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Obama's 'First Lunch'

Today the inaugural organizers announced details of one of what will be one of President Obama's first "official" duties after taking the oath of office: lunch.

In a long-standing tradition, Obama, Vice President Biden and about 200 others will gather in the Capitol Building's Statuary Hall for a meal that is scheduled to consist of a first course of seafood stew (with sauvignon blanc from Duckhorn Vineyards), a second course of pheasant and duck with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes (with pinot noir from Goldeneye) and a dessert of apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glacé (with sparkling "Special Inaugural Cuvée" from Korbel).

Overseeing the event will be the 1865 painting "A View of Yosemite Valley" by American painter Thomas Hill and borrowed from the New York Historical Society.


Hill's "Yosemite." (Courtesy U.S. Senate.)

The Historical Society says of the painting:

Hill first saw the panoramic vistas of California's Yosemite Valley in 1862, an experience that led to his reputation as the "most ardent devotee at the shrine of Yosemite and the most faithful priest of the valley." Shown at the National Academy of Design in 1866, View of the Yosemite Valley not only conjured for New Yorkers the grandeur of Yosemite but also confirmed that the area was already tamed by tourism, as indicated by the couple on horseback at the center of the composition.

Somehow, after this repast, the president is intended to make his way to the reviewing stand to watch the parade. (Quite a bit more information on the luncheon, including recipes and history, is included on the official inaugural web site.)

But wait, there's more!

There will be gifts for the new president and vice president: a framed official photograph of their swearing-ins taken by a Senate photograher, flags flown over the U.S. Capitol during the ceremonies and engraved crystal bowls from the Lenox Company.


Obama's bowl. (Courtesy U.S. Senate.)

Obama's bowl will depict the White House, while Biden's will show the U.S. Capitol.

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 9, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  | Category:  Inaugural History , Presidential Inaugural Committee , Swearing-in Ceremony
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