1,082 words


Martin Van Buren                                  3,910 words


William Henry Harrison                        8,469 words


James Knox Polk                                   4,829 words



Zachary Taylor                                     1,098 words


Franklin Pierce                                      3,347 words


James Buchanan                                    2,844 words


Abraham Lincoln

First Inaugural Address             3,699 words

Second Inaugural Address            701 words


Ulysses S. Grant

First Inaugural Address             1,141 words

Second Inaugural Address         1,354 words


Rutherford B. Hayes                              2,507 words


James A. Garfield                                  3,013 words


Grover Cleveland: (First Inaugural)      1,699 words


Benjamin Harrison                                 4,421 words                     


Grover Cleveland: (Second Inaugural)  2,039 words



William McKinley

First Inaugural Address              3,982 words

Second Inaugural Address          2,238 words


Theodore Roosevelt                                  986 words


William Howard Taft                              5,470 words


Woodrow Wilson

First Inaugural Address               1,709 words

Second Inaugural Address           1,545 words


Warren G. Harding                                  3,359 words


Calvin Coolidge                                       4,078 words


Herbert Hoover                                        3,783 words


Franklin D. Roosevelt

First Inaugural Address                1,905 words

Second Inaugural Address            1,844 words

Third Inaugural Address               1,379 words

Fourth Inaugural Address                573 words


Harry S. Truman                                        2,343 words


Dwight D. Eisenhower

First Inaugural Address                  2,507 words

Second Inaugural Address              1,698 words


John F. Kennedy                                         1,392 words


Lyndon Baines Johnson                              1,525 words


Richard Milhous Nixon

First Inaugural Address                  2,199 words

Second Inaugural Address              1,852 words


Jimmy Carter                                               1,253 words


Ronald Reagan

First Inaugural Address                   2,471 words

Second Inaugural Address               2,607 words




George Bush                                                2,344 words


Bill Clinton

First Inaugural Address                   1,626 words

Second Inaugural Address               2,190 words


George W. Bush

First Inaugural Address                   1,633 words

Second Inaugural Address               2,105 words


Barack Obama

First Inaugural Address                   2,426 words

Second Inaugural Address               2,120 words


Donald J. Trump                                          1,487 words



Seventeen of these Presidents have genealogical cousin relationships to my family line.  Anybody interested in a chart showing the relationship may Click Here  

My hope and desire is that people may reflect over the words our Presidents have chosen to address our citizenry over the years of our Democratic Republic, a nation of free men and women, a place where we all are free to worship as we understand GodÕs hand in our lives.


Below are Suzanne and me at the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Ball at the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C. It is called, appropriately, the Texas Black Tie & Boots Ball (we all wear formal Black Tie appearal with cowboy boots & hats).


Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe

805 Derting Road East

Aurora, TX 76078-3712


C:        817-504-6508