On This Day in 1789: Washington’s Inaugural Ball
On May 7, 1789, America’s inaugural inaugural ball occurred in New York City, the temporary capital of the federal government back when the presidency was just getting started. Since George Washington wasn’t following any particular protocol when he attended the dance thrown in honor of his swearing in, there was no way for him to know that he was setting a precedent for generations of presidents to come. (Although in all fairness the first official inaugural ball wouldn’t occur until the Madison administration 10 years later.)
Even though Martha Washington couldn’t attend because she was tying up loose ends at back at Mount Vernon, Washington was still able to party like it was 1789, rocking out (respectfully) to the minuet with the society ladies of New York.
For a more detailed account of the magical evening and a history of the inaugural ball in general, see the History Channel’s highly informative “This Day in HISTORY” post.
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