There's so much pomp and excitement on Inauguration Day. President's Day, on the other hand, seems like more of a way to show sympathy for those men who held a position that really seems to suck. Honestly, who wants to be blamed for the nation's every last ill. It's bad enough when your boss gets on your case for a formatting error on a report, now imagine if that screw-up was blamed for unemployment, the deficit and war. Exactly. It would suck.

So on this President's Day, forget all that and focus on the good times -- the times before it all went downhill, leading to thrashings by the media and plummeting approval numbers. (Even Washington had some haters.) In the gallery below are the 10 most memorable presidential inaugurations of all time.

Most Memorable Inaugurations

    10. Ronald Reagan (January 20, 1985) There were difficulties with Reagan's second inauguration from the start. First off, the 20th landed on a Sunday, so the festivities to mark the event were put off until the 21st. Moter Nature then acted like a bitter Mondale supporter by making that Monday one of the coldest days in DC history. The subzero temperatures led to the cancellation of all pomp and circumstance, including a parade, which was to have 12,000 marchers, 66 floats, 57 bands and the performing offspring of the chimp from "Bedtime for Bonzo." Whether that last part was just a rumor, we'll never know.

    Bob Daugherty, AP

    9. Franklin D. Roosevelt (March 4, 1933) Think Obama has a difficult hill to climb? When FDR took office the US was in the depths of the Great Depression, with more than a quarter of the country was out of work, and 32 states having no operating banks within their borders. Not surprisingly, the former New York governor didn't think it right to have lavish celebrations to mark his inauguration. Instead, he simply proclaimed, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It's a statement that still rings out to this day, and made for a great ending to the Living Colour song, "Cult of Personality."


    8. Theodore Roosevelt (September 14, 1901) Everybody's favorite monopoly-busting pres took office in Buffalo, N.Y., hours after President William McKinley's death as a result of an assassins' bullet fired on September 6. The swearing in happened at Roosevelt's friend Ansley Wilcox's house, and Teddy needed to borrow Wilcox's jacket to be properly dressed for the occassion. The new president had been on a family camping trip the previous day, presumably hunting large game, while plotting how to take down J.P. Morgan.


    7. Abraham Lincoln (February 23, 1861) Lincoln's first inauguration held a bit of danger to say the least. With his election imminent, successionists stepped up rhetoric that they were done with the whole U.S. of A. thing. Fearing an assassination plot, a group of German-American gymnasts (yes, gymnasts) known as Turners served as Lincoln's bodyguards. In addition, Lincoln traveled the last part of the trip to his inauguration in disguise at night because of a suspected assasination threat in Baltimore. It was probably a great disguise considering how obvious a tall awkward guy with an entourage gymnasts seems like it would've been.


    6. John F. Kennedy (January 20, 1961) When you're talking memorable, few inauguration speeches matched the power and eloquence of Kennedy's challenge to American citizens: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." If you can offer up calls to action like that, you'll probably have pretty good luck with the ladies.


    5. Lyndon Johnson (November 22, 1963) Alas, the hope and promise of Kennedy's presidency was dashed by Lee Harvey Oswald and that dude on the grassy knoll, leading to LBJ being the only president to take office in a plane. Johnson took the oath of office standing beside Kennedy's grieving widow on Air Force One as it sat parked in Dallas' Love Field Airport. Federal Judge and Johnson family friend Sarah T. Hughes presided, becoming the first woman to swear in a president.

    Cecil Stoughton, White House / AP

    4. Abraham Lincoln (March 4, 1865) Lincoln's second inauguration was much more exhilarating than the first, with a Civil War victory for the Union close at hand. His rousing speech fit the occasion, with the man on the five encouraging the nation to have, "Malice toward none, with charity for all." Unfortunately, unruly guests at the White House later that day apparently believed they were the charity and decided to steal silverware and draperies.


    3. George Washington (April 30, 1789) The first president was sworn in on the balcony of New York's Federal Hall, due to the Big Apple being the country's original seat of government. The whole event was pretty brief with Washington simply recounting the 35-word oath in the Constitution. He did, however, pull out a little improvisation by adding the phrase, "So help me God" and placing his left hand on a Bible. Many of his successors have followed the founding father's precedent, though most have abandoned the style of sporting a powdered wig and wood teeth.


    2. William Henry Harrison (March 4, 1841) Like Reagan, Harrison also got a icy cold day from Mother Nature. To show he was tough, W.H. gave his speech without an overcoat, delivering an 8,444-word, two-hour address that still stands as the longest ever. Legend has it the exposure caused him to fall ill, contract pneumonia, and die a few weeks later. Historians have debated whether the circumstances of the inauguration actually caused his death, but his successor, John Tyler, nonetheless had the good sense to be sworn in in a hotel, and never gave an inaugural address.


    1. Andrew Jackson (March 4, 1829) As far as inaugural parties goes, Jackson's takes the cake. After his inauguration parade, Old Hickory opened the White House to the public. A mob streamed in, destroying dishes, furniture and decorative pieces. Meanwhile, Jackson escaped the crowd through a window. Attendants eventually persuaded the crowd to leave by pouring spiked punch into tubs and placing them on the White House lawn. Needless to say, the entire proceedings turned the most famous property in America into the sort of shindig that would make most frat boys as green as a 20 dollar bill with envy.

    Getty Images

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