By Francesca Trianni
May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou was the second poet in history to be present at a presidential inauguration, when in 1993 she read On the Pulse of Morning at President Bill Clinton’ inauguration ceremony.

Angelou, like Clinton, had grown up in Arkansas, and that chilly January day in 1993 consecrated the poet in the eyes of Americans for two decades to come.

Angelou also read a poem for President George W. Bush, when she recited Amazing Peace at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House.

(Video courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library)

Write to Francesca Trianni at francesca.trianni@time.com.

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