30. The Inauguration

On March 4, 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft administered the oath of office to America's 31st president. He rode back to the White House in a rainstorm. Instead of the traditional inaugural ball, Washingtonians attended a party held to benefit local charities.

In the days leading up to his inauguration, one of Hoover's friends warned him, "People expect more of you than they have of any other President." As if in response, Hoover's inaugural address sounded an activist note, celebrating prosperity while insisting that more could be done to spread its benefits evenly. "We want to see a nation built of homeowners and farm owners," he said. "We want to see more and more of them insured against death and accident, unemployment and old age. We want them all secure."

Hoover's inaugural address was given eight months before Wall Street collapsed. The crash took with it all that Hoover hoped to accomplish during his presidency.

March 4,1929 President Hoover giving his Inaugural speech.