From John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan: A look at presidential inaugural addresses through the years

Donald Trump is expected to focus on some of his most prominent campaign issues including jobs, border security and trade in his inaugural address on Friday. Considering the grand lineage of inauguration days past, many wonder how the president-elect's remarks will compare to those of his predecessors.

In December, the Trump team announced it was tapping senior aide and campaign speechwriter Stephen Miller to author the inaugural address. Miller's role has reportedly changed since, though, as presidential historian Douglas Brinkley later revealed after meeting with Trump that the president-elect is writing his own remarks and "doesn't want it to be too long."

As Donald Trump crafts his own inaugural address, here's a break down of what former presidents have focused on during their introductory January speeches.

President John F. Kennedy:

President Kennedy paused for a "celebration of freedom" on the historic day in 1961. The Massachusetts native spoke of assured liberty and harshly warned the global community, saying, "Let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house."

It was his famous call to action for the American public around civic engagement, though, that is to this day one of the most quoted lines in U.S. history:

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."

Kennedy also evoked the image of a "beginning anew," asking "both sides" -- that is, adversary and America, democracy and dictator -- to invoke technological advances, "explore the stars" together, and "let the oppressed go free."

President Ronald Reagan:

President Reagan used his first inaugural address as an attempt to recharge America's confidence in government. He focused on the Constitution as the central tool through which self-government can thrive and the power of the state can be tamed.

RELATED: Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush

1 PHOTOS
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush
See Gallery
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Ronald Reagan used his first inaugural address to attempt to revive America's confidence in the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and the individual; to advocate a revival of self-government by limiting the power of the state

The president called for a "removing of the roadblocks" blocking economic prosperity and productivity. Reagan's presidency is one held in high regard by today's Republican party, and his small government ideals were in full display when he stated "government is the problem."

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price."

President George H. W. Bush:

George H. W. Bush used his first speech as president to evoke the image of nation that had just struck gold -- saying he assumed the presidency "at a moment rich with promise."

"For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn," said President Bush. "There are times when the future seems thick as a fog; you sit and wait, hoping the mists will lift and reveal the right path. But this is a time when the future seems a door you can walk right through into a room called tomorrow."

RELATED: George H. W. Bush's inauguration

22 PHOTOS
George H. W. Bush's inauguration
See Gallery
George H. W. Bush's inauguration

Washington, DC. 1-20-1989 After being sworn in as the 41th President of the United States of America by Chief Justice of the United States William Hubbs Rehnquist, President Bush delivers his Inaugural adress to the Nation. 

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pres-elect Bush getting his tonsils checked by grandchild Ellie LeBlond, w. Barbara (L) & Marilyn Quayle (R), at inaugural fete at Lincoln Mem- orial.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Washington, DC. 1-20-1989 After being sworn in as the 41th President of the United States of America by Chief Justice of the United States William Hubbs Rehnquist, President Bush delivers his Inaugural adress to the Nation. Credit: Mark Reinstein (Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pres. George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush waving, marching in inaugural parade, w. secret servicemen in tow.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan greets newly-inaugurated President George H.W. Bush as first lady Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle (far left) applaud during Bush's swearing-in ceremony, January 20, 1989, in Washington, DC.

(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)

President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush standing by torch during his inaugural opening ceremony at Lincoln Memorial.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Barbara Bush (2nd L) sits in front of her son George W. Bush (R) and grand daughters Jenna (3rd R) and Barbara at the Presidential Inauguration of George H.W. Bush.

(Photo by David Woo/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pres. & Barbara Bush (R) & VP & Marilyn Quayle standing, waving, during inaugural opening ceremony at Lincoln Memorial.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Pres. & Barbara Bush (C) in stands, w. granddaughter Ellie LeBlond on Pres.'s lap & Marilyn Quayle (R), at Lincoln Memorial inaugural opening ceremony.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Pres-elect George H. W. Bush (C) showing off his new inaugural limo license plate with his inaugural co-chairpersons Robert Holt (R) and Renne Percy Korth.

