The presidential inauguration is an event that’s about as close to a royal coronation as American government gets. It’s a day filled with ceremony, guards, salutes, parades, speeches, a party that’s actually still called a « ball » and, of course, symbolism: of new beginnings, rites of passage, of change. It’s the president’s opportunity to declare his administration’s intent: At John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, he made his legendary « Ask not what not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country » speech.