Contact: Thomas J. Basile
WASHINGTON – Senator Trent Lott, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) is pleased to announce the details of the 2005 Inaugural Luncheon. The luncheon, which will take place in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol following the Inaugural Ceremonies, has been a tradition for more than a century. It is attended by the President, Vice President, Congressional leaders and 200 other invited guests.
This year’s Inaugural Luncheon menu has been designed to highlight the Congressional Inaugural Committee’s theme, “A Vision of America,” celebrating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition reaching the Pacific and the one-hundredth anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural at the Capitol. Although a century separated these two events, the meal was developed to incorporate flavors found in the cuisine of both eras.
The main dishes include wild game from the mid-west and seafood prepared in a cream sauce popular in the late nineteenth century. President Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed ending an elaborate meal with a simple steamed pudding while Lewis and Clark foraged the land for a bountiful harvest of fruits and berries.
The 2005 Inaugural Luncheon Menu
First Course: Scalloped Crab and Lobster
Second Course: Roasted Missouri Quail with Chestnuts and Brined Root Vegetables
Third Course: Steamed Lemon Pudding and Apple Wild Cherry Compote
The elegant china will feature a woodland design set on amber-colored, pressed velvet tablecloths. The table centerpieces will be a unique arrangement of berries, leaves and roses.
At the luncheon, it is tradition that the President and Vice President are presented with several gifts by the Congress, on behalf of the American people. As in Inaugurals past, each will be given the framed official photograph of their swearing-in ceremony. The photos will be taken by the Senate photographer and the film immediately handed to a U.S. Capitol Police officer, who will transport it to a nearby Senate photo studio. In ninety minutes, the pictures will be processed, printed, framed and matted. The framed photographs will then be rushed to the Inaugural Luncheon for the presentation.
Flags flown over the U.S. Capitol will also be presented to both the President and Vice President. The folded, 8’x12’ flags will be presented in wooden cases.
This year's most remarkable gift will be a pair of lead crystal hurricane lamps, engraved with hand-etched renderings of the White House. The 18" high lamps rest on silver-plated bases engraved with the President's name and "January 20, 2005". The shades are bordered with patterns found in the wall panels of the U.S. Capitol. A similar set, with the U.S. Capitol etched in the shades will be presented to the Vice President. The hurricanes were produced by Lenox Inc., which has crafted a crystal Inaugural gift for the luncheon since 1989.
Since the 1981 Inaugural Luncheon, a painting chosen specifically for the historic occasion has been selected and hung behind the President at the head table. This year’s painting, “Wind River, Wyoming” was painted by Albert Bierstadt, one of the premier artists of the ninetieth century, following his visit to the Rocky Mountains in 1859. The 5’x6’ painting evokes the landscapes that Lewis and Clark explored and the beauty that inspired Roosevelt to conserve our nation’s vast wilderness. It is on loan to the JCCIC by the Philip Anschutz Collection in Denver, Colorado.
“The Inaugural Luncheon is one of the finest traditions of Inauguration Day,” stated Senator Lott, “The details of this year’s luncheon have been designed to draw attention to the vision and courage of past leaders. It is fitting at this historic event that we connect with our past while looking to the future,” he added.
For more information about the 2005 Inaugural Luncheon visit www.inaugural.senate.gov.