Behind Inaugural Speeches, Meaningful Words

What words do presidents focus on most in their inaugural addresses? Explore speeches, from Washington to Obama

Wordle is an application that takes text from any source and enlarges words that appear more frequently. Conversely, words that are smaller appear less frequently. Small words, like the or of, are not included in the Wordles above. (

Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address

The cornerstone of Ronald Reagan’s economic and legislative philosophy is well summarized by his assertion that “In our present time, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” (Compare the prominence of the word “government” in Reagan’s First Inaugural and Roosevelt’s Second, and you’ll see how the two transformational icons viewed their role as president.) On the day of the inauguration, the U.S. hostages in Iran were released after 444 days in captivity. Reagan referenced the crisis in saying, “As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people.”

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