(Photo by Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Pres. George Bush & Barbara Bush (R) & VP Dan & Marilyn Quayle during inaugural opening ceremony at Lincoln Memorial.

(Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Pres. Bush being sworn-in by Chief Justice Rehnquist (R) w. Barbara Bush looking on, during inaugural.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Secret service guarded presidential limo during Pres. Bush's inaugural parade.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan greets newly-inaugurated President George H.W. Bush as first lady Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle (far left) applaud during Bush's swearing-in ceremony, January 20, 1989, in Washington, DC. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)

Pres. & signature pearls sporting Barbara Bush having high old time at TX-style black tie & boots inaugural ball.

(Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Pres. & signature pearls sporting Barbara Bush having high old time at TX-style black tie & boots inaugural ball, w. their son George (L-rear).

(Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper part of the Stax band play during the concert at the DC. convention center as part of President George H.W. Bush's inaugural festivies. This is the event where President Bush and Lee Atwater both took up guitars and played on stage with the band.

 (Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

 President Ronald Reagan takes one last fond look back at the Oval Office at the White House January 20, 1989 as he leaves for the Capitol for the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush.

(Photograph by Dirck Halstead/Getty Images)

Pres. & Barbara Bush turning to wave at their guests during inaugural ball.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Beaming Pres. Bush (C) manning mike, w. admiring performers in bkgrd., at his black tie & boots TX-style inaugural ball.

(Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Pres. Bush reaching over, gesturing to unseen, w. wife Barbara (L) & secret servicemen, during his inaugural parade.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Throughout his speech Bush called for "new activism," for a new generation, and reminded the American public that they are "inescapably connected by the ties that bind."

"Here today are tens of thousands of our citizens who feel the understandable satisfaction of those who have taken part in democracy and seen their hopes fulfilled. But my thoughts have been turning the past few days to those who would be watching at home, to an older fellow who will throw a salute by himself when the flag goes by and the woman who will tell her sons the words of the battle hymns. I don't mean this to be sentimental. I mean that on days like this we remember that we are all part of a continuum, inescapably connected by the ties that bind."

SEE MORE: Read the full text of Bush's inauguration speech

President Bill Clinton:

Arkansas native Bill Clinton spoke of "American renewal" in his first inaugural address in 1993, when he became the first Democrat to serve as president in more than a decade.

Clinton expressed interest in empowering America not only as a sound leader at home, but a strong diplomat abroad:

"While America rebuilds at home, we will not shrink from the challenges nor fail to seize the opportunities of this new world. Together with our friends and allies, we will work to shape change, lest it engulf us. When our vital interests are challenged or the will and conscience of the international community is defied, we will act, with peaceful diplomacy whenever possible, with force when necessary."

The AIDS epidemic, communism, crisis in the Persian Gulf and Somalia -- each of these world events had a place in President Clinton's speech. The central message, though, was of America's part in renewal -- seen in Clinton's challenge to a new generation of young Americans to "a season of service."

RELATED: President Bill Clinton's inaugurations

43 PHOTOS
President Bill Clinton's inaugurations
See Gallery
President Bill Clinton's inaugurations

President Clinton speaks outside the U.S. Capitol following his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States.

(Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Spectators gather at the US Capitol Building to witness President Bill Clinton's first inauguration into office. Bill Clinton stands with his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea as he takes the oath of office.

(Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Democrat Bill Clinton (L) is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (R) as the 42nd President of the United States as his wife Hillary (C) looks on during the inaugural ceremony at Capital Hill, January 20.

(Jim Bourg / Reuters)

U.S. Senator John Warner of Virginia, co-chairman of the Congressional Joint Inauguration Committee, points out the view from the presidential inauguration podium to ABC news reporter and anchor Barbara Walters as final preparations continue at the U.S. Capitol January 19 for President Clinton's inauguration ceremonies. Clinton will be sworn in for a second term at noon on January 20. 

