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 Second Inaugural Address

On a frigid winter day—so cold that the ceremony took place in the Capitol Rotunda instead of on the Capitol’s west steps—Ronald Reagan spoke of restricting the scope of federal government, pledging to keep Americans safe from undue “economic barriers” and to “liberate the spirit of enterprise” for all. The president also addressed national security, emphasizing the responsibility of the United States to promote democracy abroad. Reagan denounced the immorality of nuclear weapons and mutual assured destruction, and used his address to further his case for a missile defense shield.

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