American Minute with Bill Federer MAR. 4 - Inaugural Warnings
American Minute with Bill Federer
MAR. 4 - Inaugural Warnings
MARCH 4th was Presidential Inauguration day from 1793 till 1933, when it was changes by the 20th Amendment to January 20th.
Many Presidents gave warnings in their Inaugural Addresses.
JAMES MONROE, MARCH 4, 1817, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"It is only when the people become
ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they
are incapable of exercising the sovereignty.
Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.
The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin."
FRANKLIN PIERCE, MARCH 4, 1853, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"The dangers of a concentration of all
power in the General government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too
obvious to be disregarded.
You have a right...to expect your agents
in every department to regard strictly the limits imposed upon them by
Liberty rests upon a proper distribution of power between the State and Federal authorities."
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, MARCH 4, 1861, 1ST INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"The candid citizen must confess that if
the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole
people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the
instant they are made...
the people will have ceased to be their
own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government
into the hands of the eminent tribunal."
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, MARCH 4, 1905, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"If we fail, the cause of free
self-government throughout the world will rock to its foundations, and
therefore our responsibility is heavy, to ourselves, to the world as it
is today, and to the generations yet unborn."
JOHN F. KENNEDY, JANUARY 20, 1961, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"The same revolutionary beliefs for which
our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - The belief
that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but
from the hand of God."
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, MARCH 4, 1825, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain."
ANDREW JACKSON, MARCH 4, 1829, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"As long as our Government...secures to us
the rights of person and of property, liberty of conscience and of the
press, it will be worth defending."
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, JANUARY 20, 1965, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"We have no promise from God that our
greatness will endure... If we fail now, we shall have forgotten...that
the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored."
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, MARCH 4, 1865, 2ND INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the Judgments of the Lord are true and righteous.'"
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, MARCH 4, 1841, INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
"I too well understand the dangerous temptations...
as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been
granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in one of the
departments.... particularly...the Executive branch...
tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when exercised by a
single individual...would terminate in virtual monarchy...
long as the love of power is a dominant passion of the human bosom, and
as long as the understanding of men can be warped and their affections
changed by operations upon their passions and prejudices, so long will
the liberties of a people depend on their constant attention to its
tendencies of all such governments in their decline is to monarchy, and
the antagonist principle to liberty there is the spirit of faction -
spirit which assumes the character and in times of great excitement
imposes itself upon the people as the genuine spirit of freedom, and,
like the false christs whose coming was foretold by the Savior, seeks
to, and were it possible would, impose upon the true and most faithful
disciples of liberty.
It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have intrusted power."
GEORGE WASHINGTON, APRIL 1789, DRAFT NOTES for 1ST INAUGURAL:
best institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may
even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes.
hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the
supineness (laziness) or venality (open to bribes) of their
constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and
violate the unalienable rights of humanity:
will only serve to shew, that no compact among men, however provident
in its construction and sacred in its ratification, can be pronounced
everlasting and inviolable...
no wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to
stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one
side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other."
To read appeals to Heaven made by Presidents upon assuming office prior to 1933, see below.
1ST President GEORGE WASHINGTON, stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, April 30, 1789:
propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that
disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has
2ND President JOHN ADAMS stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1797:
for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves
Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for
Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service."
3RD President THOMAS JEFFERSON, stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1805:
shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led
our forefathers, as Israel of old from their native land and planted
them in a country."
4TH President JAMES MADISON stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1809:
have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of
that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations."
5TH President JAMES MONROE stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1817:
my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased
to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously
6TH President JOHN QUINCY ADAMS stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1825:
that 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain,' with
fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I
commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future
destinies of my country."
7TH President ANDREW JACKSON stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1833:
is my fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand,
and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the
8TH President MARTIN VAN BUREN stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1837:
only look to the gracious protection of that Divine Being whose
strengthening support I humbly solicit, and whom I fervently pray to
look down upon us all. May it be among the dispensations of His
Providence to bless our beloved country with honors and length of days;
may her ways be pleasantness, and all her paths peace!"
9TH President WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1841:
deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify
me in expressing to my fellow citizens a profound reverence for the
Christian religion, and a thorough conviction that sound morals,
religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are
essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness."
President JOHN TYLER did not give an Inaugural Address, but stated in a
proclamation APRIL 13, 1841, after William Henry Harrison's death:
a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public
calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of
11TH President JAMES K. POLK stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1845:
fervently invoke the aid of that Almighty Ruler of the Universe in
whose hands are the destinies of nations and of men to guard this
enter upon the discharge of the high duties which have been assigned to
me by the people, again humbly supplicating that Divine Being, who has
watched over and protected our beloved country from its infancy to the
President ZACHARY TAYLOR stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 5, 1849,
delivered a day later than usual as he refused to be sworn in on Sunday
in honor of the Sabbath:
"The dictates of religion direct us to the cultivation of peaceful and friendly relations with all other powers...
conclusion I congratulate you, my fellow-citizens, upon the high state
of prosperity to which the goodness of Divine Providence has conducted
our common country.
invoke a continuance of the same protecting care which has led us from
small beginnings to the eminence we this day occupy."
