"To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion."
"The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really
are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle."
"Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition.
By your gracious cooperation in the transition process you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which
guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other. And I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our
"The business of our nation goes forward."
"Our concern must be for
a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows
no sectional boundaries, or ethnic and racial divisions, and it
crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who
raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories,
teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we’re sick --
professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and
truck drivers. They are, in short, 'We the People.' This breed
there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away
with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not
over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can
and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity,
not stifle it. If we look to the answer as to why for so many years
we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was
because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual
genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before."
Text and Audio of Address