“The president was wearing a different hat at that time.”

This quote reminded me of the mention of the hats of Ike and Truman in the book I’m reading about the relationships amongst presidents. Inaugurations were considered a very formal affair and all incoming presidents wore a top hat, but Ike broke tradition.

  • At his 1953 inauguration, Dwight D. Eisenhower broke with tradition by wearing a black homburg instead of a top hat. He also wore a homburg at his second inauguration, a hat that took three months to craft and was dubbed the “international homburg” by hatters since workers from ten countries participated in its making. Wikipedia

  • However, at Kennedy’s inauguration, Ike decided to wear a top hat.
  • And to sum up presidential hat wearing at inaugurations:
    • Many presidents have, of course, worn hats to their swearing-in ceremonies, most notably the top hat, worn from the days of Franklin Pierce, in 1853, through Harry Truman. Dwight D. Eisenhower broke the tradition by wearing a homburg. Mr. Reagan, though, plans to go hatless, a precedent set by Theodore Roosevelt. Interestingly, the first President to break radically with the tradition of formal dress was not Jimmy Carter, as many believe, but Lyndon B. Johnson who wore a business suit and a fur hat.
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