First inauguration of Ronald Reagan: Difference between revisions

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President Reagan was about to have lunch with congressional leaders in Statuary Hall in the Capitol after the inauguration ceremony when he was informed that the plane carrying the hostages had left Iranian airspace.<ref name="Hostages"/> During the luncheon, he broke the news saying: "With thanks to Almighty God, I have been given a tag line, the get-off line, that everyone wants for the end of a toast or a speech, or anything else. Some 30 minutes ago, the planes bearing our prisoners left Iranian air space, and they're now free of Iran."<ref name="Hostages"/> It is quite possible that the hostages left Tehran right before the ceremony started. The press held off on the announcement because it was next to impossible to discuss this development and the unfolding ceremony at the same time.
 
[[File:The Reagans waving from the limousine during the Inaugural Parade 1981.jpg|thumb|right|The Reagans in the inaugural parade]]Throughout Washington and throughout the country, there were celebrations to mark the inauguration and the release of the hostages.<ref name=Celebrations/><ref name="HostagesArrive">{{cite news|title=Hostages Arrive in West Germany|date=January 21, 1981|first=Stephen H.|last=Miller|agency=Associated Press}}</ref> For the only time, the [[National Christmas Tree (United States)|National Christmas tree]] on the ellipse near the White House was lighted on an Inauguration Day, and it was done to mark the release of the hostages.<ref name="Celebrations">{{cite news|title=Lights Go On, Bells Ring in Big Cities and Villages|last=Quindlen|first=Anna|newspaper=New York Times|date=January 21, 1981|page=A3}}</ref> There were signs saying "444 DAYS!" as part of the celebrations.<ref name="Celebrations"/> People wrapped the country in yellow ribbons, plastered freedom messages on billboards, and started preparations for welcoming the freed hostages home. The yellow-ribbon became a symbol of the solidarity of Americans with the hostages.<ref name="HostagesArrive"/> The [[Statue of Liberty]] in [[New York harborHarbor]] was bathed in light, the [[Empire State buildingBuilding]] lit in red, white, and blue, and the [[Boston Fire Department]] sounded gongs to hail deliverance of the hostages.<ref name="HostagesArrive"/>
 
==See also==