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The Gardens at Barry Road Residents Celebrate the Inauguration

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The Gardens at Barry Road Residents Celebrate the Inauguration

The presidential inauguration is an historic moment. On Friday, Jan. 20, residents of The Gardens at Barry Road took advantage of this momentous occasion as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Residents gathered for a viewing party and then participated in a discussion, led by activities director Jodi Kersten, about the history and tradition of the inaugural celebration.

“My job at The Gardens at Barry Road is to make sure our residents enjoy an active lifestyle with plenty of stimulating events,” Kersten said. “Of course, our residents have seen a lot of history, so I had just as much fun as they did in taking a look into the attic of our country.”

The discussion began with President George Washington’s inauguration of 1789 and the controversy around the historical oath. Biographer Washington Irving reports that President Washington added the words “so help me God” after accepting the oath of office. Donald R. Keenon, chief historian at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society confirms this view, whereas others argue that “so help me God” was meant to be a personal prayer after the constitutional oath.

“We discussed a lot of firsts, such as the first inauguration broadcast on radio, the coldest inauguration, the Congressional luncheon, the inaugural parade, everyone who participates in the security and the first televised inauguration,” said Kersten.

The group had the biggest chuckles reflecting on the menus from the inaugural balls. Terrapin (a breed of turtle) stew, a historically native dish, was a popular choice at the earliest inaugurations. Ice cream was once classified as a delicacy and was seen on many inaugural ball menus. One president even served 100 gallons of pickled oysters.

“We were unanimous in deciding not to try that particular dish here at The Gardens at Barry Road,” Kersten joked. All in all, she added, it was a great day.