Bad luck for birds on Inauguration Day
Don't feed the pigeons
On the day of Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration, Pennsylvania Avenue was dotted with sick and dead pigeons. At the president's request, the inauguration committee spent $13,000 to spread a chemical bird repellent on the tree branches along the parade route to deter the pigeons. According to the Washington Post, the chemicals in Roost-No-More were supposed to cause the birds' feet to itch so they wouldn't roost in the trees. Unfortunately, the birds ate the repellent, causing them to get sick and die along the parade route.
Turn up the heat
After the north wing of the Treasury Building proved too small for President Ulysses S. Grant's first inaugural ball in 1869, a temporary structure was built in Judiciary Square for his second inaugural ball in 1873. Unfortunately, the structure had no heat or insulation, so guests danced in their coats and hats to stay warm in the minus-4-degree temperature, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Events. Making matters worse, the food was cold, the hot chocolate and coffee ran out and the poor caged canaries -- used as decorations -- froze to death.