Manuscript First Person Account of 1961
Seven (7) Pages Describe Snow Storm Day
Before Inauguration, Inauguration Parade and More
This one of a kind account is
of someone who attended the 1961 Inauguration activities in Washington, D.C.
It appears to be a women from the State of New York who wrote the document in
pencil on yellow legal paper. In some places it reads like
the first draft of a news magazine record of the event. It is six and a quarter
handwritten pages with the first three pages written on both sides of the paper.The account starts with
the difficulties caused by the cold weather and big snow storm on January 19,
Eight inches of snow was dumped on the City
of Washington Jan. 19th and inaugural festivities went haywire for 24 hectic
hours before the 35th Pres. took office...the City's core was a hopeless
wallow of skidding tires, dead batteries and empty gas tanks. A tall
lanky figure trying to hitch a ride during the height of the storm seemed
vaguely familiar. So did the voice - shouting "Hey Buddy, how about a
ride?" It was Senator Kefauver.
Ex. Pres. Hoover's plane, after circling the
closed Wash. Airport several times, returned to Miami...In the middle of the
afternoon Mr. Kennedy sent his motorcade of big cars to get chains and saw
them no more that day. He switched to a smaller car.
Of the big day she writes:
Inauguration Day dawned - sunny, windy and
cold - about 20°...Undaunted by the icy winds
an estimated crowd of 1 million turned out to watch the Inaugural Parade
along the 2 3/4 mile course. The parade with 32,000 marchers, 41 floats, 72
bands, 13 drum and bugle corps and a horde of horses and mules whould have
measured 8 mi. long.
The Pres. and Pres.
elect left the White House for the Capitol at 11:31 a.m. Althou' he
arrived at the Capitol in plenty of time Kennedy was late for the ceremony.
It was 12:20, instead of noon, when the Pres. elect arrived on the
Inauguration stand. After the Marine Band played "America the Beautiful"
Cardinal Cushing of Boston pronounced the invocation followed by Marion
Anderson who sang "The Star Spangled Banner."
The manuscript has a
detailed account of the parade. Her home state is identified by this passage:
"All the Gov. of the states with their ladies rode by - including our Gov.
Rockefeller who in the a.m. had canceled trip because of strike."
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