The crowd was a mixture of old and young, music connoisseur and protester (and both). The Cathedral filled up quickly as people poured through the different entrances. Organ music occasionally interrupted by Mr. Loudspeaker, filled the church. Inside the clergymen of the Cathedral, acting as Marshalls, quietly seated the crowds. The crowd applauded several times: when the National orchestra members entered and began to tune up: when Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass). Sargent Shriver, and Averell Harriman arrived; and finally when Francis B. Sayre, Jr., dean of the Washington Cathedral, walked to the pulpit.
"Deep down in everyone there is a searning for peace," he intoned in a rich, ecclesiastical voice. "It is this longing for peace which brought Leonard Bernstein. Eugene McCarthy, the singers, and all of you inside and outside to this performance tonight.
"Heal the angry wounds we anonymously inflict upon each other," he prayed over the thousands of bowed heads. He then introduced McCarthy, who spoke of the war and the peace movement, and recited some verse by Robert Lowell, including a poem entitled "This is the Country for the Young." He then introduced Leonard Bernstein.
Bernstein strode in to warm applause and immediately began conducting the mass. The music is a moving interplay of chorus and orchestra, ending with the words of the Agnus Dei, "grant us thy peace."
At the end of the forty-minute mass, the crowd rose up and gave Bernstein a standing ovation. The maestro embraced Sayre and McCarthy, and bowed again and again to the applauding audience. Then, as the voice over the loud speaker thanked everyone for coming, announcing Woodstock-like that there had not been one mishap, people began to file quietly outside into the night.
Tom Wolfe might have had a field day with the whole affair, but in this case, it seemed just as well that he hadn't shown up.
PRESIDENT NIXON and his staff are known for their love for punctuality (among other things). The scheduling for the Inauguration proved that once again. Nixon took his oath of office from his Chief Justice just a few seconds after the scheduled time of noon.
It had gotten a lot colder during the night and the Inauguration took place beneath a bleak, grey sky. A west to northwest wind, gusting up to 30 miles per hour, ripped across the grandstands and Presidential Pavillion at the Fast Portico of the Capitol. "This is just like a football game said a man with a blanket as he showed his passes to a policeman.
Police were everywhere; on the tops a buildings all over the streets, even on helicopters overhead. Security was something else that had changed since John Kennedy took the oath.
The arrival of a Crimson-clad Mamme Eisenhower accompanied by Julie Nixon Eisenhower signaled the beginning of the ceremonies shortly after 11:30 a.m. They were quickly followed by Iricia Nixon Cox, the Agnew family, and finally by Pat Nixon.
Nixon arrived at 11:40 p.m. to the sound of "Hail to the Chief." The color guard raised its flags to attention, dipped them at Nixon's arrival, and raised them again.
Sen. Marlow Cook (R-Kentucky), co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee, began the ceremony by introducing Dr. E.V. Hill, president of the California Baptist Convention, who delivered the opening prayer.
"We thank I hee for this indication of Thy peace," he said. "Though we have sought peace, there is war. Though we have plenty, there is hunger."
Dr. Hill's prayer was followed by a musical interlude, and another prayer by Rabbi Seymour Siegel. At nine minutes to noon. Spiro Agnew took his oath, followed by another prayer, this one given by the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, to which Agnew once belonged.
As a prelude to Nixon's oath-taking, the choir of the combined service academics rendered "America the Beautiful," during which cadets and Midshipmen recited portions of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.