Monday, January 14, 2013

Pierce Left Behind

Buchanan's Inaugural Parade, 1857

President Obama's supporters, apparently not in a celebratory mood, are not coming across with as much money as the organizers of his second inauguration had hoped. It's OK, Barry. At least you're getting a second term, which is something Franklin Pierce never had. On top of that, the inauguration of his successor, James Buchanan, had to be delayed for twenty minutes when it was discovered that poor old Handsome Frank had been totally forgotten at the Willard Hotel.

From President James Buchanan: A Biography by Philip Klein:
By noon the three groups of parade marshals, with their white,yellow or blue scarfs and saddle cloths trimmed with rosettes had the thirty- odd fire companies, militia battalions, bands, floats, and groups of artisans in line; and the procession started down Pennsylvania Avenue to the National Hotel. There Buchanan was joined by vice-president-elect Breckinridge, and all were ready to proceed when it was found that President Pierce was not on hand. A twenty-minute delay ensued until someone on the arrangements committee discovered that through an oversight, Pierce had been completely forgotten. After a flurry of excitement and consultation, the committee picked Pierce up at the Willard Hotel and at last the waiting crowds were relieved of their impatience by the sight of an elegant, four-horse barouche, containing the president and the president- elect. Ahead of them, leading the procession, was a huge float drawn by six white horses bearing a lady symbolizing the Goddess of Liberty on a high platform. Members of the Keystone Club rode beside the open presidential carriages, and behind them came a float with a large model of a warship.


  1. David
    Have you ever seen "The Great Moment" (1944)
    It is the only film I know of featuring someone playing President Franklin Pierce (Porter Hall on the right)

    You may post this pic if you like

  2. Sorry, but since it isn't acting as a link, you'll have to copy/paste that link above to see the shot from the film