The inauguration of President Obama prompted me to do a little research on the customs surrounding this day. So I used a new research tool that can be found on the Library’s A-Z List of Databases. This new tool, called Credo Reference, is a great alternative to using Wikipedia because it allows you to find authoritative answers that it gets from hundreds of reference books in a broad range of subjects.
Here’s a snippet of what I found in the book, Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary:
From 1789 until 1933, the day on which the newly elected president of the United States began his term of office was March 4—now known as Old Inauguration Day. The day was changed to January 20 when the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1933. When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the oath of office is administered privately, but the public ceremonies are usually postponed until the following day.
The swearing-in of the president had been held on the East Portico of the Capitol building since Andrew Jackson’s 1829 inauguration. Former president Ronald Reagan changed the site for his inauguration in 1981. Since then, the swearing-in has been held on the West Terrace of the Capitol. This site, which faces out onto the Mall where thousands gather for the event, affords greater visibility for spectators. Reagan reportedly also liked the symbolism of the president facing west, out toward the rest of the country.
Inauguration Day. (2005). In Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc.. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/5870131.
In addition to providing me with the basic information for which I was looking, Credo also provided me with links to related resources. By clicking on the Our Catalog link, I get a list of books that are in the Weinberg Memorial Library. By clicking on the Academic Search Elite link, I get a list of results from this database. Wikipedia can’t do that!
Credo automatically created a citation for me in APA format, but I could also get my citation in MLA format. And, I can e-mail the citation to myself, or save it in RefWorks. Wikipedia definitely doesn’t do that for you!
Give Credo a try, and when you do, post a comment to let me know how you like it.