(Jim Bourg / Reuters)

U.S. President George Bush (L) greets President-elect Bill Clinton (R) upon his arrival 20 January, 1993 to the White House in Washington, DC to meet Bush for a pre-inaugural coffee. Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd U.S. President later 20 January.

(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Press photographers and remote cameras are focused on President Clinton as he is sworn in on Capitol Hill, January 20. Clinton is the first Democratic president to be inaugurated for a second term since Franklin-Roosevelt.

(Mike Theiler / Reuters)

President WIlliam Jefferson Clinton waves from inside the 'Beast' limousine as his inaugural parade passes 14th street freedom plaza.

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

President Clinton and his family, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea, applaud during the opening act at the Presidential Inaugural Gala in Landover, January 19. The president attended the star-studded revue on the eve of his inauguration to start his second term. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

WASHINGTON, : The Clintons and the Gores applaud as jump ropers perform in front of the reviewing stand during the inaugural parade 20 January in Washington, DC. US President Clinton was sworn in earlier on Capitol Hill for his second term as US president.

(TOM MIHALEK/AFP/Getty Images)

President Clinton, first lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea greet crowds along the inaugural parade route near the White House after they emerged from their armored Cadillac to finish the parade on foot January 20. President Clinton was sworn-in for the second time as the nation's 42nd president.

(Rick Wilking / Reuters)

Chelsea Clinton holds Tyler Clinton, son of President Clinton's brother Roger, as they watch the inaugural parade from the White House reviewing area January 20. President Clinton was sworn in for the second time as the nation's 42nd president.

(STR New / Reuters)

Diana Ross performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the statue of Lincoln behind her as part of the American Reunion celebration on the mall kicking off the Inuagural events for President William Jefferson Clinton. 

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

The U.S. Capitol is readied for the second inauguration of President Clinton early January 20 . Clinton will be the first Democratic president to be inaugurated for a second term since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

President Clinton and his family (L) and Vice President Al Gore and his family (R) review the troops during inaugural ceremonies at the United States Capitol, January 20. Earlier in the day, Clinton took the oath of office on the steps of the capitol to begin his second term in the White House.

(STR New / Reuters)

President Clinton, accompanied by House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), waves as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol to be inaugurated as the 42nd president of the United States January 20. Clinton is the first Democratic president to be sworn in to a second term since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

The U.S. Capitol is decked in bunting as President Clinton delivers his inauguration speech after being sworn in for a second term, January 20. Clinton is the first Democratic president to be re-elected in 50 years.

(Gary Hershorn / Reuters)

U.S. President Clinton is sworn in for a second term as President by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist (R) as Clinton stands on the West steps of the United States Capitol with his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea at his side, January 20. Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper look on at rear. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton embrace as they dance at the first inaugural ball of the evening at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, January 20. The Clintons are scheduled to appear at 15 balls to cap the inaugural festivities.

(STR New / Reuters)

Inauguration of President of United States, President William Jefferson Clinton,42nd President,52nd Presidency Washington, DC, 1/20/93.

(Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)

Lincoln Memorial Gala Celebration for the Inaugural of William Clinton as President. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. Credit: Mark Reinstein

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton, Jan, 30 1993, Washington DC.

(Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)

Aretha Franklin preforms at the Lincoln Memorial for President CLinton's inaugural gala.

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

President-elect Bill Clinton (2nd from right) and Vice President-elect Al Gore (2nd from left) stand with their wives, Hillary Clinton (right) and Tipper Gore (left), at the 1993 People's Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.

(Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of U.S. President-elect Bill Clinton, videotapes the inaugural festivities 17 January 1993 at the Lincoln Memorial.

(CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Bill and Hillary Clinton along with David Dinkins stand on stage January 20, 1993 in Washington, DC. Eleven inaugural balls were held on the same evening in honor of President Clinton's election.

