Inauguration cartoons afford the opportunity to fill the frame with caricatures. As with this bit of wishful thinking, they don't have to be drawn at the time the White House is changing hands; I drew this in June of 1980, before the Democratic National Convention had officially renominated incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
Of course, John Anderson fell way short of becoming the 40th President of the United States. Instead it was that guy partly hidden behind Chief Justice Warren Burger; so come January, I updated a famous New Yorker cartoon by Peter Arno.
outhouse cartoon, became famous in spite of its not being published. Drawn for the New Yorker magazine cover, it was pulled by the editors after the assassination attempt on FDR that killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak on February 15, 1933. (FDR was the last president whose inauguration date was March 4; the 20th Amendment to the Constitution moving the date to January 20 was ratified between his election and inauguration, and went into effect in 1937.)
Steve Brodner recently posted this tour de force by the outstanding caricaturist Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003) of celebrities who performed at Lyndon Baines Johnson's 1965 inauguration gala:
|LBJ Inaugural Guests by Al Hirschfeld, 1965|
When I was growing up, I had a 16-volume set of a History of the United States that was generously illustrated with editorial cartoons. Included was this fascinating depiction of Franklin Roosevelt's first inaugural by Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957), a Mexican caricaturist and muralist who was, by the way, one of Hirschfeld's influences.
|"The Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt" by Miguel Covarrubias in Vanity Fair, March/April, 1933|
Smoking a cigar directly below Hughes is another unsuccessful presidential candidate, Alfred Smith (1928); John Davis, who ran on the top of the ticket in 1924 with FDR as his running mate, is the bland-faced man with white hair, glasses and rounded collar below the middle pillar.
Indeed, almost everybody in the cartoon is a real person; even the guy in the lower right corner with his back to us is identified as J. P. Morgan. I certainly can't argue with that.
I'll close with perhaps my favorite cartoon about Inauguration Day. Even though neither you nor I are quite old enough to remember Calvin Coolidge, I think the humor still comes through Gluyas Williams's (1888-1982) cartoon. It's a truism in cartooning circles that great art never saved a mediocre idea; but it definitely elevates a good one.
|"Crisis In Washington" by Gluyas Williams in Life, February 15, 1929|