MOUNT VERNON, Va. — George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia is displaying items from the first presidential inauguration ahead of President Barack Obama’s swearing-in.
Through April 30, the historic home is displaying the suit believed to have been worn by the first president during his inauguration at New York’s Federal Hall in 1789. It’s also displaying a rare fragment of Washington’s draft inaugural address through March.
Curators say Washington made a conscious effort to dress for the occasion. He selected American-made cloth for the suit constructed of tightly woven brown wool broadcloth. The coat and breeches were considered dressy daytime apparel. Observers noted Washington was trying to encourage civic pride and domestic industry with his fashion.
The first draft of Washington’s inaugural address ran more than 70 pages before he pared it down.
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