This Week in Guard History
By NGAUS, NGAUS NOTES, January 23, 2009
/ Published January 23, 2009
Jan. 20, 1961: Washington, D.C. -- The Inaugural Parade for President John F. Kennedy marks a high point in the number of National Guard ceremonial units participating in the "pass in review" for the new president.
A total of 16 distinctively uniformed Guard units march down Pennsylvania Avenue. Most are "old" commands, like the National Lancers from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania's First City Troop of Philadelphia and the Richmond Light Infantry Blues from Virginia. Each of these units wears uniform patterns adopted in the early 1800s.
With many changes both in the Guard and in society itself in the intervening years, all but the First City Troop of Philadelphia would give up the distinctive dress uniforms.
In 2009, about 9,300 National Guardsmen would support the 56th presidential inauguration, the Guard's largest contribution to an inauguration in its 372-year history.