On This day in History: January 20th, poet, actress and activist Dr. Maya Angelou recites her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration ceremony for President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C.

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On this day 30 years ago, poet, actress and activist Dr. Maya Angelou recites her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration ceremony for President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C. It would be the first time a poet read at an inaugural ceremony since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. She was selected by television producer Harry Thomason, who organized the inauguration.

Dr. Maya Angelou speaks on race relations at Congregation B’nai Israel and Ebenezer Baptist Church on January 16, 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.(Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)

The week after the poem was read, sales for her books skyrocketed. The following year, Angelou’s recording of the poem won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word. Dr. Maya Angelou passed away in 2014 at 86 years old.

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