Andrew Jackson, 1829

The big day is finally here – and for those of us living in Iowa where it has been an especially long political cycle, it sometimes seemed it would never come! Today the United States will inaugurate the first African-American President when Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the great hallmarks of democracy, something America has maintained throughout her history, during peace or war, economic prosperity or depression. Plenty of reasons to celebrate.

To find out more about the 2009 Inauguration, visit the official website Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. You’ll find interactive maps, descriptions of the days events, Washington DC weather reports, and a history of past Inaugurations. You’ll even find – get this – the recipes for the food to be served at the Inaugural Luncheon (in case you were wondering what to do with that pheasant you’ve got in the freezer!)

The library, of course, has all kinds of Presidential information including biographies of every President as well as histories of the office. We even have a book about Air Force One, the President’s plane and a history of the White House. Here’s a sampling:

Air Force One: a History of the Presidents and their Planes by Kenneth Walsh

Union of Words: a History of Presidential Eloquence by Wayne Fields

The White House Garden by William Seale

First Dogs: American Presidents and their Best Friends by Roy Rowan

Real Life at the White House: 200 Years of Daily Life at American’s Most Famous Residence by John Whitcomb