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In which John discusses what will happen on Tuesday when Barack Obama is inaugurated the 44th President of the United States of America, whose Bible Obama will swear upon, and whether his inaugural address will be good. Also, John dishes a bit of inauguration history.


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A Bunny
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John: Good morning Hank, it's Sunday 18th 2009, the day before the day before Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. In a related story, I just got an email saying that if I look closely I will see Barack Obama taking the oath of office, on the Quran. Oh internet, you are a tennis ball and I am a puppy. You baffle and infuriate me and yet I never tire of you


Okay Hank, first a refresher course in case you don't remember civics. In the United States we directly elect a president every four years. Then a few months later that someone promises to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution at which point he or she, but thus far generally he becomes president where upon his first act as president is to give a speech that is too long and contains too many adjectives. I mean Hank, if you like adjectives, and I do, January 20th is an extremely exciting day.

But let's clear something up first. Barack Obama is taking the oath of office with his hand on...the Bible. In fact, he is using the exact same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used. But so what if he weren't Hank? He wouldn't be the first president in American history. In fact both John Quincy Adams and Franklin Pierce both took the oath of office with their hands on books of law. Does that make them bad presidents? Actually they were both really bad presidents.

That is true, but you like Teddy Roosevelt don't you?

I don't know he was good enough we carved his face on a mountain side.

Well when he took the oath of office he didn't put his hand on anything!He was just like..."You guys want me to be president? All right, I'll do it, as long as you name teddy bears after me."

In fact Hank, the whole putting your hand on the Bible thing almost never happened at all. On the day off the first presidential inauguration in 1789 someone was like, "Do you think we should use a bible?"

And someone else was like "Yeh...Does anyone have a Bible?" But no-one did so they literally had to run down to a masonic lodge, where they took, that is stole, a Bible and then George Washington put his hand on it and became president.

Hank, the story of the first inaugural Bible is one of the many examples from early American history where it becomes clear that the people who were involved had no freaking idea that what they were doing would later become so important to us. For instance, maybe some day I will tell you the story of how the Declaration of Independence almost didn't happen because a dude got drunk at a bar.

But the much more important thing that happens on Tuesday, the one that comes after the oath but before the parties is the inaugural address. Hank, inaugural addresses while they are important are usually pretty boring to listen to and while Barack Obama is a great speech writer I suspect his will be boring too. I do have one small piece of advice for president elect Obama and I know that he will hear me because of course he is a gigantic fan of the vlogbrothers. William Henry Harrison.

Hank, as I am sure you will remember William Henry Harrison was elected in a landslide in 1840 and then on his very cold inauguration day he refused to wear a coat because he wanted to look all presidential. Which probably would have been fine except he gave a 2 hour, 8,444 word inauguration speech, the longest ever. Then he got pneumonia and died 31 days into his presidency. So keep it short Barack and wear a coat and congratulations.

Hank, I'll see you in a new America on Tuesday.