Making it Happen
The National Park Service has been at the center of planning presidential inaugurations for more than 70 years. The NPS is responsible for the care, maintenance and preservation of some of the most important locations used during inaugurations, from the National Mall to the inaugural Parade route to the site of the Presidential reviewing stand. Two National Parks- President's Park and National Mall and Memorial Parks- play a role in the event.
The NPS provides logistical support, advice and planning for all events on its property, working closely with the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) and the Joint Task Force- National Capital Region.
Though the inauguration is certainly among the largest events handled by the National Park Service, it is only one of more than 3,000 permitted events held on the Mall each year that range from small annual commemorations, to the Fourth of July on the Mall and large-scale First Amendment demonstrations. For all these events, National Park Service staff work with permit holders, like the PIC, to ensure that their plans protect the natural and cultural resources of the NPS and ensure the safety and enjoyment of participants. For an event like the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, hundreds of NPS employees coordinate everything from providing emergency services to the construction of reviewing stands to bringing in hundreds of portable toilets and placing miles of fencing.
Did You Know?
William Henry Harrison holds the record for the longest Inaugural Address: 8,445 words; the President took two hours to read it. He also broke tradition by delivering part of the address before taking the oath of office; he then finished the speech.