Thank you so much for your article about weather on past Inauguration Days [“Cold facts for Monday,” Metro, Jan. 18]. My late mother always told the story of her trip by train from Pittsburgh to Washington when she was 17 years old to attend the 1937 inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt . She and my grandfather stood in the rain for hours to glimpse the motorcade of their beloved President Roosevelt. They were soaked but were so happy they made the effort to attend.
Adela Eannarino, Arlington
While the Inauguration Days for William Howard Taft in 1909 and John F. Kennedy in 1961 were each characterized by significant snowfalls, those swearing-in ceremonies have not been the only ones that had to contend with that sort of weather.
The first case of snow on an Inauguration Day took place in 1821, when James Monroe was sworn in for his second term as president. Since March 4 was on a Sunday that year, the inauguration was scheduled for the following day. Snow had started falling in the nation’s capital on Saturday evening and continued to come down that Monday morning, forcing the inaugural ceremony to be held indoors, in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol.
Other 19th-century inauguration days that likewise involved major snowfalls were those for Franklin Pierce in 1853 and Grover Cleveland in 1893. In both cases, the swearing-in ceremonies took place as scheduled outside, but the inclement weather forced the cancellation of key post-inaugural events.
Bob Cullen, Baltimore