(Photo by Diana Walker/Liaison)

A member of the U.S. Marine Corps Marching Band tunes up 20 January, 1993 in front of the U.S. Capitol Dome prior to the start of the inauguration of William Clinton in Washington, DC. President-elect Clinton will be sworn-in at noon to become the 42nd President of the U.S.

(TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton smiles January 20, 1993 in Washington, DC. Eleven inaugural balls were held on the same evening in honor of President Clinton's election.

(Photo by Diana Walker/Liaison)

American poet Maya Angelou reciting her poem 'On the Pulse of Morning' at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in Washington DC, 20th January 1993.

(Photo by Consolidated News Pictures/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Uncle Sam, played by Steve Myott of Greenville, North Carolina, looks down while a police officer walks between his legs as Myott performs along the route of US President Bill Clinton's inaugural parade in Washington, DC 20 January. The parade, celebrating the beginning of President Clinton's second term in office, goes along Pennsylvania Avenue from the US Capitol to the White House.

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela (R) and Lindiwe Mabuza (L), the ANC's chief representative to the U.S., look up at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, 20 January 1993, after taking their seats for the inauguration of Bill Clinton as the U.S.'s 42nd president.

(ARYEH RABINOVICH/AFP/GettyImages)

Pres. George Bush gazing at view of Capitol bldg. fr. helicopter window, leaving capital after inauguration of successor Pres. Bill Clinton.

(Photo by David Valdez/White House/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Pres. Clinton pausing fr. his inaugural address, turning to applaud George Bush (R) as Mrs Bush, outgoing VP Dan Quayle (L) et al join in, in crowd-framed acknowledgement of outgoing Pres.

(Photo by David Valdez/White House/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

SWEARING IN--The Children of the Gospel choir performs during the swearing in ceremony of President Clinton.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Stevie Wonder performs at Bill Clinton's inaugural gala January 19, 1997 in Landover, MD. On November 5, 1996, Clinton was elected to his second term as the forty second President of the United States.

(Photo by Cynthia Johnson/Liaison

Singer Bob Dylan performs at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993 in Washington DC.

(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

1993 - Clinton, Inauguration Gala

(Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Pres. Bill Clinton (L) playing saxophone, jamming w. musicians onstage at DC Armory Ball during inaugural wk. festivities.

(Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Pres. Bill Clinton hugging daughter Chelsea & wife Hillary Rodham during his Inaugural Day swear-in ceremony.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

The Washington Monument as pictured on the morning of the First Presidental inauguration of Bill Clinton in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Images Press/IMAGES/Getty Images)

Bill Clinton Speaking at his Inauguration Gala

(Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Pres. Bill Clinton (C) speaking during his 2nd term Inaugural Day ceremonies.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Ramona Howard, of St. Louis, Mo, puts up a message to President-elect Bill Clinton on the 'American Town Hall' 18 January, 1993 during inaugural festivities on the Mall in Washington, DC. President-elect Clinton is scheduled to take the oath of office 20 Jan to become the next president of the United States.

(CARLOS SCHIEBECK/AFP/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

He spoke of unity and equality amongst those seemingly dissimilar, saying "...but for fate, we, the fortunate, and the unfortunate might have been each other." He ended with a reminder for the nation that America's long, heroic journey "must go forever upward."

SEE MORE: Read the full text of Clinton's address

President George W. Bush:

The 43rd president focused on unity in his first inaugural address, asking the nation to live up to the common calling of "civility." In the wake of a contentious 2000 election that went all the way up to the Supreme Court, Bush described what unifies Americans specifically, saying:

"America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests, and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American."

There were calls to reform social security and medicare, and a confronting of weapons of mass destruction, "so that a new century is spared new horrors," but it was religious imagery and a picture of the spirit of the nation that introduced America to their new president.