President MILLARD FILLMORE did not give an Inaugural Address, but
stated in his first message, JULY 10, 1850, after the death of Zachary
"A great man has fallen among us, and a whole country is called to an occasion of unexpected, deep, and general mourning...
appeal to you to aid me, under the trying circumstances which surround
me, in the discharge of the duties from which, however much I may be
oppressed by them, I dare not shrink;
I rely upon Him who holds in His hands the destinies of nations to
endow me with the requisite strength for the task and to avert from our
country the evils apprehended from the heavy calamity which has befallen
14TH President FRANKLIN PIERCE stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1853:
must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's
humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."
15TH President JAMES BUCHANAN stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1857:
ought to cultivate peace, commerce, and friendship with all
nations...in a spirit of Christian benevolence toward our fellowmen,
wherever their lot may be cast."
16TH President ABRAHAM LINCOLN stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1861:
patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet
forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best
way all our present difficulty."
President ANDREW JOHNSON did not give an Inaugural address, but stated
in a proclamation APRIL 29, 1865, after Abraham Lincoln's assassination:
25th day of next month, was recommended as a day for special
humiliation and prayer in consequence of the assassination of Abraham
But whereas my
attention has since been called to the fact that the day aforesaid is
sacred to large numbers of Christians as one of rejoicing for the
ascension of the Savior...I...do hereby suggest that the religious
services recommended as aforesaid should be postponed until Thursday,
the 1st day of June."
18TH President ULYSSES S. GRANT, stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4:
ask...a determined effort on the part of every citizen to do his share
toward cementing a happy union; and I ask the prayers of the nation to
Almighty God in behalf of this consummation."
President RUTHERFORD B. HAYES stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 5,
1877, delivered a day later than usual as he refused to be sworn in on
Sunday in honor of the Sabbath:
for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destinies of nations
and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators, Representatives,
judges, fellow-citizens, here and everywhere, to unite with me in an
earnest effort to secure to our country the blessings, not only of
material property, but of justice, peace, and union."
20TH President JAMES GARFIELD, stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1881:
all, upon our efforts to promote the welfare of this great people and
their Government I reverently invoke the support and blessings of
CHESTER ARTHUR did not give an Inaugural Address, but stated in a
proclamation SEPTEMBER 22, 1881, after James Garfield's death:
is fitting that the deep grief which fills all hearts should manifest
itself with one accord toward the Throne of Infinite Grace, and that we
should bow before the Almighty and seek from Him that consolation in our
affliction and that sanctification of our loss which He is able and
willing to vouchsafe."
22ND President GROVER CLEVELAND, stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1885:
let us not trust to human effort alone, but humbly acknowledge the
power and goodness of Almighty God who presides over the destiny of
nations, and who has at all times been revealed in our country's
history, let us invoke His aid and His blessings upon our labors."
23RD President BENJAMIN HARRISON stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1889:
thus solemnly into covenant with each other, we may reverently invoke
and confidently extend the favor and help of Almighty God - that He will
give to me wisdom, strength, and fidelity, and to our people a spirit
of fraternity and a love of righteousness and peace."
24TH President GROVER CLEVELAND stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1893:
all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and
whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I
know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His
25TH President WILLIAM MCKINLEY stated in his Inaugural, MARCH 4, 1897:
the guidance of Almighty God. Our faith teaches that there is no safer
reliance than upon the God of our fathers, who has so singularly favored
the American people in every national trial, and who will not forsake
us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in His
26TH President THEODORE ROOSEVELT stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1905:
people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is
said reverently...with gratitude to the Giver of Good who has blessed
27TH President William Taft stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1909:
invoke the considerate sympathy and support of my fellow-citizens and
the aid of the Almighty God in the discharge of my responsible duties."
28TH President WOODROW WILSON stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1913:
feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep
across our heartstrings like some air out of God's own presence, where
justice and mercy are reconciled and the judge and the brother are
one...God helping me, I will not fail."
29TH President WARREN G. HARDING stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1921:
must utter my belief in the Divine Inspiration of the founding fathers.
Surely there must have been God's intent in the making of this new
America is ready to encourage...that brotherhood of mankind which must be God's highest conception of human relationship.
the favor and guidance of God in His Heaven... I have taken the solemn
oath of office on that passage of Holy Writ wherein it is asked:
'What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.'"
30TH President CALVIN COOLIDGE stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1925:
seeks no earthly empires built on blood and force...The legions which
she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the Cross.
higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of
human, but Divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the
favor of Almighty God."
31ST President HERBERT HOOVER stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1929:
occasion is...a dedication and consecration under God to the highest
office in service of our people. I assume this trust in the humility of
knowledge that only through the guidance of Almighty Providence can I
hope to discharge its ever-increasing burdens...
I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to my country to which you have called me."
32ND President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT stated in his INAUGURAL ADDRESS, MARCH 4, 1933:
only thing we have to fear is fear itself...On my part and on yours we
face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material
things...Where there is no vision the people perish.(Pr. 29:18)...
this dedication of a nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He
protect each and every one of us! May He guide me in the days to come."
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