Lawrence Douglas Wilder23 January 2009
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States, an event of great historical significance because he is the first African American to be elected to the office. Another historical first occurred on January 13, 1990. An African American named Lawrence Douglas Wilder became the first African American to be sworn in as governor of a U.S. state. He served as Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. The two images shown below are the invitations to Wilder’s inauguration (left) and to the inaugural festivities (right).
Both of these invitations come from the Carroll H. Leggett Collection (MC #856), a collection that contains items pertaining to state and national politics. Among them are items from the presidential inaugurations of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and from the gubernatorial inaugurations of Lawrence Wilder and Michael Easley. One notable item in this collection is a sheet containing the guidelines for Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies for inaugural attendees (1993).