In Their Own Words

In honor of this quasi-historic day (everyone seems to forget that Coolidge was also African-American), we present a special edition of "In Their Own Words," featuring inaugural addresses of yesteryear. "It is with distinct honor that I take upon myself the mantle of this office, a distinction that has been bestowed upon me by you, the citizens of this Union, whom I shall now serve as President and Chief Executive, a position that I humbly accept, which has been granted by the distinct people of this glorious nation, those people in this specific case being the people of America." Zachary Taylor, 1849

"We must fight tyranny, both from foreign powers and on our own soil. We must remain vigilant, for it is the torch of the night watchman that alerts us to the morning's battles. Always be on the lookout for tyranny. If someone acts in a tyrannical fashion, do not remain silent. Never be afraid to ask, 'Are you a tyrant?' If you discover a tyrant, contact the authorities." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944

"It is the people of this great and free nation who elected me, and I am proud to call myself a man of the people. The doors of the White House will be open to any American, day or night. Come and stay as long as you want. Bring your friends, bring your relations. Pets are okay, but try to keep livestock to a minimum." -Andrew Jackson, 1829

"To Walter Pidgeon, I say that I could not have asked for a better leading man, nor a more supportive creative partner in breathing life into this role. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the brilliant William Wyler. Bill, you are the director that every actress dreams of. Without you, all this would have been nothing more than words on a page." -Benjamin Harrison, 1889. Historians were stunned when this passage was unwittingly repeated word for word by Greer Garson as she accepted her Oscar for "Mrs. Miniver" in 1943.

"I'll keep this brief." -Abraham Lincoln, 1861 (entire text of speech)

"And I say to you now, my fellow citizens: It is not enough to simply wish for a better tomorrow, to merely aspire to the greatness of our forefathers. We must also fight the spacemen. Fight against them tooth and nail, until nothing remains of their kingdom but ashes. Anything less, and we condemn our children — our children's children — to live as pets in a zoo. A zoo run by spacemen. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America." -Woodrow Wilson, 1913

"It is an evil omen of the times that men have undertaken to calculate the mere material value of the Union. Reasoned estimates have been presented of the pecuniary profits and local advantages which would resu-GAH! WOLVES! WOOOOOLVES! WOLVES ARE DEVOURING MY FLESH! THEIR FANGS HAVE FOUND PURCHASE WITHIN MY BONES!" -James Buchanan, 1857. Packs of blood-ravenous wolves were common in the mid-19th century.