Today is Inauguration Day!
OK, no it isn’t, but it used to be.
Isn’t that great to know? Well it might come in handy at a trivia contest…
March 4 is the date when the terms of the president, vice president and members of Congress begin and end as written into the Constitution way back at the beginning; this continued until the 20th Amendment was passed in 1933.
Why did they change the dates?
The framers of the Constitution set March 4 as the date to allow four months to pass between the elections in early November and the beginning of terms for the simple reason that everything took longer to accomplish in the 1700’s. Votes took a long time to count, news travelled slowly, more time would be needed to assemble the Electoral College, and it took longer for a president to put his Administration together simply because communication and travel took time in those days.
President Franklin Roosevelt, who was first elected president in 1932 wanted to get moving very quickly and was quite frustrated apparently with the waiting… As we know, once in office, he moved with (you’re going to love this…) Trump like speed in pushing forward his agenda in his first hundred days in office. During his first year, he pushed hard for both the 20th and 21st Amendments to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment changed the dates terms expired and began from March 4 to January 20 since things could move so much more quickly in the 20th Century than in the 18th. The 21st Amendment was the repeal of Prohibition which of course made his famous martinis legal.
Oh yes, FDR was very proud of the “Roosevelt Martini”!
Yes, yes I realize he might have had other reasons for the repeal of Prohibition than just to legalize his martini.
At any rate, now you can go to your next “trivia night” armed with some not very useful information that might just put you into the winner’s column.
Would you be surprised if I told you that I sat down intending to write a completely different post, about computers actually, and that this just popped into my admittedly strange mind when I typed “March 4, 2017”? Well dear readers, that’s why these ramblings are called “random” I suppose…