Let's hope for a short speech! Those who track such minutia tell us that the three Presidents of these United States who delivered the shortest inaugural addresses were George Washington (135 words), Franklin Roosevelt (559 words), and Abraham Lincoln (700 words). The longest: William Henry Harrison (8,460 words), William Howard Taft (5,434 words), and James K. Polk (4,809 words).
It is striking, isn't it, that the achievements of the three whose addresses were the shortest stand in our memories and estimation as giants compared to those whose addresses were the longest? Let's hope for brevity on Jan. 20!
Issue-oriented letters to the editor are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words in length; longer letters may be edited to conform to the specified length. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published.