RELATED: President George W. Bush's inaugurations

43 PHOTOS
President George W. Bush's inaugurations
See Gallery
President George W. Bush's inaugurations
George W. Bush (L) is sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States January 20, 2001 by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist (right/foreground). First lady Laura Bush (center/right) looks on, as well as daughters Jenna (C) and Barbara (obscured behind Rehnquist). At center/rear are Vice-President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, right/rear.
President George W. Bush delivers his inaugural address on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, January 20, 2001. Bush pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

Fireworks burst above US Vice President Dick Cheney (L), wife Lynn Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush (3L) and US President George W. Bush (4L) during the 'Celebration of Freedom' inaugural concert on the Ellipse south of the White House in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)

Casey Owens, a wounded marine, salutes during the Inaugural speech by U.S. President George W. Bush on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2005. Bush was sworn in for his second term in office.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Logan Walters, aide to President elect George W. Bush, takes dog Spot from Bush, who is sitting in his limousine, as they arrived to board an Air Force jet to take him and wife Laura to Washington via Midland, Texas, for the presidential inauguration, January 17, 2001. 

(Rick Wilking / Reuters)

President-elect George W. Bush (R) dances with singer Ricky Martin at the opening ceremony of the inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington January 18, 2001. Bush will be sworn in as the 43rd president on January 20.

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Former U.S. President George H. Bush (R), with his wife Barbara and granddaughters Barbara (rear, L) and Jenna (rear, R) wave as they walk through the Rotunda on Capitol Hill prior to the swearing in of President George W. Bush, January 20, 2005. President George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term on Thursday and pledged to work to heal a country divided by the Iraq war. Bush, who begins his second term with the lowest approval rating of any returning president except Richard Nixon, said in his inaugural address, "We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes, and I will strive in good faith to heal them."

(REUTERS/Robert Sullivan)

The Rockettes perform at the Lincoln Memorial during the opening ceremony for George W. Bush's inauguration January 18, 2001 in Washington. Bush will be sworn in as the next President of the United States on January 20.

(Win McNamee / Reuters)

Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell (L) and Attorney General-designate John Ashcroft arrive at the Inauguration opening ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington January 18, 2001. George W. Bush will be sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States on January 20. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)
A worker cleans windows of a downtown bank January 18, 2001, in preparation for the inauguration of George W. Bush as 43rd president of the United States. Bush will be inaugurated on January 20.

(Shaun Best / Reuters)
 
President George W. Bush (R) is hugged by his daughter Jenna while his wife, first lady Laura Bush (2nd R), daughter Barbara (L) and Vice President Dick Cheney look on, after Bush was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2001. Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States during the Inauguration ceremony and pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)
Carpet layers Timothy Bury (R) and Jason McNamara lay out the carpet U.S. President George W. Bush will walk down to the dias for his swearing-in ceremony as inaugural preparations continue at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 12, 2005. President Bush will be sworn in for his second term January 20. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn GMH

Would-be president Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., far left, and other members look on as Kerry's competition in the 2004 election, President George W. Bush, delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in for a second term.

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Former President George Bush (2nd L) shakes hands with President Bill Clinton as he and Barbara Bush (L) arrive at the Presidential Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2001. Bush's son, George W. Bush, took the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States Saturday and pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity." At right of Clinton is U.S. Vice President Al Gore. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

On a dreary, rain-filled January 20, 2001, George W. Bush is sworn in on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building. In his inaugural speech, Bush pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters

U.S. President George W. Bush (2L) and his wife Laura walk down the steps of the Capitol Building with former President Bill Clinton (2R) and his wife Hillary following Bush's inauguration in Washington, January 20, 2001. Bush was sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States. 

