Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony-----in Vermont???

With all the news in the media today about the upcoming swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C., for the new U.S. President, I thought I would pass along a bit of historical trivia on the subject, that I learned some time back on an expedition I took to the lovely state of Vermont. There I visited a place called The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, in Plymouth, Vermont. That is the location of a highly unusual event---the only time a U.S. President was sworn in by an official other than a judge. Notary Public, John C. Coolidge, swore in his son, Calvin Coolidge, as President of the United States. This occurred in 1923 when the then vice-president was visiting in his father's home in Plymouth, Vermont, and was notified of the death of President Warren G. Harding. It was determined that ANYONE legally authorized to administer an oath of office may swear in a president, including a notary public. Although any site in Vermont is worth a visit, I was especially glad to get to visit this location, because I have an uncle who was born during the presidency of Warren G. Harding, and---as was common in those days---was named after the president. I call him "Uncle Warren G". I have no idea what the "G" stands for, or why President Harding always included that initial in his official title, rather than his entire middle name. However, it does make me curious to find out, now that there is a media flurry about whether or not President-elect Obama will use his full middle name--Hussein---or just the initial "H", as he used throughout his campaign. So perhaps in the next four years, those new parents who decide to name their newborn boy after the president, will have to decide if they will do as my grandparents did, and just use the middle initial, or will they use the full middle name of the current president for their child to carry the rest of their lives. Regardless of what the parents choose, they can rest assured that their child is a valued creation in God's sight, because of these treasured verses in Psalms 139: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Miles of smiles! Tricia
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