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I read a nice article in Sunday's Washington Post (), which discussed the disappearance of elegance and style from the inaugural balls. While I have attended probably more than my share of formal balls, including the Vienna Opera Ball in Austria, I have never been to an inaugural ball, and since I prefer truly formal events, I imagine that I would not enjoy anything that took place after the 1940s.

Perhaps those of you who have attended can enlighten me/us about the article's validity?
 

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Things have gone downhill ever since they let that rascal Jackson in.

One guest, James Hamilton Jr., recalled the scene in the White House beginning that afternoon: "The mob broke in, in thousands. Spirits black, yellow, and gray poured in in one uninterrupted stream of mud and filth, among the throngs many subjects for the penitentiary."

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Twenty thousand people passed through the Executive Mansion, attacking the refreshments, breaking china and glassware, standing in muddy boots on damask-covered chairs, ripping down drapery, trampling on rugs and breaking costly handmade French furniture. The doors could not accommodate the crowds entering and leaving; windows had to be used as exits. The food quickly ran out, but tubs of punch, laced with whiskey, kept flowing. When the tubs were finally moved to the lawn, the mob followed and reeled off into the night.
 
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