(Shaun Best / Reuters)

The White House on May 14, 2002 said the Republican Party was selling copies of photographs of U.S. President George W. Bush on Sept. 11 to raise campaign funds, drawing Democratic charges it was exploiting a tragedy. The photograph was part of a three-photo package, including this file photo of Bush's inauguration, depicting "the defining moments" of Bush's first year in exchange for a minimum donation of $150 to a dinner next month headlined by Bush and sponsored by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Bush takes the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist (R) on January 20, 2001.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

A workman removes bunting from bleachers near the presidential reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on January 21, 2001. President George W. Bush, sworn into office on January 20, watched the inaugural parade from the stand. PM/jp

President-elect George W. Bush shares a laugh with his wife Laura during the Wyoming State Society reception January 19, 2001 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Bush will be inaugurated as President of the United States in ceremonies January 20. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

U.S. President George W. Bush's daughters Barbara (L) and Jenna listen to their father while attending an Inauguration Ball at the Washington Hilton, January 20, 2005.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush share their first turn on the dance floor at the Ronald Reagan Inaugural Ball January 20, 2001 in Washington, DC. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States earlier in the day. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) and first lady Laura Bush wave as they walk during the inaugural parade, January 20, 2001. Bush took the oath of office today as the 43rd president of the United States and pledged he would work to build a "single nation of justice and opportunity.

(Tim Shaffer / Reuters)

President George W. Bush (L) takes the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States while his wife, first lady Laura Bush, looks on during the Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2001. Bush pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity.

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

A snowball melts on the side of a limousine as Vice President Richard Cheney waves during the inaugural parade in Washington, January 20, 2005. Flag-draped coffins and anti-war chants competed with pomp and circumstance on Thursday at the inauguration of President George W. Bush along the snow-dusted, barricaded streets of central Washington.

(REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

George W. Bush (R) shakes hands with former Vice President Al Gore after Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States during the Inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2001. Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States Saturday and pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)
Dick Cheney is sworn in as the 43rd vice president of the United States by Chief Justice William Rehnquist at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2001. [George W. Bush took the oath of office today as the 43rd president of the United States and pledged he would work to build a "single nation of justice and oppurtunity." ]

A man walks past the inaugural parade reviewing stand that is under construction in front of the White House, January 4, 2005 in Washington, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush will be sworn in to serve his second term as president on January 20.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President George W. Bush hugs his father, former President George Bush (L) and reaches for his mother Barbara after he was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States, in Washington January 20, 2001. Bush pledged he would work to build "a single nation of justice and opportunity."
George W. Bush's daughters Jenna (L) and Barbara attend the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 20, 2001. [George W. Bush will be the first president's son to take over the White House since John Quincy Adams in 1825. ]

Fireworks burst over the Washington Monument at the close of the 'Celebration of Freedom' program 19 January 2005 on the Ellipse in Washington, DC. The concert is one in a series of events surrounding the 20 January 2005 second term inauguration of US President George W. Bush.

(STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) shakes hands with former president Bill Clinton after Bush was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States, at the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2001. President Bush is the first president's son to take over the White House since John Quincy Adams in 1825.
Workers finish preparations for U.S. President Bush's inauguration outside the Capitol Building, in Washington, January 18, 2005. Preparations are continuing for the January 20 inauguration of President George W. Bush, the first since the 9/11 attacks. Bush is drawing heat over a $40 million splurge on inaugural balls, concerts and candlelight dinners while the country is in a somber mood because of the Iraq war and Asian tsunami. Critics say the lavish celebrations are unseemly when U.S. troops face daily violence in Iraq and Americans are being urged to donate money to alleviate the suffering in Asia, where the Dec. 26 tsunami killed 163,000 people. REUTERS/Jason Reed JIR/GN

President-elect George W. Bush (R) with his wife Laura and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn descend the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the start of the inaugural opening ceremonies in Washington January 18, 2001.

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

U.S. President George W. Bush (R), first lady Laura Bush (2nd R), Vice President Dick Cheney (L) and Lynne Cheney (2nd L) arrive on stage for "A Celebration of Freedom" on The Ellipse in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2005. Bush will be sworn in for his second term on January 20. REUTERS/Mike Segar REUTERS PJ
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) smiles at first lady Laura Bush (R) as they wait for the Inauguration ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2005. Behind Bush from left to right are daughters Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush, brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush and father, former President George H. Bush. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque PJ

Florida Governor Jeb Bush takes a photograph as he arrives for the Inauguration of his brother, U.S. President George W. Bush on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2005.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush walk in the Inaugural Parade in Washington, January 20, 2005. Bush was sworn in for his second term in office.

