CBS News correspondents Walter Cronkite and Roger Mudd provide commentary for this live CBS broadcast of President Richard Nixon's 1969 inauguration. As the broadcast opens, Cronkite and Mudd point out William Rogers, Nixon's appointee for the post of Secretary of Defense; Cronkite and Mudd discuss the process by which cabinet nominees are confirmed by Congress. Cronkite and Mudd continue to note the arrivals of prominent figures on the platform of the U.S. Capitol's East Portico, where the ceremony is to be held, President Lyndon Baines Johnson's daughters Lynda Byrd and Luci Baines; President-elect Nixon's daughters Julie and Tricia; Julie's husband David Eisenhower, son of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower; Williams Rogers' son Douglas; First Lady Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson; and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey's wife, Muriel. Correspondent George Herman, on the platform with the guests, interviews David and Julia Eisenhower about past inaugurations each had attended. Cronkite and Mudd remark upon the arrival of Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, and mention that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower remains in the hospital recovering from a heart attack; First Lady-to-be Patricia Nixon takes her place next to Elinor Agnew, wife of Vice President-Elect Spiro T. Agnew, and Mrs. Johnson. While the remainder of the guests are seated, Cronkite and Mudd talk about the punctuality of the proceedings thus far in comparison to what they deem the relaxed nature of some previous inaugural ceremonies. The U.S. Marine Corps Band play "Ruffles and Flourishes" and "Hail to the Chief" as President Johnson and Vice President Humphrey descend the steps to the front of the platform. Cronkite and Mudd comment on the weather and their choice of dress for the occasion, going into great detail about inaugural sartorial traditions, a thread that continues when they point out members of Congress further up on the platform and remark on "Senatorial headgear." Sergeant-at-Arms Robert G. Dunphy emerges from the Capitol, followed by Humphrey, House Minority Leader Gerald Ford and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen. Cronkite and Mudd discuss the modest upbringings of the outgoing and incoming Presidents and Vice-Presidents. Then the commentators talk about the placement of the tower in front of the platform in which they are housed and notable goofs in the history of the diplomatic corps attendance of political events. Nixon, flanked by Ford and Dirksen, descends the steps and greets Johnson, Agnew, and Humphrey. Dirksen, the Chairman of the Joint Inaugural Committee, presents the Right Reverend Charles Eubank Tucker for an invocation; Tucker offers a prayer for President-elect Nixon and the United States. Dirksen introduces the U.S. Marine Corps Band, who play "God Bless America." Nixon makes his inaugural speech, the theme of which is the need to regain spiritual fulfillment; abolish war; come to peaceful terms with our adversaries; increase the standards of living at home and abroad; and appreciate the energy, intelligence and morality of America's youth. Nixon ends his speech by quoting an Archibald McLeish poem about the social implications of the view of Earth from space. Dirksen takes the podium and introduces the U.S. Marine Corps Band, which plays the U.S. National Anthem. Dirksen then introduces Archbishop of New York Terrance J. Cooke, who offers a benediction. The U.S. Marine Corps Band then plays "Hail to the Chief" to President Nixon for the first time. Mudd and Cronkite narrate as the new and former First Ladies say good-bye. The President and the First Lady pose for a photograph with the Vice President and Mrs. Agnew. (This tape does not include the actual swearing in of Nixon as president.) Includes commercials.


  • DATE: January 20, 1969 Monday 12:17 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:59:48
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T84:0105
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Inauguration - 1969
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1969
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Savings and Loan Association


    • Albert Schepp … Conductor
    • U.S. Marine Corps Band … Symphony Orchestra
    • Mormon Tabernade Choir, The … Choir/Chorus
    • Walter Cronkite … Commentator
    • Roger Mudd … Commentator
    • George Herman … Reporter
    • Elinor Agnew
    • Spiro T. Agnew
    • Terrence J. Cooke
    • Everett Dirksen
    • Robert G. Dunphy
    • David Eisenhower
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    • Julie Eisenhower
    • Mamie Eisenhower
    • Gerald Ford
    • Hubert H. Humphrey
    • Muriel Humphrey
    • Lady Bird Johnson
    • Luci Baines Johnson
    • Lynda Byrd Johnson
    • Lyndon B. Johnson
    • Archibald McLeish
    • Patricia Nixon
    • Richard M. Nixon
    • Tricia Nixon
    • David Rogers
    • William Rogers
    • Charles Eubanks Tucker