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Barack Obama took the oath of office for his second term as President of the United States yesterday in Washington D.C. His speech at the event emphasised the need to engage peacefully with the rest of the world and for the American people to unite in solving the problems of today. The issues highlighted were gender inequality, the gap between rich and poor, healthcare, global warming and immigration. One topic the newspapers have been focussing on, though, is gay rights, for Obama became the first president in history to touch on the issue in an inaugural address (Obama listed Stonewall alongside Seneca Falls and Selma). The full speech, courtesy of The New York Times’ YouTube channel, can be viewed below:

The British Pathé archive contains coverage of a great many previous inaugurations, not only of American Presidents, but of those from other countries as well. For the United States, the earliest appears to be of William G. Harding in 1921 and the most recent to be of President Nixon in 1969. The inaugurations in between can be viewed via this link.

The inauguration of Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States. Click the still to view the film.

The inauguration of Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States. Click the still to view the film.

Harry Truman takes the oath. Click the still to view the film.

Harry Truman takes the oath. Click the still to view the film.

View British Pathé’s collection of US Presidential Inaugurations here.

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