(REUTERS/Peter Morgan)

U.S. Vice president Dick Cheney (L) takes the oath for his second term in office from House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) at inaugural ceremonies in Washington D.C. January 20, 2005. Cheney's wife Lynn (2nd L), daughters Mary (3rd L) and Liz (2nd R) watch. Watching behind is U.S. President George W. Bush (rear R) and Senator Trent Lott (R-MS).

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque PM)

Police line the Inauguration parade route in Washington, DC, January 20, 2005. U.S. President George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term on Thursday and pledged to work to heal a country divided by the Iraq war. Bush, who begins his second term with the lowest approval rating of any returning president except Richard Nixon, said in his inaugural address, "We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes, and I will strive in good faith to heal them." Bush also vowed to advance democracy abroad to "break the reign of hatred and resentment" in his address, delivered on a snowy, wintry day before thousands gathered at the U.S. Capitol and millions watching on television.

(REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

U.S. President George W. Bush prepares to give his inaugural speech on the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington January 20, 2005. Bush was sworn in for his second term in office.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

U.S. President George W. Bush waves with first lady Laura Bush during the Texas Wyoming Ball in Washington, January 20, 2005. Bush was sworn in for his second term in office earlier today.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush dance on the Presidential Seal at the Commander-in-Chief's Inauguration Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington, January 20, 2005. Pictures of the Year 2005.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While Bush noted government's role in ensuring public safety, public health, civil rights and common schools -- he also noted "compassion" as the work of the nation, saying, "Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws."

Bush ended his remarks evoking President Jefferson's question to John Page after signing the Declaration of Independence, "Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?"

SEE MORE: Read the full text of Bush's remarks

Bush ended his remarks with a reminder to the country that its story still goes on and "an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm."

President Barack Obama:

In President Obama's first inaugural address, the former Illinois senator called for "a new era of responsibility." Having assumed office amidst a crippling economic downfall and active war in the Middle East, Obama focused on "hope over fear" and "unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

Describing America as a still "young nation," he stated: "In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given." It was a speech of affirmation -- both for the country and the global community -- of American ideals and the state of democracy in the West.

RELATED: Scenes from President Barack Obama's inaugurations

43 PHOTOS
President Barack Obama's inaugurations
See Gallery
President Barack Obama's inaugurations

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, takes the oath given by US. Supreme Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. (lower R) during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009. Michelle Obama holds a Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861. Daughter Malia (R) looks on.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

U.S President Barack Obama (C) addresses the crowd after taking the Oath of Office as the 44th President of the United States during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Vice President elect Joe Biden and President elect Barack Obama wave to the crowd gathered at the Edgewood, Md., train station as their train heads from Philadelphia to Washington on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, for the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Buttons of Michelle Obama are for sale with US President-elect Barack Obama inauguration memorabilia at the Presidential Inaugural Committee store January 12, 2009, in Washington, DC.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Lakisha Smith cries as she watches the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on a large screen in the neighborhood of Harlem January 20, 2009 in New York City. Obama was inaugurated as the first African-American president of the U.S.

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Sasha Obama, center, yawns during President Barack Obama's speech, as her sister, Malia, left, and mother/First Lady, Michell Obama, right, watch during the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

 (Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Work continues on the inaugural platform at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 16, 2009 in Washington, DC. President Elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A man walks on the inaugural stand at the west front of the U.S. Capitol January 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Preparations for the presidential inauguration are under way for incoming U.S. President Barack Obama.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush embraces President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, after Obama's inaugural address at the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Crowds fill the National Mall before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States at his inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

A spectator waits on the National Mall on the morning of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States at his inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

U.S President Barack Obama (C) addresses the crowd after taking the Oath of Office as the 44th President of the United States during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the inaugural parade from the reviewing stand in from of the White House in Washington, DC, January 20, 2009.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009. Michelle Obama watches at right. The Bible Obama uses is the same one that President Abraham Lincoln used at his Inauguration in 1861.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

President Barack Obama walks in the Inaugural Parade on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the US.

(Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as 44th US president at the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2009.

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Malia (L) and Sasha Obama arrive at the inauguration ceremony of their father, President-elect Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States in Washington January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Brent Smith (L), 3, watches the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on a large screen in the neighborhood of Harlem January 20, 2009 in New York City. Obama was inaugurated as the first African-American president of the U.S.

(Photo by Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

A woman looks through binoculars at the Capitol building during the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

Michael and Laurie McRobbie of Indiana attend the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

Joe Biden, with his wife Jill at his side, is sworn-in as Vice President of the U.S. by Justice Stevens during the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

A man stands wearing a hat in support of U.S. President Barack Obama on the National Mall in Washington January 20, 2013. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden took the oath of office for his second term on Sunday at a small ceremony at his official residence, using a bible with a Celtic cross on the cover that has been in his family since 1893. The U.S. Constitution requires the president and vice president to be sworn in on January 20. 

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. President Barack Obama is applauded by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) in the President's Room after signing his first act as president, a proclamation, moments after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inaugural ceremony in Washington January 20, 2009. From left: House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Vice President Joe Biden, JCCIC Chairman Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) To the right of Senator Reid is Lisa Brown, White House Clerk.

(REUTERS/Molly Riley)

An attendee prays during the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

First lady Michelle Obama (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama escort former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura (R) down the steps of the U.S. Capitol after inauguration ceremony in Washington January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Vice President Joe Biden (L) recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration ceremony in Washington January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S President Barack Obama and his wife First Lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV & ServiceNation: Live From The Youth Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States today, becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the US.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden attend the Southern Inaugural Ball celebrating the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. President Obama will be attending 10 Inaugural Balls. Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African American to be elected President.

(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia wave to supporters lining Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade after he was sworn in as the 44th U.S. President in Washington January 20, 2009.

(REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

U.S President Barack Obama (L) takes the oath of office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obama holds the bible and their daughters Malia and Sasha (L-R) look on in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, January 20, 2013.

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

The U.S. Capitol is pictured at sunrise before the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Recording artist Jay-Z arrives ahead swearing-in ceremonies for U.S. President Barack Obama on the West front of the U.S Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Malia (L) and Sasha Obama arrive during the second presidential inauguration of their father, President Barack Obama, on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington. Obama was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States.

(REUTERS/Win McNamee-POOL)

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (2nd from R, front) administers the oath of office to U.S. President Barack Obama as first lady Michelle Obama (C, front) and daughters Malia and Sasha (R, front) look on during ceremonies on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool)

A boy listens on the National Mall during the 57th inauguration ceremonies for U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Beyonce sings the National Anthem during inauguration ceremonies for U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A woman listens on the National Mall during the 57th inauguration ceremonies for U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

A spectator watches U.S. President Barack Obama go by during the inaugural parade in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk and wave after emerging from the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Inaugural Ball in Washington, January 21, 2013.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

As much as Obama called for "bold and swift" action on the economy, he also evoked the image of the nation's founding fathers on the brink of success in dark times:

So let us mark this day with remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At the moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words to be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

Inaugural addresses are historically intended to frame a president's next four years in office. They reacquaint the nation with the executive branch leader's platform, and -- if a new president is stepping into the White House -- sets the pace for the weekend's transition of power.

Trump has reportedly said he plans to lean on the speaking styles of both President Kennedy and President Reagan for inspiration on his own inaugural address. Whether the president-elect speech is three or 30 minutes long, the country will undoubtedly be talking about the historic remarks for years to come.

SEE MORE: Read Obama's full inaugural address

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.